Matt's passionate about keeping agriculture thriving in Australia.
Name: Rania Aboujaber
Your role: Consultant, Digital Adoption
Region: Docklands, Victoria
What’s your story?
I started working at NAB straight after I finished high School in January 2008. I was 18 and excited about starting my new job in the call centre and about starting my university degree. It was a great first few months juggling work and uni but a few months in, my health took a turn for the worst and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I was fainting at work, getting severe migraines and slowly the whole right side of my face and most of my body went completely numb. In 2009, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had to defer uni and ended up being away from work for 3 months while I started treatment to bring feeling back to my body and reduce the inflammation on my brain. This time of my life was extremely stressful and upsetting. At 19, when I was so ambitious and just wanted to work and finish my degree, there were other plans made for me. I eventually came back to work and returned to uni. NAB has supported me through every set back and every success. I finished my degree winning the Monash prize as the top scoring student for Public Relations and got my first job outside of the call centre in the Social Media Command Centre. Over my 10 years at NAB, I have lost feeling in my left leg and had two big falls. I have completely lost feeling and strength in my left arm and at times my speech has been affected. Every time this has happened and I’ve needed to step out to go into hospital for extra treatment every single one of my people leaders has always made me feel supported. It is easy to feel like you are not worthy of opportunity when you have moments where you can barely walk and string sentences together but NAB has allowed me to keep going and to keep fighting for the work I enjoy doing and the interactions I love having.
How have you made a difference?
Over my 10 years at NAB, I have had numerous roles all within the communications space. Through everything I have been through, I have learnt the importance of strong communication and the difference it makes in any situation and project. The biggest difference I felt I’ve made was when I was lucky enough to work on the Digital Adoption of our business bankers back in FY15 to FY16. Up until I worked on this project, business bankers had little to no training on NAB Connect. Nathasha Jayaweera and I built a training program and trained over 1,000 bankers on how to have conversations with business customers about NAB Connect, working to break the stigma that it was a horrible system to use. From that, I worked on a project coaching Retail staff on how to have digital conversations and educating them on our digital offerings. Enabling bankers to feel comfortable to have these conversations and in turn helping our customers come along our digital journey has definitely been a huge highlight, and where I’ve felt a real difference has been made to both bankers and customers.
What are you passionate about?
For a long time I never told anyone I was sick because I was scared of what people would think or how they would then judge me and my ability. I have learnt that simply being yourself will always be your best option and don’t ever be embarrassed about what life has thrown on your plate. Since coming out with my story, I have been able to raise awareness about how to live a full life with a chronic illness. I am passionate about empowering people - not only those who are sick but anyone who has been through some sort of hardship, that no matter what life throws at you, you can still pick yourself up and be happy and successful. I show this through my blog on instagram @missanonyms and through the fundraising events I host for Multiple Sclerosis. Many diseases are invisible, as is hardship and heartache, so I am passionate about the importance of never judging a book by its cover. You never know what someone is battling, so never make assumptions and always take the time to check that people are OK.