Interviewed by: Taylor Reynolds, Client Strategist, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

YPN Member Spotlight December 2015

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!