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For Western Surety's Paul Thompson, his first job in construction was a good grounding for a career he never anticipated in surety underwriting.

While he was pursuing his post secondary studies, Paul spent four hard-working summers in a family construction company.

After completing his Business Administration diploma, and backpacking around Europe to "open my eyes about how the world works," Paul married and settled in Regina, becoming a fund manager with a national life insurance company.

When Western Surety Company – in a tower across the street from Paul's office – was recruiting a surety bond underwriter, he began to put two and two together.

"My wife was in the insurance industry and she thought I'd like the surety work," says Paul.

"I thought about that, and how it fit with my construction background, and it looked like a good match."

Western Surety thought so, too – Paul has been with the company for 13 years now, and has risen from trainee to underwriter to senior underwriter and is currently Manager for Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

"I'm an underwriter, first and foremost. That's the part of the job I like best. I like that it's always changing and there's always the need for interpretation, because things are never black and white."

"It helps to be able to talk the language of construction when you're out on the sites. Direct contact with construction companies is such a big part of the job.

"And contractors are great to work with, because they're so often people who started the business themselves. They've put in the time and they know where they come from. They're down-to-earth and hardworking."

Today Paul is also busy at home, with a family that now includes two children. At the office, he manages a growing portfolio of accounts. He has also earned the Associateship of Canadian Surety Bonding (ACSB).

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We're smiling now because we have recruited Business Administration student Mallery Concepcion to assist with the heavier business activity that the summer construction season creates.

Mallery is in her second year at the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the University of Regina. She's already working one day a week with Western Surety now, and will be here full-time from May to August.

Besides assisting with the summer workload, Mallery will be covering for employees on their summer vacations, and helping with data entry and other special projects.

 

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