I ended up in insurance by chance. I was looking for a job opportunity that applied my academic training in economics to a real corporate environment and a position came along that did exactly that.
So, tell us what you do…
I work in the Operations Team of the International Markets department which provides support to our overseas offices. Lloyd’s has offices in 32 territories across the world.
My role is to manage projects aimed at improving the way we do business internationally. I work primarily with our offices in Asia, coordinating projects across different teams within Lloyd’s.
Are you glad you found a way into insurance?
Most certainly. Like me, most graduates do not consider a career in insurance. This is a pity because the industry has a lot to offer with many diverse and stimulating career opportunities.
How would you defend against the perception that insurance is boring?
When I tell people that I work in insurance they usually think I go door-to-door selling life insurance policies or handle motor insurance claims.
Most graduates (and most of the general public) have no knowledge of the range of stimulating careers that are available in insurance. Insurance is linked to every area of human activity and almost any significant event in the world has an implication for the insurance sector.
Surely this means you have the chance to travel the world?
Yes, over the last year I have spent extended periods of time in our offices in Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Spending time in these international offices has given me a different perspective on how we work as well as presenting opportunities that I would not have had in London.
What were your first impressions about the company?
I hadn’t seen the Lloyd’s building before I came for the interview, and I was just a bit overwhelmed. The underwriting room has got such a buzz around it.
What gets you buzzing about your role?
Part of my job is to manage the expectations and conflicting interests of various teams within Lloyd’s as well as a plethora of external players, such as managing agents, brokers and international regulators. This can be very challenging and requires a lot of time and energy communicating with stakeholders.
Any projects or challenges that stand out thus far?
Upon joining this company I was put straight on to a project, opening a subsidiary company in China, which is possibly one of the most complex projects I will ever work on in my career! We received our invitation to set up in China from President Hu Jintao himself, in front of Tony Blair, and the Chairman was heavily involved in the project; so that was very high-profile.
What are the ‘must-haves’ to succeed within insurance?
In order to succeed in insurance you need to be innovative, customer-focused and flexible. One of the biggest challenges working in an organisation such as this is that there is no set career path.
This means that if you are going to succeed you need to take responsibility for your own career development.
At the end of the day, would you say you go home happy?
Every day feels like a new challenge. I haven’t stopped learning since joining Lloyd’s and it is that opportunity to constantly better myself and explore a new area that I value the most.