Not just a job: a talk with Sandra Hamdi, from AXA Assistance FranceAXA Assistance teams provide help to our customers every day, everywhere in the world. Among the many areas of expertise required for field missions, operations coordination is an especially strategic one. Sandra Hamdi, head of operations coordination, talks about this inspiring and highly fulfilling work. ALL ARTICLES | Commitment
What motivates you day-to-day in your work?
Every day is different. I have been working in this company for nearly 20 years and ask myself every day, “What will we accomplish today?”. The work is varied and offers exactly what I wanted: to work at the core of the business and witness the concrete consequences of my actions.
For example, in the morning, I might help to set up new medical services, and in the afternoon, work on improving processes and making our customers’ lives easier every day, while also touring our premises to highlight the strengths of our support. Also, being able to visit various AXA Group entities to meet and learn from our customers, partners and colleagues is a valuable opportunity that helps us move forward every day.
One thing is sure: this job is not just a job. We make a commitment, put a piece of ourselves in our work, and receive as much or more in return.
What mission has affected you the most and why?
Last year, I helped to make a video highlighting our ability to handle crisis situations around the world. It required filming scenes in the United States and in Asia, with one of our French teams. My role in this project was to get employees on-board, which led me to work with the marketing team and the film crew, and to find the location and the service provider that welcomed us for the shoot in Bordeaux. This was a chance for me to showcase our profession, which I like to communicate about every day.
What do you get out of your work?
Being able to tell myself every day, “I am going to be of help.” Help to that customer on the other side of the world in need of services, help in implementing all our innovative products and services, help by making the everyday lives of my colleagues easier by improving coordination among them all.
This control-tower role makes my work extremely cross-functional, fascinating and life-enriching. I am the initial contact for all requests from other divisions or departments. That gives me an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people. There is never a dull moment!
Why did you choose this profession?
I started out as a temporary call center worker almost 20 years ago. At first, it was just a summer job, but it quickly grew on me, and I’ve been here ever since!
I have acquired knowledge and skills and discovered aspects of this profession that I never imagined. With every new position, there is always some self-doubt and a need to move out of your comfort zone, but that's what helps you grow.
For my current position, I started with a blank page and had to build from scratch. Working alongside experts, doctors and nurses who volunteer outside of AXA with the fire department, emergency department or ambulance services, and knowing it was up to me to forge bonds between them and bring them best practices, gave me an immediate sense of commitment.
Today, I am working on many innovative projects to offer services other than travel assistance and repatriation to our customers. It is a big challenge, but a very exciting one!
What would you advise people who would like to enter this profession?
First, you must enjoy working with people and in a team. You can do it alone, but together it’s easier! To those who would join us, I say that when you step into this fascinating medical assistance world, you open a door to the jobs of the future, because healthcare is in the midst of a transformation. Customers are not the same as before: their needs and expectations have changed. We must change, too. In these jobs, action is key. One must know how to adapt to the situation, listen, be responsive, and take initiative, because sometimes we are working against the clock!