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Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashback Friday: "Secret" Aflac Trip

Have you seen the awesome earrings I'm auctioning off to benefit The Turner's??? Auction ends TONIGHT at 10 PM EST!!! Go here to place a bid!!!

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So I'm LOVING Flashback Friday :) I think it's super fun to go back and relive some memories and get to share them and know they'll be in our blog books forever! If you want to participate simply write a blog post about anything you've never blogged about before...any story you wish you could have on your blog! Link up at the bottom of this post! No rules, no topics, anything goes!!! :) I'll leave it open each week from Friday morning through Sunday night at midnight. Be sure to visit this post to read some of the other stories people share! I'm enjoying learning more about everyone who participates :)


This week I'm flashing back to a story that's not actually from my pre-blogging days. I just never have blogged about it!!!

Back in early 2011 Zach got contacted from someone at Aflac headquarters about doing some interviewing with them for a marketing campaign. They were looking for college athletes who are now successful with Aflac. We had to send them pictures of him and he had to fill out several pages of questions and also conduct a phone interview. We heard back from them that he was selected!!!

They paid for us to come to Aflac Headquarters (in Columbus, GA). This was in April of last year. I was newly pregnant with Brittlynn and Kye was in the middle of his Survival Swim lessons. I wasn't too eager about going out of town but what an awesome opportunity!!! How could I pass up getting to see this?!?! 

Mrs. Charlotte kept Kye for us and we drove to Columbus. They had us go straight to Headquarters. That in itself was a neat experience. We were able to tour Headquarters when we went to our training as new agents, but we didn't get to see the areas we were able to see this time. Their offices are awesome. It's such an open, fun work environment and it was obvious that everyone we met truly loves what they do. I don't remember all the people we got to meet but some high up hands were shaken for sure...the one I remember most was Michael Zuna...we got to go into his office and talk with him for a bit. At the time he was the chief marketing officer but now he's actually been promoted to executive vice president, chief marketing and sales officer. I was SO impressed with him. He asked ZACH questions and asked him how headquarters could help him as an agent and what improvements he thought the company could make. How awesome is that?!?! It's so neat that he works for a company that values each individual!

After our meet and greet (and getting lots of Aflac gear! Love us some freebies!) we got to go out to a nice lunch with the girl who was running the campaign. We pigged out and enjoyed ourselves (although at that point in my pregnancy eating wasn't high on my priority list...I was pretty sick). Then headed over to do some interviews.

At first I didn't really understand the connection Aflac was making between college athletes and Aflac...but it makes SO MUCH sense. For Zach, Aflac is the PERFECT career. He's naturally competitive and Aflac fills that desire he has for competition. It's the type of job where the more you work, the more you achieve. There is no salary, it's 100% commission. While that is stressful at times, it's also a great motivator for Zach. He likes that there is no limit on his earning potential. He loves that feeling of getting a big "win" with Aflac...it's very similar to the feeling he'd get when he made a big play or won a big game on the football field. Zach always jokes with me about how athletics are so important for the "real world" and this experience proved him right! It was VERY tough when Zach's football days came to an end...it's almost like he had to find a new identity as "football player" had been the thing he was known for most. Aflac has given him the opportunity to fill that void in his life that football left. It couldn't have been a better fit for him as a career!

Zach assumed they would be giving him some type of script or something as they didn't give him ANY prep questions. Um nope. We were in this tiny, BURNING UP, room and he had to sit on a stool with mega bright lights in his face. I felt so bad for him because it was the first (and hopefully last!) time in our entire relationship that I've really seen him struggle. He was sweating like crazy under the heat of the lights and with his nerves. The process took a couple hours and they asked so many questions...and some were super random that he wasn't prepared for AT ALL. On top of that he also had to be careful not to say certain things...like stuff you'd naturally say. He couldn't say that he works for Aflac or is an employee of Aflac b/c technically he isn't. He's self-employed and represents Aflac. The legal junk mattered b/c they were planning to use the interviews for their website or other media outlets. It made sense why he had to be careful with what he said, but it was still tough!!! 

It was tough to watch him be so nervous and uncomfortable. It's not a side of him I'm used to seeing. Zach oozes confidence!!! I joked with him and teased him some about it but I'm still proud of how well he did and the answers he gave!

After the interview process was finally over we headed to a football stadium for pictures. They requested him to bring his college jersey so they could get the whole college athlete thing. It was a TON of pictures. I sat in the shade and visited with the girls who were out there helping. We had some great talks about babies and religion, I honestly enjoyed myself! Zach may have struggled with the interviews, but he shined when it came to the picture portion. They were having a blast with him and it was nice to see him loosen up and just enjoy himself. I think all of our wedding shots with Javon helped him out ;)

Once we finished up at the stadium we went back to the place where he did the interviews and they brought out the real star of the show...the duck!!! I was PUMPED about it!!! They did a lot of pictures of Zach with the duck and then allowed me to get in some too :) You KNOW I didn't hesitate to ask haha Technically, the real Aflac duck is a computer generated image...but this duck is the one they use for appearances and things like that. He's still pretty legit right?


Once we finished up with the pictures Aflac needed...they let us snap a couple of just the two of us :) SO nice of them!!! The photographers we worked with were beyond nice and did an amazing job (shout out to Crouch n Crase!).






Once we were completely done I was EXHAUSTED. Being pregnant is no joke ;) But I'm sure Zach was tired too from his busy day of looking good haha. Since Aflac was paying for our entire trip we went out to one of the nicest steak houses in town (don't ask me which one...I have NO CLUE) and ate to our hearts content!
Yes, he got LOBSTER and STEAK!!!
super attractive Em
I look so tired in both of these pics haha
I LOVED the soup and the green beans, I think I let Zach eat a lot of the steak (with Britt I didn't want ANY meat)
Even though we were beyond full we had to get some froyo. At the time we didn't have a place in town so it was a must do whenever we saw a place!!!

Aflac even put us up in a super nice hotel room for the night! We got up the next morning and headed home. I remember stopping at a gas station to get Subway for breakfast. Subway and breakfast just does not mix to me??? Zach likes it...I bought some donuts at the gas station instead ;) Oh the days of pigging out while pregnant. I miss that excuse haha!
It was truly an awesome experience. Getting to see the "behind the scenes" of how that kind of stuff works was super neat. Getting to tour headquarters, watch Zach stumble over his words, and see him getting to wear that jersey one last time. All of it was so fun!!!

I never blogged about it for a couple of reasons...one being that we didn't know if anything would actually come from it. We didn't want to get our hopes up or all excited about anything and then them scratch the whole idea. Another reason was that I didn't have any of the professional pictures. Legit...I JUST got these a couple weeks ago!!! It was SUCH a neat surprise to have the cd in my mailbox ;) I wish I had ALL the images but I'm thankful to have the ones they sent us. It's neat b/c Aflac has the rights to all the pictures and videos and can use them in the future if they wish. Wouldn't it be awesome to see Zach pop up somewhere totally unexpected someday? Keep your eyes peeled for him!!! I think that's why they only sent us the ones with me in them? I think they can't release the other images???

As time passed we forgot completely about it. We assumed they decided not to use him for anything. Which was fine...the experience on it's own was awesome! Hello...a free mini vaca is always appreciated on it's own :) Then one day we got an envelope in the mail with an Aflac brochure in it. We were confused but not surprised...Aflac sends random stuff all the time. Then I opened it up and saw ZACH staring back at me!!! It's a brochure used for recruiting purposes...if you're an Aflac agent you can order the brochures on your web ordering :) It's an over-sized booklet featuring four former college athletes. How cool is this?!?! And yes, you can click on it to make it bigger! I had to scan the top and bottom separately since it's so big.

Here's his quote: "Anything I do, I do it to win. It's an attitude that comes with sports, and you can use it with Aflac, too. In college, playing football is serious business - you have to focus and you have to manage your time. I think that helped in my career at Aflac where you don't clock-in or clock-out. You get yourself motivated. Football also prepared me to work with people. You learn to read people and to respect your coach and his authority. In any career, you have to treat people with respect and trust their experience and skills. Because if you win, you want to know you did it right; you want to feel good about your work. I do."

PS: We forgive them for spelling his name with a "k" instead of an "h" ;)
Sure, it's not on billboards or anything but still...I'm proud! And it's very awesome!!! I totally ordered a stack of them and mailed them to close friends and family ;) When I started writing this post I figured it wouldn't hurt to do some hunting and see if they ever did use any of his video interviews...guess what I found?!?!

He's featured in four videos on Aflac's You Tube Channel!!! Totally shocked me!!! I have NO CLUE if they have used them elsewhere but here they are:

1. Work Life Balance (You can see Zach at the 1:00 marker): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmpljgGQyWs&feature=share&list=UUEIEyhEadyAGMG-NTh_fVGA

2. Residual Income and Career Advancement (You can see Zach at the 1:00 marker again): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqH0TvWwsLQ&feature=share&list=UUEIEyhEadyAGMG-NTh_fVGA

3. Helping Individuals (Zach is the 1:00 marker man haha): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXYawcCStCE&feature=share&list=UUEIEyhEadyAGMG-NTh_fVGA

4. College Recruiting (Zach is at the 0:44, 1:37, and 1:54 markers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO4mf4mR8f8&feature=share&list=UUEIEyhEadyAGMG-NTh_fVGA

Isn't that neat?!?! I watched them myself and planned to surprise Zach with them on this post but he came in the room while I was writing it and he had to see so we re-watched them together ;)

It was a wonderful little getaway together. One on one time is precious when you have kids!!! We enjoyed it and have been so blessed to represent such an amazing company. If you're looking for a career change check out www.aflac.com/agents for more info! Aflac has blessed our family in SO many ways beyond just financially. I truly believe in the company and everything they stand for!!! A big thanks to everyone at Aflac who chose Zach for this opportunity (and we learned while we were there that it was a HUGE process!) and to everyone who played a roll in making that day so special!

I'm thankful Zach had this wonderful opportunity and it was fun to spend some time together watching the videos! He did better than we had anticipated and you can't tell too much how sweaty he really was ;) I'm SUPER pumped for future Flashback Friday posts...I'm working on going through ALL my old pictures from the pre-digital/facebook era so I can start scanning :) Can't wait to see what everyone else shares today!

4 comments:

  1. Love the brochure. He did great in the videos too he doesn't look at all sweaty or nervous. Nice job!

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  2. VERY good pictures of you two!

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  3. You should post about your wedding next week. That would be a fun one. Also, super cool that Zach was chosen for this!

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  4. This is awesome -Zach's famous!

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