Steve Konnath’s career reflects the sports analogy a manager once used to describe his potential.
“He saw me as a multipurpose back on a football team,” Konnath said. “He could put me anywhere, and I could do anything.”
For a stretch in his career, Konnath, who currently serves as vice president of actuarial, underwriting and data services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), did a little bit of everything for his former employer, taking on challenges and opportunities outside the actuarial field he’d belonged to for more than a decade.
“From strategic marketing to the IT department where I was a business engineer to the e-commerce division, I took on a new role about every two to three years,” Konnath said. “I liked it and got kind of addicted to it and would say, ‘alright, let’s try something new.’”
Konnath said his numbers background occasionally caused others to doubt if had the right skillset for certain roles, but the jobs that didn’t immediately seem like a good fit were some of his favorites, including when he worked in customer service.
“Other people were like, ‘you can’t take an actuary guy and have him on a service where you’re dealing with people and people issues,’ but that’s what I did at the call center, and it was fun,” Konnath said. “That job, I tell you, it was one of the most entertaining jobs I’ve ever had. It’s healthy to see the world from different angles and to do different things.”
Konnath eventually returned to his actuarial roots and landed at BCBSNE. The diverse experiences he gained outside his original field enabled him to find success moving forward.
“You learn the most when you’re challenged the most,” Konnath said. “Every one of the job changes I experienced forced me to think differently and learn new processes. Now, I know about HR issues and how people process things differently. It was incredibly powerful and helpful.”
As chief actuary at BCBSNE, Konnath said he has his “dream job.”
“Chief actuary, that’s pretty cool stuff by itself,” Konnath said. “That’s kind of the pinnacle of any actuarial insurance career. On top of that, I’m passionate about data. If you get all the analytics set up in the right way, you’ll find a ton of value. I get to do both.”
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