Sarah’s Story: A family away from home

Giving Hearts Day, 2018. Pictured left to right: Danielle Salisbury, Andrea Hinman, Alison Anderson and Sarah Durbin. Giving Hearts Day, 2018. Pictured left to right: Danielle Salisbury, Andrea Hinman, Alison Anderson and Sarah Durbin.

In this employee spotlight, we feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Workforce Analyst Sarah Durbin.

A place of fun and friendship
Starting a new job can be scary. Change is rarely easy. It was necessary for Sarah, though. She loved her previous customer service job, but the long shifts, changes in pay and desire for a balanced life left her longing for more.

After sharing her thoughts with her mom, Beth, Sarah found out BCBSND was hosting a job fair. Beth had worked for BCBSND since Sarah was a kid and retired in 2020. Sarah visited the Fargo office many times for family events or just quick visits, so she felt quite comfortable with the company and applied for a position in the Customer Contact Center (CCC).

“In my mind, from a young age, BCBSND has always been a place of fun and friendship,” shared Sarah.

The day she came in for the job fair interview, there were tons of people – the lobby was full.

“It took me nearly two hours before my name was called!” Sarah said.

When it was finally time for her interview, she found her mom was the team lead looking for the next applicant. They shared a quick laugh, then switched Sarah with the next applicant. Sarah interviewed with another employee who would be her first team lead at BCBSND.

The chance to connect and learn
Sarah enjoys the many opportunities BCBSND offers. She’s thankful for the chance to connect and make friends with people she would not have met otherwise. She’s also learned more about the community through employee events and volunteering.

“The focus BCBSND has toward wellness, not just being active, but overall whole-self wellness, has been very appreciative,” said Sarah. “I have learned a lot about myself and what things affect my wellness that aren’t as simple as needing to walk more or eat better.”

All kinds of family
Family was an important part of Sarah’s upbringing and still is. She was taught to be kind, open and honest. She sees these same attributes in her “family” at work.

“BCBSND and the CCC, specifically, has always been another family,” shared Sarah. “The CCC shares a tight community. Our “family” supports each other during difficult times and always tries to encourage and uplift each other.”

Through the years, Sarah’s work family often included her actual family members. For instance, aside from her mom, Sarah’s brother, James, works at BCBSND as a research specialist. Her brother-in-law, Evan, also worked at BCBSND for a time.

Feeling appreciated
Sarah feels most inspired when she feels appreciated. She points to “little things” like the chance to volunteer and enjoy employee events during the holidays as things that make her feel appreciated. The CCC also has a monthly meeting where they share the “kudos” given from customers and each other. These moments along with other fun activities are some of Sarah’s favorite memories with BCBSND.

Helping the CCC run smoothly
As the CCC’s workforce analyst, Sarah focuses on the stats, numbers and help her team needs to resolve calls quickly and completely. She loves that much of what she does is assisting her fellow co-workers.

“I get to support our Team. I get to help encourage them throughout the day and push them to be their best,” said Sarah. “I believe that by helping our team be their very best, they’re able to push through and stay positive. The hard work they do each day with our customers is ultimately the reason any of us [at BCBSND] have jobs.”

We’re thankful to have Sarah and her family, both literally and figuratively, here at Blue. Thanks to the work of people like her and our CCC employees, our members can get the answers and support they need.