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Aflac's Own Keyla Cabret

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Known for its ubiquitous white duck with the offbeat quack, Aflac does more than just offer insurance to its customers. It offers solid career opportunities as well. Just ask University Relations Supervisor Keyla Cabret, who's been with the company since she was a junior in high school.

“I started with the company in 1995…through the ‘Future Business Executive’ program working in the Human Resources Division,” says Cabret. “The FBE program was a local program sponsored by Columbus State University created to expose high school students to the corporate environment. During that time, I assisted the HR division with administrative functions, primarily those that supported the recruiting process.”

After graduation Cabret began studying political science at CSU, and over time she “progressed to an internship status within HR.”

“During that time I worked in several departments within HR,” continues Cabret. “One of the areas I worked on consistently was the Intern and Seasonal Programs. Once I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2001, I was offered and accepted a corporate recruiter position.”

And in 2006, she was promoted to University Relations Supervisor, a position she thrives in.

“I manage the strategy, logistics, and implementation of all campus and university recruiting efforts, ensuring that Aflac is successful in attracting the most outstanding talent from target universities. In addition, I am responsible for overseeing the research and building expertise regarding recruiting issues and trends at colleges and universities. I also administer Aflac’s SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) program, internships, and seasonal hiring programs, and coordinate the HIP (Health Insurance Program) with area high schools.”

With so much recruiting experience, it’s no wonder Cabret touts that as an area of expertise. From employee relations to payroll, Cabret has interned for various divisions of HR, but most of her time has been devoted to recruiting.

“I have recruited for a variety of positions throughout the years…from entry level to management level positions. I feel that recruiting for a company like Aflac has been a rewarding experience and most fits my personality and work ethic.”

“At Aflac, our mission is to combine innovative strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers,” says the company’s website. Founded in 1955 by brothers John, Paul, and Bill Amos, Aflac has offices nationwide and insures more than 40 million people throughout the world. The company, along with receiving a “Superior” rating from A.M. Best in 2006, actively participates in the community of Columbus, Georgia, and with organizations ranging from Columbus State University to Habitat for Humanity to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to Boys and Girls Clubs.

Having recently graduated, Cabret understands what the young adults of today are facing when thinking about their careers. She says, “I have a firsthand understanding of all the concerns that graduating college students have about entering the workforce.” Because of this, she enjoys helping them develop a career plan as well as informing them about her company’s endless career opportunities.

However, as with most things, the positives coincide with the negatives. And for Cabret, those include the pressures of matching talented college students with not only the right careers but successful careers as well. Talk about pressure!

But Cabret’s understanding of the HR industry stretches beyond the boundaries of Aflac. She recognizes that the “‘war on talent’ is indeed real.”

“As companies get stronger and smarter about recruiting trends/methods, competition for great talent becomes reality,” she notes. “Recruiting young talent is a priority right now and so is retaining the best talent that you have.”

However, Cabret refuses to let the negatives stifle her, and instead, focuses on the positives. “The excitement about the potential career opportunities and securing a ‘good fit’ with a position based on their skills-set, interest, and growth potential is priceless,” she says.

Other positives Cabret relishes in are her accomplishments. She’s proud of setting a good example to her younger family members, being the first in her family to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees. Professionally, Cabret enjoys knowing that her department impacts so many employees. But along with her own accomplishments, Cabret graciously offers accolades to those who have helped her along the way.

“Having mentors continues to be one of the major reasons for my career successes,” says Cabret. “In my tenure at Aflac, I have been fortunate to have outstanding mentors such as human resource executives Audrey Tillman, Brenda Mullins, and Sharon Douglas; Michelle Martin, a former colleague; and Tom Giddens, a retired Aflac Field Force agent, who have helped guide me through many career objectives and challenges.

“Mentors have been extremely insightful, personally and professionally. The value that another person’s perspective, especially one who may be in the same career path, can bring to a situation is invaluable. Also, it has been even more rewarding to share my accomplishments with people who have a sincere interest in my success.”

And without any regrets, this successful HR Star deserves to be heard:

“My advice to college and even high school students who are looking to get a head start on their career planning is to identify companies that offer internship or career building programs specific to their area of interest. Many major corporations like Aflac partner with universities and high schools to train and recruit future employees, often providing students with great work experience during the summer months while they are out of school…I’d also advise students to take advantage of career fairs that may visit their schools by asking onsite recruiters key questions about any company programs in place that provide training for students.”

Q. What do you like to do outside of HR? Any odd hobbies/interests? Are you married? Do you have children? Can you explain a little about your personal life outside of work?
A. I like to read, shop, and hang out with my friends and family. I am also very involved in the community. I am single without children.

Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
A. The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3 by Jill Scott

Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. Marie Claire.

Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Law and Order.

Q. Who is your role model?
A. I have always admired my mother for just simply being a great human being. Professionally, Audrey Tillman has been a great inspiration to me. She manages to be a great person, mentor, boss, and an outstanding wife/mother. It’s an example to women who want it all!

On the net:Aflac

Columbus State University

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