Name: Bainy Ahouangnato
Hometown: Collingdale, PA
Company: Independence Blue Cross
Position: Product Implementation and Operations Manager
Length of time you have been with you company: 10 years
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way. I joined Independence about 10 years ago as a contractor in the billing department. I remember being asked what were my five years goal and I responded that I wanted to be a manager within five years. She, jokingly, said "you want my job?" and I said "No, I want my own". 4 years and 3 months later, I was promoted to a manager role. Most of my obstacles were about views differences between me and other leaders, as well as leadership styles. I cannot function well under micro management and I have reported to a few leaders who micro manages their team. Those times were the most challenging for me.
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it? My previous director reached out to me about the program and how it would help me in my career goals and self development. I read about it and decided to apply.
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life. My kids are my inspiration. It helps me stay reasonable when making decisions about career change or in my professional life in general.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career. "During my 2nd year at Independence, we had a major change in leadership and a new VP and Director were brought in. Very early on, I stayed focused in my role and also set up a meeting with them to discuss what I can do to make their transition easier. That meeting was the catalyst to my career. Very quickly, i was promoted to team lead role, then 2 months later i was promoted to Supervisor. My leadership trusted my skills and abilities and kept challenging me with multiple roles.
What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received: "Never assume anything and go for what you want".