What’s Your CEBS Story? Patrick Garrabrant, CEBS

What's Your CEBS Story

Earning your 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 Patrick Garrabrant, CEBS, CLU

Patrick Garrabrant, CEBS, CLU

Employee Benefits Manager

PrimeGroup Insurance

Could you describe how expanding your professional network has helped you attain success?

I attended a few events at the Tampa Chapter of ISCEBS. I met some super kind people, and I really enjoyed the conversation and companionship of those who had already put in the work to get their CEBS designation. Professional development is definitely a commitment on top of work, family and the day-to-day grind. Their encouragement went a long way when I needed the energy to get through the fourth of the five courses in the designation. It’s very nice to meet others who do what I do and can share best practices in employee benefits.

Could you share a story about how you prepared for your CEBS exam and applied what you learned to your work?

In addition to helping employer groups of three to 300 in Florida, I also teach new insurance agents prelicensing. I prepared for my CEBS exams in the same way I instruct my insurance students to prepare for the license exam, which is by paying attention and learning the vocabulary. 

Most of the difficulty in insurance is that there is a lot of jargon, and it can really be its own language. Most laws and compliance requirements are typically easy to grasp because they are designed to protect the consumer. The difficult part is understanding an exam question and knowing the distinction between the answer choices.  That’s where your knowledge of the terminology comes in. 

I loved the real-world examples that were presented throughout the CEBS courses in the Benefits in Action Mini Cases. There were several examples of an insurance agent or an HR professional putting concepts from the CEBS courses in language that’s easy to understand so clients could make informed choices.  That is my biggest takeaway from the CEBS designation that I use on a day-to-day basis. Knowing employee benefits laws and rules is important but that alone doesn’t really help a client. The best part about having the CEBS designation is that I have tools to help me explain choices in ways clients can understand.

Could you share some insight about how pursuing your CEBS designation demonstrates that you’re a lifelong learner and an expert in your profession?

I tell my insurance students the best thing about insurance is that things change. Just because someone has been in the business longer than you have doesn’t mean they know more than you do. The downside about insurance is also that things change, so if you want to keep an edge on the competition, you must keep current. I felt attaining the CEBS designation would most clearly demonstrate my commitment to providing clients and prospects with the highest level of service I can. Employee benefits is all I do. I want to support my clients with a strong relationship by being their coach and a benefits expert.

Visit CEBS online for information about purchasing course materials, signing up for an Online Study Group, virtual exams and more details on earning your designation. Do you need further guidance on your CEBS journey? Whether you’re about to take your first step or getting close to earning your designation, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (800) 449-2327, option 3, or email cebs@ifebp.org.