Adventures in Architecture at Travelers
Stephen Brand, Senior Director of Architecture on our Enterprise Architecture and Emerging Technology team, has been with us under the umbrella since April of 2021. During his time on our team, he has discovered the company culture we are proud of, opportunities to learn and grow and our commitment to innovation, technology and the growing field of architecture.
He is glad he chose to bring his career to Travelers and wants to share why you might also consider exploring a career on our team.
My Adventures in Architecture at Travelers
By Stephen Brand
Senior Director, Architecture
In the new year, I took some time to reflect on my career journey and how it has led me to my current position. Being in the technology industry, I have made a series of professional decisions that led me to one choice that I’m glad I made – joining the Enterprise Architecture and Emerging Tech team at Travelers.
While thinking about my time at Travelers, thus far, I have come up with three key factors any architecture job seeker should consider when choosing a career path with a new company:
- Company Culture
- Learning & Growth Opportunities
- Commitment to Architecture
As any good architect or architecture leader will tell you, relationships are the lifeblood of the work we do. Yes, in a technology group, we always have our eye on the technology and the future directions it will undoubtedly take us, but it’s really the people who help drive you.
Joining an organization full-time, remotely, during a pandemic was undoubtedly a risky proposition. That being said, to say that my manager and team embraced me when I joined is an understatement. I have been able to have conversations with colleagues from across the organization – from engineers to chief architects to CIOs and everyone in between.
When you work at Travelers, you will work with talented technologists who are innovating products that are impacting the lives of our customers and employees. What’s even more refreshing about Travelers’ culture is that all ideas are encouraged and welcomed by everyone at all levels. Hackathons, Competitions and Innovation Jams are commonplace and have resulted in incredible patents, product offerings and awards. The tech, collaboration and teamwork I have experienced at Travelers thus far has been exceptional.
Learning & Growth Opportunities:
When choosing a company, learning and development opportunities are paramount, particularly in the technology field that is constantly changing and evolving. It is important to understand how a company supports its employees’ development so everyone can learn and grow.
Not a day goes by where there hasn’t been something new to learn and a team of leaders who support education along the way. When I took this role as a Senior Director of Architecture supporting Bond & Specialty Insurance (B&SI), it was one of the few remaining areas of insurance technology in which I had no prior experience – but I was determined to learn.
Early on, I attended training courses designed to educate employees on the B&SI business. During these sessions, key executives from the unit were on hand to discuss business strategy and what differentiates Travelers in the market. This type of interaction also provided another opportunity to build relationships within the community. The learning tools I acquired during these courses will continue to come in handy as my career journey at Travelers progresses.
From a technology learning perspective, I’ve also seen a huge commitment to modernization efforts and the upskilling needed to get there. Travelers is funding the education and certification for AWS and our leadership is leading by example in this regard.
Commitment to Architecture:
I knew I was walking into something special from my first interview with the architecture teams and leaders at Travelers. I’ve been at big companies most of my career, including several Fortune 100 companies, but I’ve never been at a place that values architecture quite like Travelers does.
Travelers has already started its own agile, digital and cloud transformations. Whether working on the latest cloud technologies, using machine learning to analyze customer correspondence or helping to ensure our systems are modernized and reliable for our customers and employees, I’m proud that my team is at the forefront of these critical initiatives.
As Travelers focuses on performing for today and transforming for the future, it’s not only about our current work. We are focused on what’s next in architecture and technology, and our business is committed to ensuring that we have the talent to succeed by expanding roles and career opportunities for architects across the company. This considerable investment in architecture is really exciting.
I couldn’t be prouder of being here at Travelers and going through this journey with my team. I truly hope some of you will join us on our adventure.