Leading the Way

Veteran profile: Kennedy honored to wear uniform, serve with others

Danielle Kennedy, IDI Customer Service billing representative, has been with Unum in Worcester for a year and a half.

Here, in a Q&A with WorkWell, she talks about her military career and how she’s using what she learned in the military to excel at Unum.

WorkWell: In which branch do you serve?

Kennedy: I am a water purification specialist in the Army National Guard working towards my sergeant promotion. I am stationed out of Rehoboth, Mass., with the 125th Quarter Master Company. My unit works in areas where clean water isn’t readily available, like disaster zones. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, my unit deployed to a base outside of Port-au-Prince and provided water to engineers and workers building a new school and medical facility. Locally, we help out with State of Emergencies related to snow, flooding or any other disaster. My unit is involved in a special mission every December: we gather toys for all the kids at Boston Children’s Hospital and we ruck march them over to the hospital.

WorkWell: What is your military schedule like?

Kennedy: My schedule is one weekend a month and then I do two weeks in the summer. It has been a little more trying as I have a 19-month-old daughter at home now. It’s a struggle to leave her sometimes.

WorkWell: How has the transition from the military to corporate America been and has Unum made it easy?

Kennedy: I actually find it has been pretty easy. Unum works very well with its military personnel and the time off that we need. If we are called upon in an emergency, or if it’s just my regular training, my manager and my team work with me to make sure my customers are taken care of and my work is managed while I’m out. I definitely work with a great team, and they have all helped me make a smooth transition.

WorkWell: What did your time in the military teach you and how are you applying what you learned to your corporate life?

Kennedy: I think the things that I apply to the corporate life the most are my Army values: selfless service, respect, duty and loyalty. As a Unum billing representative, my job is all about customer service, and respect is a huge part of my job and the selfless service of putting everyone else’s needs before my own. I think the biggest value that I had to overcome was personal courage. When I first started with Unum I had no experience at all with insurance, so I was completely starting over and definitely had to face many fears my first couple of months here.

WorkWell: What impressed you about Unum?

Kennedy: What impressed me with Unum is how they care for all Veterans. Every year we do a supplies drive for Veteran’s Inc, and there’s also a Veteran’s Appreciation event each year. I just love how much every single employee shows the love and support for all service members.

WorkWell: Is there anything else about your military career that you’d like to share?

Kennedy: The most important thing about my military career is being able to serve with my fellow brothers and sisters. It is an honor to wear the uniform, and I look forward to every single time I’m in it. The military is part of my life and it was the best and most amazing choice I’ve ever made. I love being able to help people in a way that I’ve never been able to do before. I know now as a mother the role model that I have set for my daughter and hope that when she grows up she shows the same respect to everyone around her as we do.