I currently work in a bit of a hybrid role as a Business Analyst/Project manager at a large insurance company after graduating from
with a 2:1 in Computing. I was extremely fortunate to be able to return to my
Company after completing my industrial placement with them and was thrown in at
the deep end from day 1. Returning to work after an extremely hectic final year
I was curious to see what life as a graduate would be like and I have to say I
was pleasantly surprised. In my first month alone I was working on a number of
projects in our Commercial division, participating in our graduate recruitment
and studying for my Certificate in Insurance which were all fantastic
opportunities. I think this is the really great thing about where I work, each
day is different and graduates are given high levels of responsibility right
from the start. Plymouth
The graduate population within our workplace is fantastic and a strong emphasis is placed on us being a real community. Our first week training involved team building activities apprentice style and learning about the nature of the business we would all be working in. As the week progressed all 27 of the new team became extremely close, collaborating more successfully in each task we undertook. The majority of schemes last 2 years, with the opportunity to move around to different divisions during this time. This gives a good understanding of what permanent role you want to go into and before the end of the 2 years grads work with their development manager to make their full transition into the company. We are always told the emphasis is placed on retaining graduates and ‘growing talent from within’, highlighting the company’s investment in their staff.
9 months in I have started my second ‘placement’ within the Claims team on a large agile project which has been amazing to participate in. The theory behind agile was explored as part of my final year project as part of the Computing course and to see it in action on a global scale is crazy! Having now worked as a business analyst using both Waterfall and now Agile I can really see a difference in how my approach to requirements gathering has been refined. I have been enjoying the nature of creating proactive interactions between our developers and business representatives but also realising the challenges this kind of project creates.
Fused with this I have started managing two projects for our HR/Finance division, time management being forced to reach ‘superhuman’ stages these days. But this is what I have always wanted to do so looking forward to the challenges ahead, one of them being studying professional qualifications alongside work. I have already embarked on my insurance diploma which involves various modules including finance and insurance principles, essential we are told, if we want to one day move to senior management. Then Prince 2 and our internal stakeholder management course to come. As Dan Williams has already noted in his blog ‘My First Year Working for a Small Business’ I agree that training and development is used as a key driver to attract people through recruitment.
The IT side of insurance has been good so far, lots of technical insurance lingo to learn but essential everything I do is probably what you would expect from a typical IT grad scheme. For anyone who hasn’t considered Insurance as a field they would like to work in I would highly recommend it. I know the perception of this industry can sometimes be boring, but I strongly believe with the changing nature of technology there will be lots of creative opportunities for graduates going forward, getting rid of the legacy systems so commonly associated with this industry.