By Lael Chappell, EMBA-Global Asia 2020
Broker Engagement Lead, Attune Insurance
“My previous employer helped me get up and running with my EMBA-Global and I did half my programme time there. But my transition to Attune was the culmination of what I had been doing in my career up to that point and my EMBA learnings. It’s an early stage company, that’s giving me a chance to continue on my learning journey and apply things in real time. Suddenly, I have nationwide accountability rather than regional; I’m driving strategy, people are depending on me to work out how we go to market with new products and I’m managing negotiations with some of our biggest distribution partners. I’ve really had a chance to grow my role and to work out how I can best contribute to the company.
“The two industry awards I recently received – The Business Insurance 2019 Breakout Award and The Insurance Business America 2019 Young Gun Recipient – weren’t expected and were extremely humbling. The best thing about it is that it has let people – and me – see the impact of the investment I’ve made in myself. A lot of people look to make the leap into new roles, but EMBA-Global really put the accelerator on for me and got me there a lot quicker.
“The strong strategic management and leadership skills I’ve learned during EMBA-Global are definitely helping me professionally, but they have also given me a lot more insight in terms of my work within the community. I’ve always had an appreciation and passion for paying it forward and giving back; as an African-American male, the journey can be interesting in terms of what the statistics say may come your way. I was lucky that my parents instilled in me the importance of education, and I don’t take that lightly. I continue to drive myself to be an ambassador for different routes and for providing opportunities for others to be inspired to do things that will shape their careers and development.
“I’ve had great mentors, and I’ve tried to pay it forward by taking leadership roles in my community and professional associations, but the truth is that we’re still underrepresented. I remain dedicated to being an advocate for building diversity amongst organisations and how we execute on driving its value to society. The world is getting more connected by the day and I believe the exposure EMBA-Global offers to different cultures has given me a better understanding of ways to bridge the gaps. I’m now doing a bit of impact investing, and that’s also partly why I took a startup role – because whether I do it full-time down the line or continue as an angel, I aspire to provide access to capital and resources to underrepresented communities to assist with providing opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
“I have a different perspective on life now. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own day to day experiences, but I wanted to see outside my own lens and to learn to empathise more with others. EMBA-Global enabled me to get a true understanding of, and access to those who could help me get those insights – to shift from a more technical role to being more strategic, and to see that working out how to approach situations doesn’t just come from books.”
Read more about Lael’s EMBA-Global Asia journey here.