Great North Insurance 35 Under 35 QA

Thurs Invited by United Way to attend 35 Under 35 Program

Congratulations to Rachel Thurs on being invited to participate in the 2017 United Way of Cass-Clay 35 Under 35 program! Rachel is a winner, leader, giver, and NOW… a 35er!! “The United Way of Cass-Clay 35 Under 35 Program is one of the greatest experiences female leaders in our community can experience. We have been extremely fortunate to have multiple team members from our company invited to participate.” said Nicholas Killoran, Great North Insurance President and Founder.

In 2016, Ashley Martodam an Insurance Agent at Great North Insurance, received the invite to attend the leadership program. The experience left an amazing impression on Ashley while providing additional growth both personally and professionally. This year, Rachel Thurs a Market Placement Representative at Great North Insurance, has been invited into the 2017 35 Under 35 class. Rachel is beyond excited for the opportunity, but wanted to make sure she made the most of the opportunity. Rachel decided to ask her colleague and local 35 Under 35 veteran about her experience.

“The United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program is designed to help women grow both personally and professionally. Alumni often share with us how their experience with the program has helped them with professional growth in their role at their company, and how it has had a positive ripple effect on their coworkers, teams, and overall leadership development throughout their business or organization.” said Kristi Huber, United Way of Cass-Clay President. “When these women grow as leaders, their entire company, and this entire community, positively benefits.”

The short Q&A session is a quick look into the successful program put on by the United Way of Cass-Clay which will enter its 9th year in 2017.

Rachel: What was your favorite moment from the 2016 35 Under 35 program?

Ashley: Speech day! You don’t get to hear everyone’s presentation, but you hear a good number of them. It blew me away the things you learn about a person in under 5 minutes. After that I will NEVER again judge a book by their cover.

Rachel: What is something you took from the opportunity that enhanced your personal life?

Ashley: Being in this program gave me confidence like I’ve never experienced before. It taught me that I am wonderfully made, that there’s a reason I do things the way I do, and that we all aren’t supposed to be the same. It truly takes a village to succeed whether in life, work, or project.

Rachel: What is something you took from the experience that enhanced your career?

Ashley: There are two things. First, I expanded my network exponentially! I know more people in more circles than I ever have before and often it’s not what you know but who you know that matters!

The second thing being; if you want something, go get it. It is crazy the amount of good I saw within my group in such a short period simply because they were given the confidence in themselves to go ask for it. Promotions, raises, changed policies, some even changed jobs because they were given a new perspective and opportunities. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think you will always get what you want but at least you won’t be the thing holding yourself back from it.

Rachel: What advice do you have for me as I enter day 1 of the 35U35 program?

Ashley: Keep an open mind and step out of your box. Don’t spend a lot of time with anyone you may already know. Remember that every single person in the room has a story and will in some way, shape, or form affect your journey with 35U35. Your time is short and it goes so fast!

Rachel: Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance to experience the program again?

Ashley: I would have had even MORE coffee dates. With fellow 35ers, with speakers, with 35 alumni, everyone! I met with majority of my group one on one and that time spent was invaluable. However, by the end there was still a handful I hadn’t gotten much time with and I regretted it. Each session is busy, has a tight schedule and has a mission. It’s up to you to dive deeper on your own time.

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