Employee Spotlight: 12 Questions with Product Manager Rachel Fishman


Today we kick off our first employee spotlight with our rockstar Product Manager – Rachel Fishman! Rachel has a passion for software and tech – plus people, which drew her to the cross-functionality of product management. This week, we sat down to talk about her role and learn how a product manager functions in a company like Verikai.

How long have you worked at Verikai?

I’ve worked at Verikai for 2 months. New year, new job!

Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

I’m a California girl through and through. I grew up in the LA area and now I’m based in the Bay Area.

What brought you to the company?

Everyone at Verikai is so smart and so kind, I had no doubt in my mind that whatever work they had going on would be impactful for their users and the industry at large. Once I dug into the product, the uniqueness of being able to predict health risk based on behaviors – and Verikai’s mission to improve group health underwriting really sealed it for me. Also, it’s exciting to be able to impact a segment of the industry that has been long underserved.

What does your job entail? Can you take us through a day in the life at Verikai?

As a Product Manager, the goal of my job is to make other people’s jobs easier – primarily for our users who use the tool we’re building but also for the Verikai team. To make other people’s jobs easier I spend a lot of time listening to folks explain their jobs. I ask what their goals are and what parts are difficult, or monotonous, or time consuming so that I can work with the Product team to build systems that support them. So, my day involves a lot of communication with existing customers, prospects, engineering, design, and Verikai leadership to ultimately build tools that help customers and drive the industry forward. (and coffee drinking, a couple cups by noon).

What do you like most about being a product manager?

I like that I get to do a little bit of everything and be a jack of all trades. But this only works because I work with really smart people who are super experts in all the things that I’m only sort-of-okay at doing.

What do you like most about working at Verikai?

The people! Everyone is so welcoming and kind and smart and collaborative. I’m new to the insurance world but after only a couple of months I feel like I’m on my way to being an insurance pro because everyone is extremely helpful in getting new folks up to speed so we can build cool things together for our customers.

What are you most excited about at Verikai?

I don’t think anyone in the health insurance industry considers it to be a perfect, smooth running system so there’s a lot of good ahead of us at Verikai. Our 2021 product roadmap is very focused on building a robust and easy to use stop loss marketplace. At the end of the day, everyone (from brokers, to underwriters, to employees in groups getting insurance) wins when groups are efficiently placed with benefits that fit their specific health needs and financial goals. Within the marketplace we will add more insights about groups, from explaining the characteristics of a group that make them quotable or not quotable, to predicted total expected claims to help producers and underwriters provide tailored rates and services. As the marketplace grows we’ll also be able to provide insights into stop loss market trends, group placement velocity, and more. This year at Verikai will be filled with lots of growth and I’m excited to see the value we bring to our partners.  

And now some fun ones!

What do you like to do in your free time during Covid, and non-Covid?

During Covid free time I’ve perfected the art of cooking or baking something and eating it on the couch while I watch TV (recently started The Sopranos). During non-Covid time I … do the exact same thing …

Just kidding, I do all the same things other single, millennial women do: I travel, meet up with friends and have cocktails, go on hikes, think about dating, and think about getting a dog (and then remember I like to travel).

Tell us something most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve never ridden on an e-scooter. And I don’t like celery.

Name 3 people alive or dead you would want to cook dinner for?

  1. Samin Nosrat – I know she can cook dinner better than me but she seems so fun to be around and would probably be very kind about delivering constructive feedback about my not amazing meal.
  2. Michelle Obama – I feel like Michelle is a good gossip pal and after a few glasses of wine with dinner we could gab the night away.
  3. Emily Nussbaum – to be paid to watch TV and movies?! What a dream!

If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do?

I’d call my parents to tell them and they’d scold me for buying a lottery ticket. “What are you doing buying lottery tickets?! You know they’re a scam!”

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

  1. Hater’s gonna hate. I’m just gonna shake it off.
  2. Buy a plunger before you need a plunger

If you’d like to learn more about Rachel, check her out on Linkedin!

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