Why did you choose to do an internship?
During my second year of university, I was still quite unsure what industry I wanted to go into and where to start my career. I had done some research into the insurance industry and thought the role as an insurance broker may be suitable for me due to the balance between the analysis, negotiation and client management skills needed.
The prospect of spending nine weeks completing an internship with Aon was extremely appealing as it allowed me to gain an insight into the insurance industry for a concentrated period of time, get a flavour of working life, as well as help me to decide if insurance was the right choice for me.
The internship also proved to be highly valuable for my future career development, as at the end of it I was offered a place on the graduate scheme at Aon. This was to start after the completion of my history degree at the University of Warwick. This took the pressure off during my last year of university, allowing me to focus on my studies rather than graduate applications, and also allowed me to start my first full-time job having had a flavour of the work I was getting myself into. I was able to go back and join the same division; having established connections with people during the internship was beneficial for when I started my job.
What was the application process like – any advice for other students?
I completed an online application form, consisting of a mixture of questions about my interest in the industry and company, some competency based questions and details of my qualifications to date. Once submitted, I was also asked to complete a situation judgment test and upon passing I was invited to attend an assessment centre.
Approximately a week before the assessment centre I was sent a short brief to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on an emerging area of risk that I was interested in. On the day, the other tasks I was assessed on included a short group exercise, a research report and an interview. All the candidates were also given the opportunity to engage with current graduates, to gain a better understanding of what our role might entail and answer any questions we may have.
I would definitely recommend some solid research into the industry you are applying for, any current news or exciting trends would be especially useful as preparation for the assessment centre. As we were asked to do a presentation, demonstrating thorough research makes a good impression.
Despite feeling nervous on the assessment centre day, Aon were excellent at making me feel comfortable, which I believe allowed me to perform to the best of my ability.
What attracted you to your role?
Growing up in London and knowing I wanted to work in the City encouraged me to seek out a career I knew I could flourish in. Insurance has a considerable history in London, which makes it an exciting place to develop and evolve my career. Insurance broking, in particular, was attractive as it was the type of role that not only allowed me to further develop the research and analytical skills I had gained through my degree, but also gave me the chance to interact with underwriters and clients, on a daily basis.
What were your main duties?
I was fortunate to be able to shadow a variety of brokers during the course of my internship, the division I was placed in rotated me to different sub-teams. This was a great opportunity to see how each broker handles an insurance placement, which varies across product lines. During my internship I supported brokers, by creating renewal slips, participating in wording reviews and marketing projects. I also had to communicate with teams in other offices on changes over the course of an insurance placement.
What were the most important things you learned from the internship?
One of the biggest things I gained from the internship was that I enjoyed the work and I could see myself following a career path within insurance. Being able to interact with Aon colleagues at all levels really allowed me understand what I would need to do to progress in the industry.
Speaking to current graduates convinced me that it was beneficial to begin the Chartered Insurance Institute professional qualification as soon as possible when starting a career in insurance, which is exactly what I am doing now. Most importantly, I learnt that Aon and the insurance industry would offer me professional qualifications, commercial awareness and business skills development; all of which will enable me to succeed in my career.