Sandi Adkins, Risk All-Stars
Senior Claims Manager
What is your educational background?
Bachelor of Science in biomedical science, minor in chemistry, Master of Business Administration, emphasis in health care administration.
Did you know you wanted to go into the risk profession? If not, what was your journey to get here?
I would say that risk found me. My intention throughout college was to go to medical school after graduation. After shadowing local doctors, I decided that was not the path for me. So, I switched gears and went to law school with the intention of focusing on intellectual property law and patenting biotechnologies. After a brief stint in law school, I decided that was not the best fit for me either. I took a little time to reassess my options and took a job working as an enrollment counselor for a university. What was meant to be just a job turned into a career for me for nine years, where I finished my tenure as the learning center director. During my time at the university I earned my MBA. I came to Schneider by way of a layoff and started as a payroll systems manager. My unique skills and experience were noticed, and I was asked to take a roll in risk management. Although I never considered risk management as a career (it is not typically something every little girl dreams of going into), it is a perfect fit for me. I’m passionate about making a difference in this industry.
How long have you been working in the risk profession?
What do you love most about what you do?
Strategy. I am a naturally analytical person, and I enjoy investigating each situation and developing end-to-end strategies that enable efficiency, productivity, cost savings, and optimal customer experiences. Learning: No two cases are the same. I get the opportunity to learn something new each and every day. This role sates my intellectual curiosity. Plus, I finally get to apply knowledge from my undergrad degree! Coaching: Maximizing others motivates me intrinsically. I get pure joy from witnessing growth, support, and love in action. I am driven to make a positive difference in the world around me and the risk field offers and abundance of opportunities to practice this.
Has managing risk changed over the course of your career? If so, how?
Not fundamentally, since I’ve only been in the field for 4 years. However, I came into risk at a time where nuclear verdicts became a reality that we all have to deal with. This causes everyone to perceive risk differently and assign greater attention to risks. I am excited about the advancement of technology within risk. As a systems person, topics like automation through AI and advanced analytics get me jazzed up for the future of risk management.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their career in the risk profession?
The world is your oyster. Risk gives back to the people who put the most into it. Dig in, ask questions, bring creative solutions to the table, and never be afraid to push boundaries. Know that the risk field requires a lot of ambiguous decision-making and confidence in your capabilities is key. Lastly, build an extensive toolbox by establishing a trusted network of experts. You will never have all of the answers, and it is critical that you are leveraging the strengths of others.
Do you have a personal motto? If so, what is it?
“Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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