This week, we’re getting to know Chantell Arsenault of CapriCMW in Kelowna.
What inspired you to join the benefits industry?
As a fairly recent grad I was drawn to benefits for career building potential. I’ve seen a lot of opportunity to take my education in marketing and communications and apply it to a specialty. This year marks my 10th year working in the employee benefits space and I have never felt bored. It’s truly a career for anyone who loves life-long learning and lives to problem solve.
Who is your mentor?
I’ve had many mentors throughout my career in benefits. It has been so enriching to have that support and sponsorship coming from both peers and managers. I’ve been fortunate to always have strong female mentorship and role models too. I didn’t realize at the time, but female representation was very influential and certainly contributed to my own aspirations for my career.
What is something that people do not know about you?
It’s my goal to eventually become WSET qualified, just a personal pursuit of my favourite hobby learning about and enjoying wine.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in the business to date?
Not just in business, but in life, you get out of it what you’re willing to put in. It sounds very old school, but an optimistic attitude and great work ethic still goes a long way.
Do you have insights about the industry that you would like to share? Thoughts about the future of our Industry?
I think independent benefits professionals have a lot of challenges to solve now and into the future to protect that set of core values. Maintaining independence from foreign investment and insurer interests is always going to be best for clients because it protects them from conflicts of interests that aren’t disclosed. Our clients will have many challenges as we all adapt to the future of workforce and workplace over the decades to come. As long as we focus on achieving the best outcomes for them, we’ll maintain our influence in this industry as independent benefit professionals united by the same values. This is why BA plays an important industry role, together we can address issues of national interest that have a direct impact locally.
What’s a tip that you could give to someone interested in becoming an advisor?
My experience working directly at the insurance company in service and sales definitely gave me a edge entering the industry as an advisor. Not only did I learn product and process inside out and backwards, but I got to learn the ‘work ethic’ of an advisor by supporting their business as their insurance wholesaler. I would say that any experience at any insurance will be valuable in your career as an advisor.
What is something that you wish employers knew about running a successful benefits program?
Well, let me preface this by saying before an employer chooses to partner with me… the piece that is most commonly misunderstood, is the most important piece to success of their benefits program. The success or failure of their plan is tied directly to who they choose to work with as their advisor. Bad advice typically gets noticed and clients will make a change based on this, complacency can take a while and sometimes doesn’t get noticed at all until a professional comes in with a second opinion and is able to show where the potential exists.