Day in a life in a General Insurance Graduate Program

Day in a life in a General Insurance Graduate Program
8 December 2021    Tammy Sofranic    0 comments
Are you considering a career in insurance or seeking a graduate program that will offer you four rotations in different business departments? If you're thinking "yes", here's a great story for ya! 

We spoke with Rebecca Hoffman, who is currently completing her two-year general insurance graduate program at Allianz. She was generous enough to share about her workdays, essential skills and tasks, and so much more. 

To hear her tips first-hand, keep on reading below!


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REBECCA HOFFMAN: General Insurance Graduate Program

Can you shortly describe a typical day on the job? 

I’m currently working in a distribution marketing area of the business, which means that I am involved with initiatives and strategies that make buying from us simple and easy. A typical day is usually a mix of collaborating with my immediate team and teams from across the business to identify opportunities to deliver our product to market more effectively and refining our strategy so that we are connecting with customers in the right way and at the right time.

I enjoy the collaborative element of my work as I get to mix with lots of different stakeholders from across the business and learn about other areas of the business by listening to their perspectives. It is a really fun area of the business to work in because there is lots of variety in our work, and it is cool to see how what we do delivers a difference for our customers and the business.

 
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Why did you choose a General Insurance Graduate Program to start your career? What or who inspired you to do so? 

I did not expect to work in insurance as I did not study finance and would not describe my numeracy skills as one of my key strengths, which I had assumed would be a pre-requisite for working in financial services. In my last year of university, my degree coordinator encouraged me to think about the Allianz Graduate Program. She thought I would enjoy the leadership component of the program and its rotational structure because I was still unsure of what I wanted to do after graduation. I was still hesitant as I started the recruitment process, but the more I researched and learned about the variety of roles, the purpose of insurance and how it worked to support the community, I became excited by the prospect of a career in insurance.

What would you say are three key personality aspects or skills that make someone suited for General Insurance? 

Passion – I am yet to meet one person who is not extremely passionate about delivering our promise to our customers, irrespective of their role.

Growth mindset – I think this attribute serves people well regardless of their industry, organisation or role. There will always be new things to learn and ways to improve, so it’s important to be open to that and see challenges as opportunities to grow.

Collaborative Spirit – the behind the scenes of insurance is extremely interesting, there is much more involvement than what people might think, and it takes a lot of collaborating with people from across the business to build the product and bring it to market. I would say being willing to work with others, learn from them and be part of the bigger team is essential.

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What have you learned about yourself through the work that you do? 

Initially, I was not sure that I would be well suited to a role in insurance, however, as I have progressed through the graduate program, I’ve learned more about my strengths and how to use them. In particular, I think I’ve learned to embrace my sense of curiosity and developed my ability to build strong working relationships.

What’s been your best moment while doing your work? 

I’ve been fortunate to work on a number of projects and even act as project lead on a few occasions. It boosted my confidence to know that people trusted me to take the lead on challenging pieces of work, and I have enjoyed the process of working on something from the start to the end. 

And a difficult moment? 

Projects can be a bit of a rollercoaster; when things are going well, you’re meeting deadlines and seeing your results, it’s really fun. Unfortunately, sometimes things do not go to plan, and it can feel very overwhelming having to problem solve and manage lots of stakeholders all at once.

How do you keep going when things get challenging? 

I think it is important to remind yourself that you do not have to struggle on your own. People want to support you and make sure you have what you need to thrive, but it starts with you knowing when and how to ask for help. If you communicate how you like to work and what you need to feel supported with your manager and team, it makes it easier for them to support you in a way that you will find helpful, and it will take the pressure off when you do need to ask for help with something that’s challenging.

Are there any surprising or odd things that people wouldn’t expect if they picked this career? 

The role insurer’s play in supporting sustainability and community beyond the immediate aftermath of claims is probably something that would surprise people. For instance, Allianz is part of the UN Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance and Climate League 2030 and is actively working towards achieving sustainability targets, including divesting from thermal coal. We also partner with Settlement Services International to provide sustainable employment for refugees.

Can you share a funny or weird story about something you experienced in your role? 

There is a lot of different insurance products, but one that I had never heard of before starting at Allianz is ‘Croc’ as in crocodile insurance. At first, I thought my team was having a joke because it seemed too far fetched to be a real product. The team had to show me the website and the PDS before I would believe that we actually provided ‘Croc cover’.
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What advice would you give to young people considering pursuing a career in this industry? 

Not many people understand the variety and breadth of roles available within insurance, and so I think it’s important to come in with an open mind, be willing to explore and focus on learning. For me, that is where the value of a rotational graduate program has been because it has given me the freedom to explore opportunities that had never occurred to me before.

Does working in insurance seem like the perfect fit for you? If not, discover more careers:

Wondering which career you may be best suited for? Try the Job Fit Test below!

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