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Finding Clarity: Nisreen O'Neill's Journey with In HER Element

Despite her success, Nisreen O'Neill, Enterprise Solutions Architect at Optum Financial, was becoming uncertain about her path as she was presented with opportunities within her organization.

This questioning was not about her experience - she had plenty of it with 28 years. Instead, it was a realization that she needed more clarity in her goals and craved a renewed sense of confidence.

Women’s leadership program In HER Element arrived at just the right time for Nisreen. Nine months after being selected by her leader for an internal Optum cohort, Nisreen gained clarity and newfound confidence in her ability to make the right decisions for her career.

We caught up with Nisreen to learn more about this transformation in her mindset and skills.

Nisreen, what led you to In HER Element?

Our Vice President chose me from the organization to join the In HER Element cohort. I was nervous about what I would gain from the experience, but I ended up loving it – it’s unlike any other program I’ve done. It’s a significant time commitment, and it’s all virtual, but having our cameras on and getting feedback helped us stay focused and present during the sessions.

How has your work life improved after the In HER Element program?

Before, I was deciding my direction as opportunities were presented to me. I could tell my managers wanted me to take on more leadership roles and move up the ladder. Yet, I had multiple questions and all this uncertainty.

I am an analyst, and the idea of not knowing is the worst thing! I wanted to learn what drives my decision-making because I can jump into the details by default.

I began In HER Element with the goal of figuring out what I truly want to do and being able to discern whether I am declining opportunities due to fear or because it is the right decision.

I knew In HER Element had helped when recently, my manager presented me with an opportunity – I didn’t see it as the right fit for me, so I turned it down. This time, I was confident and open to the possibility of a new position because I have the tools to figure it out. I got that clarity from In HER Element and learning about different parts of myself.

In HER Element offers a combination of individual and group coaching. What was your biggest takeaway from those coaching experiences?

When I encountered thoughts that needed help with processing or direction, Paula's unique guidance was an excellent learning experience.

I have been practicing In HER Element's concepts and thought processes through my other learnings and meditation. In HER Element reinforced this learning to continue and nurture my path. I found the reframing exercise beneficial. Learning that it is possible to change your beliefs and behaviors in order to find success was eye-opening for me.

What was your favorite part of In HER Element?

Getting to know such amazing women! Hearing their stories and relating to each other showed how we are all on our journeys yet going through similar experiences. The breakout sessions allowed us to get even closer and connect on what’s happening in our lives. It's empowering, humbling and inspirational to walk amongst such women!

What advice do you have for other women looking to take that first step?

You will love it! In HER Element is unlike any other leadership development program. You will attend sessions, meet other women, learn about yourself personally and acquire skills and techniques that will directly impact your professional life. After graduation, you will be ready to experience the world with a different mindset.


About In HER Element

In HER Element is a transformative leadership program that inspires women leaders to ignite and live their potential. Our unique program combines neuroscience and mindfulness with coaching and community to foster real change in all aspects of work and life.

Learn more about how In HER Element can benefit you or your team


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