A work-life balance interview with RSA's Rania Jabakhanji

RSA's-Rania-Jabakhanji

Authored by RSA

For our latest work-life balance interview we chat to Rania Jabakhanji about how she got into insurance, Angelina Jolie, Thailand, Middle Eastern cooking and erecting gazebos in a gale!

Reality TV, do you love it or hate it? Why?

HATE Reality TV! I love to learn new things and I feel like with reality TV there’s not much opportunity to learn anything – I much prefer a good murder/space documentary or true crime podcast! I do have a couple of friends who have made appearances on reality TV so obviously HAD to watch them which was quite entertaining!

Did you pick up any new habits or skills in the last two years that continue into our ‘normal’ life now?

I actually really got into running! I have always loved exercising and keeping fit but throughout lockdown, I started running and have kept it up! I moved out of my parent’s house about a year ago and they live 8km away so I started to run there from my new house instead of driving – it definitely takes a LOT longer than driving though…

What would be your ideal dinner party menu?

I love this question!  I always ask people ‘What would be your final meal request if you were on death row’ haha!

Starter: Garlic prawns

Mains: My Dad’s recipe of Lebanese rice with beef and yoghurt sauce

Dessert: Rice Krispie cakes!

What is your happiest memory at RSA?

My happiest memory at RSA would have to be the night I hosted Comic Relief Live Call Taking in 2015. I had to ensure we had 100 phone lines in constant operation between the hours of 5-9pm. It was a brilliant event lots of family and friends came to support taking charity phone call donations. There was food and drinks and we even had Comic Relief on live TV so we could watch the whole thing! The best part of it was we raised £27,223!!!! It was the most stressful but most rewarding night to date!

I am happiest when…

I am with my boyfriend, family, friends, and especially my little dog Buddy!

How is insurance making the world a better place?

Insurance might just seem like a mundane, legal finance you absolutely could do without paying for, but if you have ever experienced loss, damage, or theft you soon realise it's a big hug or warm cup of tea you just need at that moment. Insurance is constantly evolving and moving with the way of the world as is the technology – making it easy for people when they are most vulnerable.

The last time I belly-laughed was:

Last weekend when camping with 36 family members/friends while trying to put up a 6x3 metre gazebo in extremely strong winds after a few glasses of wine! We did get there eventually hahaha!!

Career highlight to date is?

My Career highlight to date is probably gaining my latest position as Product Manager. I have only been in my new role for a month and I have already learned so much. Considering I started RSA as a nervous 17-year-old temporary Customer Manager, I am really proud of the progress I have made!

Do you have a hidden talent or passion?

I can be quite creative in my spare time. I love making things and have recently started making my own clothes – I wouldn’t say it is a talent yet…

What is your best travel memory?

My best travel memory would be my 3-week holiday to Thailand where we accidentally walked into a full moon party! For anyone who is planning on visiting Thailand, make sure you plan your dates around a full moon party – you will not be disappointed!

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

Definitely Angelina Jolie – she is my absolute fave!!

How did you get into insurance?

I needed a part-time job to pay for my social life when I was 17 and knew a few friends who worked in RSA. I applied and was successful and haven’t looked back since!

What is your main priority at the moment?

My main priority at the moment is conducting product reviews which involves investigating and identifying/remedying any areas of poor customer outcomes. It’s so interesting seeing the different variations of products we have and also analysing service levels, complaints, and claims outcomes for all the different products.

What new skill would you most like to learn?

My Dad is Arabic so I would really love to become fluent in the language. I know a few words here and there and can understand the gist of a conversation but just can’t speak it! It’s definitely on my to-do list!

What are your three top tips for maintaining a healthy work life balance?

Manage your time effectively – prioritise and organise!

Detach yourself from work when you’re finished – get changed out of your work clothes and go for a nice jog or walk with kids or dogs!

Make sure to utilise your holiday allowance – long weekends are always a winner!

What was your last google search?

Elon Musk! I am currently obsessed with watching ‘Return to Space’ on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it – I highly recommend it. Mind-blowing!

What did you not expect about working in the insurance industry?

I didn’t expect to be so interested and invested in insurance. You almost become a little bit protective over the whole idea of insurance and I’ve found myself defending insurance companies in social situations where outcomes haven’t gone the way people have expected!

What’s your go-to Karaoke song?

It’s probably got to be ‘Say My Name' by Destiny’s Child

What are you currently binge-watching/listening/reading?

I have just finished reading ‘The Devils Advocate’ by Steve Cavanagh. It was brilliant. I am currently watching/listening to the Jonny Depp/Amber Heard court case! It’s really interesting…

What would you say to someone considering a career in insurance?

DO IT! It can open so many doors and teach you so much. There are so many different opportunities to explore from front-line Customer Service roles, Continuous Improvement, Project Management, Accounting, Underwriting and so much more! The huge range of skills, knowledge and intelligence across the business is mind-blowing!

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About RSA

With a 300-year heritage, RSA is one of the world’s leading multinational insurance groups.

Today, RSA employ around 23,000 people, serving 17 million customers in around 140 countries.  While RSA's origins lie in London, RSA is a global company with businesses in both mature and emerging markets. RSA have major operations in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, Canada, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  youTalk-insurance sharing insurance news and video.

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