Meet our Graduate
I had never even thought of working in insurance until a neighbour explained to me how the Lloyd’s market operates. The combination of negotiation skills with numerical analysis fitted perfectly with my idea of an interesting job. It’s incredible that some people still think insurance is boring because the variety and global exposure is anything but.
A typical day involves first answering emails and questions from clients and underwriters before preparing my information and arguments to take into the market. This is essential as you need to be prepared when speaking to people who are vastly more experienced than yourself. In co-ordination with other brokers I then plan my morning to make best use of my time with underwriters. After the morning session at Lloyd’s, I either have a quick lunch at my desk in busy periods, or lunch with underwriters when time is less precious. Then it’s back to Lloyd’s for the afternoon before returning to the office to update the client on progresses made with their risk.
What I like most about my job is the wide variety of skills it calls me to draw upon. Whether it be prepping my numbers to take into the market, researching companies’ financial backgrounds, or evaluating a submission to convince an underwriter to see my point of view and get to a price, insurance broking has to be one of the most all-encompassing roles available. Starting out as a broker means you have instant market exposure as opposed to working in underwriting where authority is drip-fed. While it can be frustrating at times, the amount the role rewards personality makes for interesting colleagues and a fun working environment.
Honestly, I had very little impression of insurance before I was introduced to it about nine months before I started work. I suppose I would have assumed it was dull and desk based, and perhaps some roles are. However, I am lucky in the sense that I get out and about with a lot of communication so the days absolutely fly by. Of course there are admin days like any job, but for me the overall balance of the job is far better than I thought possible for work.
The most challenging thing I have found in transitioning into work is that as your role grows so do your responsibilities, and these are not put on standby when you are away from the office! As such communication and forward-planning are essential skills to improve when joining the workforce.
The piece of advice I’d give to people considering Marsh’s graduate scheme is to do your research but not be overwhelmed if you feel other people have more knowledge; the recruiters are looking for soft skills such as attitude, personality, and intelligence. It is important to be able to justify why you want to work in insurance, where you’d like to be placed, and to demonstrate how you suit the industry and the roles on offer. I also found it useful to practice answering with structure.