In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re using this as a chance to introduce some of the people that make Alliance great. This is a story of perseverance. It’s about going against the grain, but succeeding. This is the story of Arooj.
Peel the layers of Alliance, and you’ll discover processes with parts in constant motion. Go further and discover the people that make it all possible. One particular individual you’ll find on the 2nd floor of Alliance’s headquarters in Cranston, Rhode Island is Arooj Butt-Aparicio.
Though unassuming in physical stature — standing no taller than 5’2” — this young woman bears the humungous pressure of helping to steer Alliance’s ship forward as Director of Underwriting.
Simply put, she’s in charge of the timely compensation of our affiliate partners.
Actually making that happen, however, is far from simple. For instance, there’s a fairly sophisticated system and payment schedule in place (don’t worry, we’ll spare you the details for now). The point is that the “show goes on” — and without a hitch — as a result of Arooj’s leadership.
Getting the job done requires dealing with curve balls and “something new everyday” — according to Arooj. “What really drives me is the opportunity to help my team make an impact on Alliance’s day-to-day operations,” she says. “It’s all about helping my colleagues reach their full potential.”
Considering where Arooj came from, reaching her own potential would’ve been nothing short of a miracle had she stayed there. In regards to gender equality, Pakistan ranks 141 out of 142 countries on a list compiled by the World Economic Forum. It’s also one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Escaping political persecution, she came to America as a refugee at age 14 — alongside her parents and 5 younger siblings.
In 2008, Arooj was juggling college courses and a part-time data entry position at another company. That’s right around the time when she applied for a position at Alliance.
After being hired, her roles were as dynamic and fast changing as the then-five-year-old-company that she was now a part of. Arooj bounced around various departments — from scheduling to verifying customers’ credit scores, and to even training Alliance’s field service technicians.
Hard work and tenacity paid off for her, to say the least. Over the past eight years, Arooj grew from “Assistant” to “Manager” to “Director.” During this period, Alliance also grew from a handful of employees to more than 500.
Arooj appreciates what has remained consistent throughout this transformation.
“Your voice is heard, and you can become an engine that can make changes and process improvements at Alliance, no matter the title or position you hold,” reflects Arooj. “There are so many opportunities at this growing company, sometimes when you least expect them.”
Interestingly enough, the opportunity to join Alliance’s underwriting team appeared when one of the department’s reps called out sick from work.
Arooj filled in for that colleague, and the rest is history.
Make no mistake — Arooj’s pursuit doesn’t stop there. She’s soon tackling a business communications program at Rhode Island College as a personal challenge to develop her leadership skills. Arooj has also been taking parenthood head-on as the proud mother of a 19 month-old boy named Samir.
Oh, and by the way, she’s trying her hand at bungee jumping and skydiving later this year …
Considering her story and how far she’s come in life, these two daredevil feats will be like a walk in the park for her.
Our hats (Alliance branded, of course) go off to you, Arooj!