Are you not sure if an insurance-orientated internship or work experience is for you? Have you thought about doing one, but don’t know what to do or where to begin? Read this article for an introduction to insurance internships and work experience, and advice on how, where and when to apply.
Companies across various sectors offer internships to students entering their penultimate year of study or to those who are considering postgraduate study after completing undergraduate courses.
Typically insurance internships organised by large graduate recruiters run for 6-10 weeks over the summer, giving you an opportunity to gain real life experience in the sector whilst also earning a wage.
Work experience is generally a shorter programme, from one day to two weeks, and these are often voluntary programmes where you will spend time shadowing a number of different departments, giving you a flavour of what your future career could be like.
When it comes to applying for your first graduate job, having experience or an internship under your belt makes you more employable: it is tangible evidence that you are driven, proactive and committed to a career in the insurance profession.
What are the requirements?
These vary from company to company but generally candidates are expected to have a minimum predicted 2:1 degree or equivalent, GCSE Maths and English grade A*-C.
A desirable quality for most recruiters for these positions is also flexibility on location as many internship and work experience opportunities will require you to work on a variety of projects across multiple sites. Check out our Employer Directory to see what each employer specifically requires.
What’s involved in an insurance internship?
By completing an internship you will have a greater understanding of what that company does and how closely their career offerings match your career ambitions. It is the perfect opportunity to understand what you could expect if you joined their graduate programme the following year.
During the programme you could take part in a number of development activities which may include things like career planning, meeting and presenting to senior leaders and the delivery of business projects. Projects can involve working with data, building spreadsheets and models, or conducting research on an aspect of the business to present to your whole team.
An insurance internship will give you valuable real-world experience while you are still a student. It will enable you to apply your education in an environment that is both rewarding and intellectually stimulating.
Training and support
Companies will provide you with a mixture of training and this will be dependent on what the programme consists of. This could range from formal training sessions to being assigned a mentor to guide you through your day to day work.
Internships and work experience also provide invaluable networking opportunities – make sure you take up your fellow colleagues on any opportunity for social activities, from sports to meals, as this is a great way to build your network with your future prospective team.
What will I take away from an internship?
In addition to the specific training that a company will offer, you will also learn how to work within a professional environment. This could include how to present, manage deadlines within real-life project work, or other skills such as how to run a conference call.
You will also find out if you want to pursue a career within your chosen business area. In general, companies that offer internships have an excellent record of hiring graduates from their intern programme. The internship is a chance for you to see if you like the company and vice versa.
How can I apply?
Applications for internships typically open in September each year. We strongly encourage you to keep an eye on your chosen company’s career website, their social media pages and our deadlines calendar to find out when applications open.
Before you apply, take time to review both the company and business area you are interested in to ensure they align to your skills, interests and future career aspirations. There are a wide variety of careers out there, so take time to research over the summer. If you are joining university in September and thinking about possible career paths, get in touch with the graduate recruitment team at the companies you are interested in. They may have an insight or work experience programme that you could apply to.