Interviewed by: Taylor Reynolds, Client Strategist, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Allison (Fumo) Bassman
Organizational Development Specialist
Independence Blue Cross
What exactly do you do for Independence Blue Cross? Give us a glimpse into a day in your work life.
I am an organizational development specialist at Independence Blue Cross. What that means is that I support (along with two other people – we are a small but mighty team) the entire internal organization and our subsidiaries, with team development, team cohesion, and any change management work. Our team will normally get a request from a business area around team building; our team then comes up with an initiative to help out. The initiative could be a custom team building day, a change management class, a personality assessment (I am DiSC certified), etc. We are essentially internal consultants that support various teams develop themselves further.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the journey you took to end up as an Organizational Development Specialist for IBC.
I went to the Wharton School of Business for my undergrad degree. While there I stumbled upon Adam Grant’s Organizational Development class and realized that what he was saying, was what I always wanted to do for a career. When I graduated I decided that I wanted to do OD externally, so I went to KPMG to be a management consultant in their People & Change Group. I didn’t love the travel, so I decided to continue to do OD consulting work, but internally at Independence. The group was still developing, so I was excited to get in on the ground level of something big. Over the last 2 years I have learned more than I ever expected and have helped people along the way. What could be better!
Do you have a professional mentor, and if so, how did you establish that relationship?
I don’t really have a formal professional mentor, but I have a few professionals that I turn to for work advice and OD advice. Some work at Independence and some do not. I established all of these relationships through various networking opportunities, as networking is a passion of mine.
What interested you most in joining YPN and how long have you been a member?
I have been a member for about a year now. I professional mentor of mine, Shelia Hess, told me about YPN and all it had to offer, and I instantly knew that it would be the best place for me to grow professionally. I love to network, so it was pretty much a no-brainer for me.
I joined the events committee because I also have a passion for event planning. The committee was a place where I could help plan events and help people connect and network more.
What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?
I love to go to various networking events, as dorky as that sounds. I also love to do non-profit work, whether it is volunteering time, or sitting on non-profit boards. I also am a HUGE sports fan (mainly an Eagles fan, although they have made that hard to be this year…) so I am either going to games, or watching them with my family. My family is a huge part of my life, so I spend a ton of time with them (could also be because I recently moved home with my husband of 4 months as we build our new home).
YPN has a professional development bookshelf, is there a book that you are currently reading or have read in the past that you would recommend?
That one is easy, Give and Take by Adam Grant. He has had a huge impact on my career, and his first book only increased this impact!