Updated on November 1, 2021
What’s Your CEBS Story? Jennifer Boyd, CEBS
Earning your Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation is a learning journey. Along the way, you acquire valuable employee benefits knowledge and relevant new skills. As you apply what you’ve learned to your work, you can forge a unique career pathway that is truly your own. Here’s a designee’s CEBS story.
A Chat with Jennifer Boyd, CEBS
Jennifer Boyd, CEBS
Simpson Housing LLLP
Could you share some insight about how pursuing your CEBS demonstrates that you are a lifelong learner and an expert in your profession?
“By pursuing the CEBS designation, I knew that I wanted to learn and grow in my career in benefits. I wanted to gain more knowledge and responsibilities. The benefits industry is constantly changing and requires one to keep up to date on regulations, laws, insurance changes, new benefit offerings and more. The CEBS designation has helped me to stay current on all these changes and when I’m unsure of how to handle something, I have a huge network of benefit professionals to reach out to as well. I have resources beyond my imagination, and I am constantly attending webinars, conferences and taking additional courses to keep my knowledge fresh and current. I would not be in the career I am today or have the expertise I do without my CEBS designation. I will continue to build on that knowledge and education every chance I get to!”
Could you describe how expanding your professional network has helped you attain success?
“I started attending ISCEBS Chapter meetings to meet more individuals in my career path. I am a benefits department of one and needed additional support and connections to grow in my career. Meetings led to professional relationships, becoming an ISCEBS Chapter member and more. I wanted to get more involved and was encouraged and supported to obtain my CEBS designation and to volunteer for committees and board member positions. All of this has helped my career, my professional relationships and my desire to keep learning grow.”
Could you share a story about how you prepared for your CEBS exam and applied what you learned to your work?
“I started my CEBS journey in 2008 and didn’t earn my designation until 2015. I want to encourage others to keep working on your designation and not give up; the feeling you get when you pass your last exam and can put those 4 letters behind your name is so rewarding! You won’t regret it!
CEBS courses are challenging and full of information. I knew self-study would be the right method for me due to my family and work schedule, but it requires a lot of self-discipline and dedication.
I set aside time each day to study, plugged in my headphones and cranked on the classical music to tune out the world. I found that studying in the morning before I started my day was better for me. I always scheduled my exams for the morning, which is when I felt alert. It didn’t hurt that I would treat myself to a yummy breakfast beforehand. I found that no studying the night before, a good night’s sleep, comfy clothes for taking the exam and a mental pep talk helped me. The best thing I had while prepping for these exams was my support system, my family and friends who encouraged me and jumped in to help with anything I needed so I could focus on studying.”
Could you describe how earning your CEBS designation has supported you in your role?
“In 2007, I embarked on a career in employee benefits, starting at the bottom and knowing very little. It didn’t take me long to realize that I would need additional resources, support and education to help me learn and grow in my career. I quickly found out about CEBS designation and dove into courses. As I became more confident in my role, I was promoted and given additional responsibilities. I worked up to a manager role. I couldn’t have achieved this without my CEBS designation!”