MBA Alumni Spotlight: An Interview with Jeremy Boz, MBA '10
Jeremy Boz serves as a Partner & SVP of Broker Development at Tyler Insurance Group. The main focus of Tyler Insurance Group is to help consumers navigate the complex Medicare market and choose the proper plan to fit their needs.
Jeremy oversees more than two hundred licensed brokers in 35 states. Jeremy and his wife, Luciana, have two children and currently reside in Las Vegas. Jeremy graduated with a B.S. in marketing from SUNY at Old Westbury in 2005 and an MBA in marketing from UNLV in 2010.
What type of work do you do?
I am a partner at a sizable Medicare firm with eleven offices nationwide and approximately 300 agents. Our focus is to educate consumers in obtaining Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement or Drug Plans. We educate and facilitate the process to help them understand their options for care.
What inspired you to become a member of the MBA Advisory Board?
Dr. Krishen inspired me. She was one of my professors while I was in the MBA program. We stayed in touch over the years, and she asked me if I was interested in making a difference for MBA students. I thought this would be a great way to give back to the program. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in graduate school, and if I can give back at this point in my career, I am honored to do so. She made a difference in my life as an MBA student, and I hope to make a difference for those in the program now.
What inspired you to become a mentor for the MBA Mentoring Academy?
There were several reasons I chose to participate as a mentor. First, I didn’t have this opportunity when I was in grad school. The LEE MBA is phenomenal, and the mentoring academy adds value to the student experience while in the program.
Second, I think it’s essential that students understand you have choices in your career direction. The real world is very different from how students perceive it in grad school. Part of life is building relationships and making connections, and this is a way I can help students.
Third, I have gained a wealth of knowledge throughout my career through successes, failures, and mistakes as a business owner. These provided a great learning opportunity for me, and I can share that with students.
How do you spend your time? What kind of hobbies do you have?
I have two kids. My son just turned five, and my daughter will be nine in December. For hobbies, I am an ultra-runner. I use that term loosely. Ultra-runners run long distances in the desert, in the mountains, and for no reason. Dr. Krishen is also an ultra-runner, and we share that passion. I also dabble in jiu-jitsu. I like to stay active as I slowly creep up on that 40-year mark. I believe fitness is vital for all aspects of life. Most of my hobbies involve something athletic with or without my kids.
What has been your best investment in terms of time, money, and energy?
My most significant investment has been in people. When we started our company, there were four of us. Investing in people is what helped us grow. In return, investing in people has allowed me to make money, have more free time, and have my kids go to the best possible school. It has also changed the course of other people’s lives.
Our investment in people has created a great culture where our team believes in their ability and thrives. Fortunately for us, that worked out, and in the last eight years, it’s how we went from four employees to nearly 300.
What book would you recommend to others and why?
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel is a fascinating book that my financial advisor recommended. It provides insight into the differences between wealth and greed and how it can give or take away from happiness. I think a lot of people correlate money to happiness, and that’s a very fine line.
What is your favorite failure?
It’s an interesting one. I would say that --and this is not to toot my own horn-- a failure that I could not predict, and in business, you try to plan for things. In my field, we don’t use a lot of data analytics; it is more relationship-based. We had struggled with a failure -and I’m not political, so it doesn’t matter which way you go on this- when the Affordable Care Act was signed.
We lived in Connecticut, and we invested our life savings into the business. We had an office, we had a lovely apartment, and my wife was six months pregnant. Business was good.
We lost everything essentially overnight because they went from paying brokers’ commissions to not paying any commissions. That’s something you couldn’t predict.
That was nine years ago. That failure is what spurred my current company’s growth. If that failure didn’t occur, there’s no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today. That was my favorite failure.
What stuck with you the most from your MBA learning experience at UNLV?
I loved my experience in the MBA program, and I’m excited to see where it is now. I graduated in 2010, and the program has become even better.
One of my most memorable moments happened from the professors and classmates that I met. Some excellent professors motivated me to do great things, and some were quick to tell me how the real world works. I remember having some battles with professors about what the real world was like. At the time, I already owned a business that was doing well. I enjoyed the discussions that I would have with professors who might look at me as a young 25-year old and ask themselves, “what does he know?”
The new venture classes allowed you to build a business for two semesters, and then you get to pitch to professionals. Those memories taught me that I had to think for myself. You can take a little bit of what everybody gives you, but you have to have a belief in yourself, in the ability you have, and you have to take risks. It taught me independent thinking and thinking outside the box. I remember one of the classes brought in angel investors. They were people that would call you out on your nonsense right away like on the TV show Shark Tank.
Parting words or pieces of advice for current MBAs? Something you would like to share or let them know.
You can’t plan every aspect of your life. You have to take risks.
You have to enjoy the moment. I know that’s impossible for many people to conceptualize; I still struggle with it myself. I’m now watching my kids grow up. Time passes quickly! Enjoy the moment even in difficult times. You learn from the difficult times and those times can really last for a long time, but they truly don’t last forever if you persevere or believe in yourself. That is one thing that has stayed with me for a long time.
Do what you love. Money isn’t everything. I’ve lost a lot of money, and I’ve made a lot of money. But you have to have fun. Growing up, I always thought I needed to be an investor, banker, lawyer, or something because the attribution of money came with the position. I have never been happier than in my current career. I love the people who helped educate me and make me a better human. When I decided that it’s not all about money, I found a career that worked better for me as a human. Giving back is the greatest gift on Earth. Those would be my parting words.
Last thing, your connections are essential. Be kind to people. You might not like everybody, and not everybody is going to like you, but you never know when you’re going to cross that person’s path again. Those are the three takeaways: take risks, enjoy the moment, and value your personal relationships.