Supporting patients in need – life as a Dedicated Heart Nurse

posted by on 9 Feb 2018

After 16 years in clinical practise, including cardiology, in her local hospital, Dominique Burrell was looking for a change of career. She was inspired to join our Heart Care team as a Nurse Case Manager and Dedicated Heart Nurse after talking with our AXA resourcing team. In her new role she gives vital support and advice to people with heart conditions and believes listening, engaging and supporting her patients is the most important aspect of the job.

We caught up with her to find out more about her rewarding career and the amazing work she does to help people in need.

All about the support

“We offer support, rather than medical advice,” says Dominique. “So, I may take a call from someone with chest pain and call an ambulance for them, or speak to people who have had a recent, sudden heart attack and who want to discuss what has happened and what it all means. I also speak to people before and after heart operations, including parents whose children need treatment.”

Going the extra mile to support her patients  

“There have been some memorable moments where I feel I’ve made a real difference to people. A lady called just as we were about to close, but I stayed to talk to her for around 45 minutes, talking her through everything and offering advice and support. The lady felt very reassured and much clearer on the process going forward. She called a few days later with a couple more questions and wanted to speak with me specifically and I was so happy to be able to help her.”

“I also had the opportunity to support an elderly gentleman who lived by himself and had no family. I helped him arrange respite care – which is not done through AXA – and gave him the reassurance he needed.”

Protect and care

Dominique loves having the opportunity to help others using her cardiology knowledge and feels like she makes a real difference to people going through a difficult period of their lives.

If you’re interested in finding out how you could use your clinical knowledge in a very different way, take a look at our Clinical and Medical jobs.  

categories: AXA people 

How losing my voice helped me find a new path

posted by on 30 Jan 2018

Changing your job doesn’t have to mean leaving a company. There is a strong focus on Internal Mobility within AXA. It’s important to us that employees can discover new opportunities to grow and develop. Sometimes it’s because you’re looking for something new and different, other times it can be down to circumstances outside of your control. But no matter what happens, there could be another path for you just around the corner. Like with Jamie, a Resourcing Co-ordinator at AXA. Here’s the story of how he came to work in HR.

I’ve worked at AXA for ten years. I’m now a Resourcing Co-ordinator, but that’s not the role I started out in. My career with AXA began in Customer Services. For eight years, I worked taking calls from customers about their claims and policies. Then I became ill with a bout of severe Laryngitis. It lasted for six weeks and I lost my voice. It actually disappeared completely for six months and I had to undergo speech therapy to help me regain my voice. Of course this had a huge impact on my career, because suddenly I was unable to do my role. Without a voice, I couldn’t take calls in the Customer Services Team.

That’s when I realised that there were other opportunities available to me within AXA. I moved around a bit, working in different roles in Fraud, Claims and Complaints Resolution. Then I moved to HR. I didn’t have any background at all, but from the very beginning I felt so supported by both the Hiring Manager and the team. I spent time liaising with existing co-ordinators to get a better understanding of the role and one of the team offered me training over a one month period. It was such a smooth transition into the Resourcing Team and they all made me feel welcome.

It’s really benefitted my career to experience a range of roles across different departments; I’ve become more business aware and have a greater understanding of AXA as a whole. I’ve built on my knowledge and skills from the projects I’ve been involved in, and each role has offered me something new. I actually get a lot of internal enquiries, because people know I have a wide network and skillset from moving around in AXA. And it’s not just me. I know quite a few people who started at the same time as me, all those years ago, who’ve also had the opportunity to move around.

If you’re looking to move roles within AXA, my advice would be to spend time with the teams and find out if that role is really for you. Ask lots of questions, and really investigate. You need to make the right choice for you and that’s different for everyone. But also, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. AXA can offer such a wide variety of experience and opportunity, and they’ll support you to make the transition as easy and enjoyable as possible. 

categories: Careers advice  Development at AXA 

How to embrace being the newest member of the team

posted by on 17 Jan 2018

You’ve aced the interview and you’ve got the job. Now comes the hard part. How do you prepare for those first few days and weeks? How can you help calm those pesky nerves? We spoke to Aysha, who recently joined our Glasgow office as a Resourcing Partner, to hear about her experience and discover what advice she has to help you get ready for your new role.

I was a little bit nervous beforehand as I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was moving from a more accountancy-based recruitment role to one in healthcare, and I was a bit worried as I had very little knowledge of this sector. I was quite excited to start though and the whole process up until that point had been really nice and everyone I’d met so far had been absolutely lovely. So for me, I think it all comes down to keeping a positive mind-set and doing a little bit of preparation. No matter whether you’re nervous or not, here are my three top tips to help you get the most of your experience.

Ask questions, do research

Try to find out as much as you can about what’s expected before you start and don’t be afraid to ask questions once you’re there. The people here are absolutely lovely and everyone goes out of their way to help as much as possible. Even if someone doesn’t have the answer to your question, they’ll stay with you until they find someone who does.

After the interview stage, my new line manager David got in touch and showed me my induction plan. While this will be tailored for each new employee, mine gave me a good overview of what my first few weeks would be like; from meetings to training, as well as trips away to meet different teams. It really helped to have an overview and it meant I could do a bit of research into the people I’d be meeting with, so I could be ready to ask questions when I arrived.

Relax and enjoy your first day

I think the more relaxed you are, the more you’ll enjoy it and the more you’ll take in. My first day went by so fast, but from the minute I walked in I felt such a friendly, warm feeling. There were people who had no idea who I was, and they were all smiles and hellos, it was a great way to begin my new role and really helped me to relax. I was shown around the building, then I had meetings with the various different hiring managers which was fantastic, because I was getting to know all the people I’d be working with on my very first day. It started to paint a picture right from the outset and that really helped me to get to know the business a little bit better.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Take things slowly and go at your own pace. It’s not just about the first day. Over the next few weeks I began to get to know the hiring managers gradually and I would sit in on meetings between them and the HR Business Partners. I was able to visit different offices and put names to faces. I had various inductions to find out more about my team’s challenges and successes as well as the history and priorities of the company. With all this information it can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s really important not to put too much pressure on yourself and to just take things one step at a time.

We hope that helps give you a little insight into starting a new role with AXA and how to really get the most out of your first few weeks with us.

categories: Careers advice 

How we’re going the extra mile to defeat dementia

posted by on 12 Jan 2018

In 2015, over 50% of our employees voted for Alzheimer’s Research UK to become our new charity partnership. It’s clearly an issue that’s close to our hearts, and no wonder when 850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK. So we’ve been doing everything we can to raise funds and support Alzheimer’s Research UK in their aim to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.

AXA sky diveWe originally set ourselves a target of £250,000 by April 2018 and we’ve already smashed it. So we just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s baked a cake, jumped out of planes, cycled great distances, climbed the highest heights, walked, run and travelled far and wide to support our efforts.

Here are just a few of the highlights of the journey so far.

Matt Potashnick cycled 100 miles through London and Surrey on the RideLondon challenge:

“Having lost my Dad to Alzheimer’s two years ago, Alzheimer’s Research UK are a charity close to my heart. I thought taking on RideLondon would be a great way to raise money for the cause, so we can hopefully get that desperately needed cure in the near future.”

Ross Proctor took part in Race the Tide as part of a 12 person team. The challenge saw them complete a 100km endurance test, walking the coast of the Scottish/English border.

“I had a fantastic time but it was incredibly hard, and there is no way you can fully prepare yourself for a challenge like this. I’m lucky enough that my family hasn’t been directly touched by dementia, but the number of my colleagues whose lives have been affected in some way has been a real eye-opener.”

Taking their fundraising to great heights, Ken Wright, his brother and two close friends set their sights on Mount Fuji. They successfully climbed 12,390ft up and back down again in just 24 hours and raised over £7,000.

“When we got to the summit, we all felt elated, it was spectacular. The fact we’ve raised so much for Alzheimer’s Research UK makes it even better.”

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These are just a few of the amazing stories of dedication and support we’ve felt from our employees over the past two years. Our support also covers more than just raising much needed money. We’ve also been taking the time to share our professional expertise too, on a pro bono basis; from marketing advice to web development skills, we’ve been helping out wherever we can. And we’ve held regular talks and lab tours with Alzheimer’s Research UK, to keep everyone motivated and up-to-date with the progress being made in tackling dementia.

It’s been an amazing two years and we aren’t finished yet. We’ve currently raised over £290,000 and we’re still going! Let’s see if we can reach £300,000.

categories: AXA and our charities  AXA people 

Road testing driverless cars

posted by on 18 Dec 2017

The VENTURER project in Bristol is focused on developing the technology that enables driverless vehicles and the way users respond to it. We’re hugely proud of our role in the developments in this exciting area, so last month we sent a few lucky people from across the business to try out the VENTURER driverless cars. Here’s what they thought.

Driverless cars would make life better and safer for so many people. That’s why, at AXA, we’re keen to play a part in developing the technology that could make this a reality. As well as getting involved with four separate driverless car projects in the UK, we’re having conversations with Government to understand exactly how and what car insurance could look like in the future. So how far away are we from driverless cars? What will they look like? What will it feel like to be in a car without a person driving? How good is the technology today? All these questions and more were answered when we sent some of our people from across AXA to find out all about the current state of driverless cars.  

“I was thrilled to receive my coveted invitation to attend the showcase event,” said Karen Bleakley, Senior Talent Sourcing Manager. “I can really see how driverless cars could change people’s lives in the future. Driverless cars are the future, and AXA’s involvement in projects like VENTURER puts us at the leading edge of InsureTech and showcases our innovative spirit.”

Tomorrow’s world

Hosted at the Future Space and Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England (UWE) campus, Karen, Alex Pope, one of our Lifestyle Claims Handlers, and the rest of the team, were greeted by Daniel O’Bryne, the Head of Public Affairs, who represents AXA on the project. He handed out the programmes for the day and, after some brief networking, the presentation began.

“The presentation outlined some of the key challenges in trying to make the dream of driverless cars a reality,” explained Alex. “There were some things that I hadn’t even considered, like the sheer quantity of data that needs to be processed and analysed by the vehicle, how it recognises hazards like aquaplaning or animals in the road, and different cultures.”

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No hands!

After the presentation, the fun began! First, a ride in a driverless car simulator, which was basically a mock-up of the actual experience in a Range Rover Evoque to give a sense of how a driverless car might actually feel. Luke said: “It was so lifelike it caused a spot of motion sickness for some!”

Then it was time to try out the Wildcat – the outdoor test vehicle, which was adorned with sensors. Everyone got the chance to have an individual spin around the UWE campus and see what it felt like to be driven around in a driverless car. “Admittedly our top speed was 10 mph, but it was very impressive to see the Wildcat dealing with corners, stops, junctions and oncoming vehicles. I actually forgot that I wasn’t being driven by a human at one point,” said Karen. Claims Customer Advocate, Mark Revans added: “The high trees alongside our route interfered with the satellite signal, making progress a little skittish, but as a first experience of driverless technology, I was impressed!”

Discover how AXA is helping to make Driverless cars a future reality.

categories: Life at AXA