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#HaveYouMetHerYet? - Katie Foden

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Katie Foden is a Business Development Manager for Intact Speciality Solutions in Alberta. Her role as a regional manager has her travelling around Western Canada building relationships and cultivating partnerships in an effort to pursue strategic growth opportunities for her company. In her spare time she can be seen biking around Calgary or heading out to the mountains for skiing, hiking, biking, or whatever activities the weather will allow.

What is your story? What do you do and how did you get to where you are today in your career?

I started my insurance career in Toronto in 2010 following completion of my degree. I completed a 9 month rotational training program that allowed me to learn the industry by working different job functions in various offices across the US and Canada. I moved to Calgary in 2012 to continue underwriting construction and energy accounts, and to continue building up my national broker network.

I've been with Intact Specialty Solutions since 2017 and am excited to do my part to help us become a leader in this space. I have spent my career so far working on large / mid sized, cross border and complex accounts and look forward to utilizing my knowledge and network to help Intact continue our venture into that space. I truly believe that most issues can be solved with education and strong relationships. I believe my accomplishments are due to actively seeking knowledge about a variety of facets of the field, and developing lasting relationships with people of all different backgrounds.

What is one piece of valuable advice you would give someone who wants to get into your field?

There are plenty of jobs in this industry across Canada. The key is to stick with it, your first step into it isn’t going to be your dream job but if you work hard and learn a lot you can move up and have access to a variety of roles and responsibilities.

There is a steep learning curve at the beginning of your career where you have to learn a lot of terminology, policy structure, and processes so it can be overwhelming… but as you gain expertise and a good network around you the options are endless to find a role that fits you perfectly.

The people that you meet along the way become friends, mentors and co-workers who help guide your path through your industry. I have benefited immensely by utilizing Linkedin, making time for Industry Events and learning industry knowledge far outside my field.. you just never know where your career is going to take you.

Give one valuable piece of advice you can give women on how to overcome challenges in the workplace?

You can never have too many smart, ambitious, badass females around you so actively seek each other out and support each other!

Name three things someone has told you are good at or what they admire you for.

a) Adaptability - Change is the only constant that we can guarantee in life, so be ready to maintain a positive outlook in the face of big transformation to your team, your organization and your industry. Mergers and Acquisitions are an easy example but sometimes it’s as simple as a leadership change or the effect of an external force but those who try to stick to ‘the way things were always done’ have a much harder time getting through it.

b) Communication Skills – It is crazy how much is lost in terms of communication by email. Part of forming relationships is picking up the phone and talking to someone, or better yet, meet them in person. Meeting for a coffee or a beer is a really good way to get to know the people you work with on a more personal level, which has a great effect on your ability to have open and honest communication with that person in the future.

c) Cooperating with Others – I am very focused on finding the solution for our customers wherever it is within the company, so that often means helping experts find each other so we can piece together the right products to fit the customer’s needs. If we didn’t work together, we wouldn’t be able to offer a complete solution and wouldn’t win the business.

What are your strategies on avoiding burnouts?

Stay healthy. Working out and eating veggies is not optional, it’s an important part of being a happy and successful human. There is a noticeable difference in my ability to deal with stressful situations in the weeks that I haven’t worked out enough.

One Quote you live by:

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety” – Abraham Maslow

What is one thing you wish someone had shared with you before you got into the work world?

Knowing your stuff and surrounding yourself with supportive people is the key to success... invest in these two things always.

What is one accomplishment you are extremely proud of?

Hiking up to the summit of a 6,057 m Volcano in Peru. Hiking is a humbling sport because it doesn’t rely on having the strongest muscles or the greatest skills, it’s just determination to continue putting one foot in front of the other while ignoring all the reasons you should stop. At that height there is not enough oxygen in the air which makes it extremely difficult to move, eat, feel your face… but we made it just as the sun was coming up which was absolutely awesome.

What is one thing you wish someone had shared with you before you got into the work world?

The only constant thing in business is change. Don’t get too fixated on how things are, the good and the bad are only temporary. The most successful people are the ones who can adapt and flow through the as things change.

Get Social with Katie

Photography shot by: Tiger in a Suit Productions

1 Comment

Christine Taylor
Christine Taylor
Sep 15, 2018

It's all about attitude and yours is set to succeed.

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