1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job role is claims handler. My daily tasks involve setting up new claims, and dealing with incoming calls from brokers and third party insurers in order to settle on-going claims for my corporate clients. I am responsible for maintaining relationships with large corporate clients who have fleet policies.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt how use computer systems better, and my communication skills over the phone have developed greatly. I can hold a very high level of conversation over the phone, and have developed the ability to be argumentative when required. Overall, I have learnt how to deal with clients in a professional manner, and handle myself very well with people.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I feel like the work that I do is ok. I think that it can be very repetitive and boring a lot of the time, however, I love to deal with fraudulent claims and also I love to speak with people when they are reporting a claim for the first time, as I can calm them down and try to have a laugh with them and overall make them feel better.
The team that I work with however, are excellent. I love the people at Aviva, I love the benefits that the company provides, and overall I love what the company stands for and strives to do.
4. How valued do you feel by Aviva?
I feel like I am valued by my manager. Aviva have been very helpful to me when I had to off sick for a few months when I broke my leg. However, I do feel at times like I am just a statistic and could be replaced easily, because I don't feel like high performance is rewarded proportionately, but others may feel differently.
I try to involve myself in as many things as possible in order to value myself more for the work that I do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction and structure of the training was excellent, and I cannot fault it whatsoever. As far as the apprenticeship programme goes, I feel like stretching the exams out over 12-15 months (4-5 months between each exam) is unnecessary. The course content is really not overly difficult, and as the exam is multiple choice, I think that if you push yourself, you could sit the exams and pass with only 2 months between each. This for me is that main down side, as the level of the course isn't that high, and takes ages to do something that really isn't that difficult.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive excellent support from the training provider, although I feel that our exams are booked too far apart.
My tutor is excellent, as she is funny, patient, and has a deep understanding of the material, which she is very good at explaining easily and without any frills. I enjoy the apprentice sessions, I just think there are too many and the exams are too spaced out.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive lots of support from Aviva, with a 3-4 hour study session per week. My managers are very understanding of the fact that the apprenticeship, long term, is for the company. Sometimes colleagues will look down their nose at you if you are taking time out to study, but this is the contract that you signed up to, and you are fully entitled to the study time, so use it!
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
It is alright, but I think that as you complete each exam, your salary should increase slightly each time, as you are gaining more knowledge. I am fully competent in my role now, with only needing to pull on support for very difficult claims, and I feel like that should be reflected in my salary, which can be quite demotivational.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I am not too sure about events outside of work. We try to schedule a team night our once per month. We offer some money off health clubs and gyms. And one that I personally have used is the CycleScheme, as it is a good way to save a little on tax and get a valuable bike out of it. Aviva does support the local community.
9. Would you recommend Aviva to a friend?
I think it is a great company to work for, however, the opportunity for progression if you really want to succeed, is extremely difficult. For me, I feel that they should look out more for the people who really want to succeed and move up, as there are plenty of young people with great ideas, but because they are new or young, don't feel like they are able to speak up.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aviva?
Just do it, after all it is a great company, they do offer a lot of great benefits and are there for you at difficult times. However be aware that if you are going in as a claims handler, that you are one of many, and it is extremely difficult to get your name out there and move up. It is a difficult job, and can be hard to motivate yourself to do it, but there are some very rewarding times where you love it as you know you have made someone's life that little bit better through whatever struggle they are going through.
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