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Alumni Arcs: Alana Hodges

Alana Hodges

Class of 2016 B.A.

Majors: Economics and Political Science

Minor: Aviation

Alana Hodges

Analyst 1 in the Analyst Reporting Center at Westfield Insurance Company Westfield Center, OH

Why did she choose to study economics?

Alana loves history and politics and found that her economics classes connected these topics to broad concepts in civilization, gave insight into the social skills societies depend upon, and helped explain “why people do the things they do.” She learned “critical thinking skills, the ability to understand difficult concepts, and quantitative skills.”

Did Alana participate in an internship?

Yes. She had a mortgage banking internship at Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage that taught her what she thinks “no one can prepare a person for in a school setting: how a real job works.” She experienced “full-time work, commuting, being in an office for long periods of time, and working with people with completely different roles.”

What was she least prepared for in her job?

Alana found interviewing difficult. She “didn’t know how to answer questions so she “went in blind.” She was unaware that there was a way to prepare and that she needed to plan for and practice answering interview questions. She also thought that “after 2 or 3 interviews she would have a job.” She learned that it can take a long time to find employment.

What is the hardest work experience she has had since graduation?

Her first job was in a high-pressure environment with many other recent graduates where employees went through training with no support. It was a “sink or swim” environment where recent hires were “cut if they needed help.” Alana was “never off the clock” and under “constant oversight.” She had no free time and “couldn’t see herself keeping her sanity in the long term.”

How long has Alana been with her current employer and what does she do?

She started working at Westfield Insurance Company in June of 2022. She describes the company as having an excellent culture which supports a work-life balance and offers a hybrid schedule. She is being trained on an ongoing basis, encouraged not “to stress,” shown patience, and is actively supported by her boss in weekly meetings and frequent checks on how Alana is fitting in to the company. Alana currently works in the Workman’s Compensation and Reporting section of her department. Alana works independently but also has been paired with another co-worker as well as being part of an 8-person team. She uses her “logical reasoning skills” and attention to detail to “process data, find errors, investigate problems, and find solutions” in the information she analyzes. In addition, she is learning new analytical skills which will “help in the future and be transferrable.” She likes that there is a low turnover in the company and that she can move into other positions and has “lots of opportunities to do something else.”

What are Alana’s career goals?

She has set a short-term goal or remaining in her current role for 2 years. She may then pursue an MBA with the goal of learning more technical skills. This motivates her more than being able to pursue jobs with a higher income.


*That she didn’t try more new things and wasn’t more relaxed in college


*” Don’t take rejection personally; it’s a numbers thing.”

*” Don’t compare yourself to others.”

*” Be diligent in applying for jobs and practicing interviewing skills.”

* Exercise.

* Plan your day before it starts.

*” At a certain level of frustration, ‘STOP.’ Finish that work with a fresh mind the next day.”