"Think about what you want your legacy to be. How can you make an impact in ways that are meaningful to you?"
NIA Underwriter Rachel B. shares how her role on the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance team allows her to use her talents to make a difference.
My name is Rachel B. and I am an Underwriter with the Small Business Unit at Nonprofits Insurance Alliance.
Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I am originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in Hendersonville, but I currently I live in the Piedmont near Greensboro, NC.
Do you have any hobbies, interests or passions that you’d like to talk about?
I enjoy hobbies that allow me to express myself in creative ways. I have a love for cooking and experimenting with interesting recipes that allow me to utilize seasonal ingredients.
Much like my mom, I have a passion for flower gardening and find it to be therapeutic, especially when I have a few quiet moments to enjoy the beauty it brings.
My golden retrievers Wynn and Boone keep me smiling and are always up for a road trip or any adventure outside.
How did you come to find NIA?
I was ready to take on a new challenge and go into an underwriting role on the company side, something I had not done before.
I’ve always appreciated the work nonprofits did and wanted to be a part of that by using my talents and expertise to help them achieve their goals.
How did your job interview go?
My interview went well. It was nice meeting lots of different people throughout the process.
Everyone was so friendly, and I knew I would be a great fit when someone asked me what work/life balance meant to me.
Rachel’s NIA Career:
Tell us about the growth of your career at NIA.
I began my career at NIA as an Associate Underwriter. It was the perfect spot for me to learn about NIA’s philosophy and get to know my teammates.
I learned a tremendous amount in that role that really prepared me thoroughly to apply when an Underwriter opening became available on the Small Business Unit. I never anticipated being promoted so quickly, but I felt amazingly prepared and ready to learn more.
My manager provided one-on-one support for me during the transition until I felt confident in my new role. We continue to check in daily in addition to having dedicated one on one meetings.
I love what I do on the SBU team and am looking forward to additional opportunities to advance on the Underwriting team.
Do you like working remotely? How often do you go into the office?
I love working remotely and would not have it any other way. Simply put, it has allowed me to strike the ideal work/life balance.
I can prepare my own meals, go on walks, and hang out with my dogs and still have a productive workday.
Do you feel you have a good work/life balance?
I have a good work/life balance that allows me to take my dogs to enrichment activities several times per week, travel to see family, and spend time in my garden.
Because of this, I’m better able to manage stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed. I feel more engaged and mindful while I am working because I have the time and space to take care of myself.
Are your ideas heard and acted on? Can you provide a short example/story?
Open communication and sharing of ideas are encouraged at NIA. Creativity and innovation are encouraged, not stifled.
I have contributed ideas to my own performance plan and have been able to shape my own experience here at NIA.
Have you taken advantage of any of the continuing education opportunities that NIA offers?
NIA has supported me as I have continued to work on my CIC designation. I have also been able to maintain my P&C license by taking the necessary flood and ethics courses.
How is working here different from other jobs you’ve had?
Working at NIA is a sharp departure from working for large, for-profit corporations that are only focused on the bottom line.
NIA places much more focus on the people here, the nonprofits we serve, and the causes they represent.
NIA understands the importance of nonprofits and the significant role they play in working towards sustainability and equity for everyone.
What is your favorite thing about working at NIA?
There are incredibly smart, talented people at NIA that have huge hearts. NIA always strives to do the right thing, even if it comes with a financial cost.
For instance, NIA wants to find coverage to pay claims, not deny coverage to wiggle out of a claim payment.
NIA’s philosophy is to help nonprofits whenever possible, including offering an impressive suite of risk management services.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite/memorable nonprofits that we work with?
I consider myself fortunate to have worked with many different nonprofits across the spectrum.
I have a special place in my heart for a couple of animal sanctuary nonprofits I’ve had the privilege to work with: Rancho Burro Donkey Sanctuary and Dominifarm Animal Sanctuary.
These nonprofits provide a permanent, safe home for farm animals that are otherwise unwanted. They give these animals a voice to tell their own unique story while educating us about the beauty and worth of each species.
How has your work at NIA affected your life and/or community involvement?
Joining NIA has provided me with the opportunity to understand more of some of the complexities of the challenges we face in this country and worldwide.
In turn, I have been inspired to use my voice and talent to get involved in more meaningful ways.
For instance, last year NIA incorporated one of my professional goals to include volunteer hours with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue.
By the end of August, I had helped heal and shelter six different foster dogs, each with their own backstory and personality. It was an unforgettable experience.
Do you have any advice for others thinking about applying to work at NIA?
Think about what you want your legacy to be. How can you make an impact in ways that are meaningful to you?
Is there anything else you’d like to talk about personally or about NIA?
It really gives me peace of mind and excitement to know that there are career paths at NIA that do not require me to take a management path.
There is a tremendous amount of upward mobility available in Underwriting. I’m glad I’m here.