1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the Real Estate team as an apprentice. In the Real Estate team we have clients who own large portfolios of properties and we need to arrange insurance policies which cover these. I work on two client teams with another client service advisor, manager and director. Our job as a client service advisor is to carry out the day to day work. This involves answering emails with client queries, making any mid term adjustment's to cover and processing the renewal. I also attend meetings with clients and underwriters.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've learnt a lot about Real Estate from working on the job. As part of the apprenticeship we have to take our Certificate in Insurance exams, I've learnt about general insurance from this. Everyone in my team is extremely knowledgeable and always happy to answer questions. I've also learnt presenting skills and developed my communication skills so I can present to people in a clear manner.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed my programme. I was put in a team who is very supportive of their apprentices and have never made us feel like apprentices. They want us to grow and become an asset to the team so I have really appreciated the support. In addition it has been good being able to do my professional exams and I have been given sufficient time to complete these.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured. From the start of the programme we were told exactly what path we were going to take, we had deadlines for each of our professional exams. It would have been good to be reminded of each of our steps as the programme is 18 months long, by the time it got to the final months I had forgotten we needed to do a corporate social responsibility project to complete our apprenticeship. Training is provided by an external company and helps us with all of the exams.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team is very good and my manager is supportive of me and is always there to listen when I am unsure of things or having any issues. The external training provider is good for the exams but there wasn't much contact with the Aon early careers team throughout my apprenticeship. As I was supported by my team so much it wasn't an issue but I think if other apprentice's didn't have as much of a supportive then they would need the early careers team's help.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
FWD provide us with a talent coach who meets with us once a month. They check up on us and make sure we're meeting deadlines for the exams. If we have any issues with the exams they can put us in contact with someone that would be able to help. My talent coach worked for the CII so had good knowledge of the exams and my current talent coach is taking her Diploma exams at the moment so understands what we have to do.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I think my qualification allows me to have a wider view of insurance. The real estate team is very specialist and even though I have good knowledge it's good to be able to look at the bigger picture. I can ask questions that I wouldn't have been able to ask before because I wouldn't have had the knowledge. Also in the future it will allow me to apply for more experienced roles as usually these require professional qualifications.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are different networks you can join at work. We have the GENDER IQ Business Resource Group and Pride Alliance which are two groups you can join that have networking events. In addition there are London Market Networking events like the LMG and Lloyd's Under 30's. They put on events, I attended a 'So you want to be a CEO' event at MS Amlin where we listened to a talk by the CEO of MS Amlin and then networked with other young individuals from the market. It was really interesting and a good oppurtunity to make friends and business contacts.
9a. Would you recommend Aon to a friend?
Aon is a brilliant company that wants their apprentices to suceed. The training at Lane End at the beginning of the Apprenticeship was a great two weeks where I learnt about Aon and Insurance but also made friends with the other apprentices. The training they have provided has helped me achieve my professional qualifications and the charity project we did for Suited & Booted was fufilling. Altogether it's a well rounded programme that is a great way to start off your career in insurance.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aon?
Be yourself. I admitted that I didn't have much insurance knowledge in the interview but I asked questions about what the interviewer did and how that fit in to Aon. I did some research before the interview to show I was keen but it's really important to show that you're interesting and willing to learn. Also be prepared as the application process is quite long, it involves an application, a video interview, situational tests and then an assessment day which consitsted of a group project, a written task and an interview.
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