Disability Income Case Manager, AIA NZ
Bachelor of Health Science in Case Management
When she learned about AUT’s new case management degree she was immediately drawn to it, says health sciences alumna Elise Windsor.
“AUT recognised that there’s a demand for effective case management in a number of settings within the healthcare sector. The programme aims to achieve quality and cost-effective outcomes by putting an individual’s holistic needs at the centre.
“I found this major aligned well with my passion for making a positive difference in people’s lives, my interest in the medical field and my strengths, including the ability to build rapport and think critically.”
Support to succeed
She had many highlights throughout her time at AUT, Elise says.
“I really enjoyed the interactive lectures; a style of learning that remained the same across classes of different sizes. We were always encouraged to share our ideas and experiences which I think is important because it develops your ability to understand other people’s perspectives.
“Another highlight of my experience at AUT would be my work placement in my final year. This was really exciting for me because it gave me an opportunity to apply all I had learnt, and start making crucial connections with people who had similar passions and goals. My work placement with Sovereign (AIA NZ) solidified that this was the career I wanted to pursue and assisted me in getting my foot in the door. This wouldn’t have been possible without AUT.”
She also appreciated being able to combine study with her passion for sport.
“During my first year of study, I was doing a lot of training and travelled overseas for nearly a month to compete in Scotland with the New Zealand under 19 women’s lacrosse team for the World Championship. AUT not only accommodated this but acknowledged this achievement, and my efforts to balance study and sport at a high level with a Blues Award. It was nice to know that AUT supported this endeavour.”
Making a difference in times of need
After graduating from AUT, Elise now works as a disability income case manager for AIA NZ and finds it rewarding to be able to assist clients during stressful times.
“My main responsibilities are to assess private insurance claims for people who are unable to work due to illness or injury. I’m responsible for processing their benefit entitlements, which means that I have regular contact with clients, the professionals treating them and other insurers like ACC.
“Where appropriate we like to visit our clients in their environment to help build a more holistic view of their needs. We can then look to co-ordinate and fund any additional rehabilitation to assist our clients’ return to work in a safe and sustainable way.”
She frequently draws on the skills she developed during her time at AUT, Elise says.
“My time at AUT equipped me with a broad range of skills that I apply daily in my role as a case manager to create mutually beneficial outcomes for both members of the community and the business I work for. I’ve developed strong communication skills that help me effectively liaise with multiple parties to create more effective and efficient outcomes for my clients.”
“Elise had completed a work placement in the Claims Team at Sovereign (now AIA NZ) during the latter part of her studies and proved to be diligent, switched on, considered and a great fit in the team. Elise certainly impressed us while she was on placement, so when a case manager role became available she was a natural choice. We were looking for someone who could hit the ground running in a busy team, so previous experience was a definite advantage. We were also looking for a candidate who was a critical thinker, had great communication skills and wasn’t afraid to bring fresh ideas and challenge the status quo. Elise is a hugely valued member of the team and her AUT qualification undoubtedly gave her a great foundation to build upon.
“Experience of the role or of the insurance industry is absolutely essential to succeed in this career. This means that work placements are a great idea as they give you exposure not only to the work but also to contacts who can be your advocates when you’re looking for a role.”
Claire McAulay, Disability Income Claims Manager, AIA NZ