A Look inside the Culture
Forget what you think you know about financial institutions. At Penn Mutual, there’s nary a dull gray suit in sight.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The award-winning company has been quietly pushing the envelope with fresh, tech-first approaches to insurance services since 1847. And while that may raise a few eyebrows of skeptical technologists, Penn Mutual is living proof that a company with a long history can be on the cutting edge of technology.
Even with a long history, the organization always has an eye toward the future. Penn Mutual remains steadfast when it comes to its mission of protecting families and businesses, but does so using new, advanced technology. So while the ideals of the company remain classic, the delivery is always cutting-edge.
From an associate standpoint, not only do Penn Mutual’s people have the chance to get their hands on the newest tech, they’re also recognized for their contributions. The transparent nature of the company ensures that everyone, straight up to the highest level, knows who you are and recognizes—often publicly—the impact you’ve made.
As an organization whose mission is based around taking care of family, Penn Mutual walks the walk internally by providing a work-life balance that benefits everyone. There are no family sacrifices required to get ahead. Associates work smart and are valued for their contributions.
Additional perks include an onsite fitness center, a café, a subsidized masseuse, wellness commitment opportunities and 8 hours for community outreach projects. And to tip the scales just a touch more, did we mention all the snacks?
What might surprise people to learn about Penn Mutual?
Although we’re not known for being a tech company, we’ve actually been in the data biz for 172 years.
We’ve always embraced the use of cutting edge technology to bring our products to market. Currently we’re utilizing everything from big data technology like Cassandra and Spark to Blockchain and Machine Learning. We’re constantly exploring uses for new technology to creatively improve the user experience of our products and safeguard customer assets.
What are your company values?
First and foremost, we’re always connected to the ‘why’ behind what we do, which is to “help people protect with what they care most—their family.”
As a workplace, we value intellectual curiosity, integrity and collaboration. We’re also big on ethics and doing the right thing. As we often say, “there’s no right way of doing the wrong thing.”
What does Penn Mutual look for in prospective employees?
The technologists who are successful here are curious about the business. They’re not purely technical, they also genuinely care about the work and how they can improve people’s lives.
We’re looking for collaborators. People who are passionate and self-motivated, but willing to work together, share knowledge and bring new ideas to the table.
What kind of tech skills do you expect candidates to have?
We’re a heavy data shop, so we look for people with experience in Enterprise Services, API interfaces and asynchronous processing.
Developers ideally have the following experience under their belt:
- Front-end developers: React, NodeJS, Elastic Search
- Junior developers: Solid Java skills, basic and associated like Spring; XML experience; some experience with API (3-5 years)
How do you encourage growth and learning?
People own their own development and we encourage continuous learning. It’s informal, but there’s a lot of freedom for people to experiment. We support associates who want to attend trainings and conferences, or to get certified in new areas of technology.
We give our people the autonomy to try out and play with things. No one gets slapped down for anything.
Shubhra KarmakarLead Software DeveloperShubhra is the Lead Software Developer at Penn Mutual. Coming from startup life, Shubhra has found the mix of stability with innovation and autonomy at Penn Mutual to be very fulfilling. Shubhra has a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Western Michigan University and completed her undergraduate degree in Mathematics in her home country […] Read More »
“I have a voice here. [At my old job] I used to be given a task and told ‘just do it.’ Here I have complete autonomy and ownership. My input is valid. That feeling sticks with a person.”
Srini DhanemkulaLead Software EngineerSrini is a Lead Software Engineer at Penn Mutual. He studied engineering in India and is passionate about solving problems and finding solutions. Read More »
“They keep me on my toes. I get to be a part of the most exciting initiatives happening in the organization. You can see your work, and your contribution, immediately. That’s what keeps me excited.”
Ryan AdamsLead Software EngineerRyan is the Director of Software Architecture at Penn Mutual. A Drexel grad, Ryan works in languages: Java, Solr, CQL, Scala, HTML, CSS, XSL, Oracle PL/SQL, OQL and in frameworks: Spring, Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Gin, Guice, Struts, JSP, XMPP, JUnit, Hibernate, Castor, JaxB, JQuery, JAX-RS (CXF/Jersey), D3, Jackson. He can work within an agile […] Read More »
"At other organizations, typically it’s the devs that are biting at the knees of the higher ups to champion new ideas. We don’t have to fight here. They aren’t afraid to try things.