October 30, 2015, by Laura Estrop
Insurance is interesting
By Amy Pearson, graduated in 2013 with a BA Joint Hons German and Politics
To most an oxymoron, but to those that know the industry, these are words of truth.
If we’re honest, the words ‘insurance broker’ aren’t particularly the most appealing when considering a career straight after university. But I’d argue that’s because insurance is an industry which is entirely misunderstood and, let’s face it, practically unknown to the ‘outside world’.
Indeed, what most people view as ‘insurance’ tends to be on a much smaller scale than what we deal with in my current role at Willis. On a daily basis, I, along with my colleagues, work with the likes of Aston Martin, Next Plc and New Look, while other colleagues in the wider company place insurance policies against cyber breaches, piracy (not just of the virtual kind), terrorist attacks, and even footballers’ feet.
I can’t think of many industries where you get the opportunity to work with so many different corporations on such an intricate scale. In my opinion, this is what makes insurance so interesting.
For the record, you do not need to have a maths degree under your belt in order to do any of this. In fact, the world of insurance offers roles to suit those who do have a strong preference for analytics/actuarial work as well as those who prefer the more people-based and client focusing roles.
Why did I choose to start my career at Willis?
The main reason was the vast array of opportunities that it offers owing to its size and global presence; as someone looking to start their career and not simply looking for a job, this was very appealing. I chose Willis because of the various different classes of insurance and services that it offers as well as the numerous countries that it is based in.
What do I like the most about working there?
Rather than having one factor alone that means I enjoy my job, it is a combination that makes it such a good place for a recent graduate to work:
- The Challenge – I am based in the Willis Building, one of the skyscrapers in the heart of the City of London. And you can feel it. By this I mean that everyone is striving to do well, everyone is striving to be the best, and everyone is striving to get results. This means that as someone who is completely new to the industry, you are most definitely thrown into the deep end – and I love it.
- The Diversity – No one day is the same. We service numerous clients all over the world which provides exposure to multinational corporations and people from different walks of life and cultures. This in turn also means the potential for international travel and an opportunity to embrace different experiences within such a short space of time.
- The People – being challenged does not mean being left alone. I have met numerous individuals who have years of experience and knowledge within such a complex industry, yet they always find time to mentor and provide advice. Working in a people industry comes as a benefit not only for working well with clients but also for working internally.
- The Potential – Willis is one of the largest global brokers with offices in over 120 countries, which means a huge future potential to grow within the business. As a graduate who is looking to build a career rather than simply having a job, Willis is a fantastic place to work. This is proved by Willis’ high retention rate with some individuals who have reached even 40 and 50 years of employment!
Tips for students considering a career at Willis
My main tip would be to research the industry and try to get work experience with both underwriters (insurers) or brokers where possible. As the industry is so hidden to many, it is important to understand what truly goes on in it to know whether or not it is the path you want to take.
I would also say that being proactive and enthusiastic is key. The graduate scheme is very competitive which means that when applying you really need to want it, and, more importantly, show that you want it.
For more information about the Graduate Development and Summer Internship Programs, visit our website.
*Please Note: The closing deadline for the Graduate Development Program is Friday 6 November 2015.*
If you are interested in a career in insurance and want to find out more about the sector, visit our website.
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