Degree: Law, 2.1, Manchester University
Year of graduation: 2003
Occupation: Senior underwriter at Allianz Insurance
What do you do in your job?
As a senior underwriter, my core role is underwriting the risks that come in. I consider risks sent in by brokers. I specialise in construction risks, such as those connected with construction of a school. The underwriter’s role is to decide whether to cover the risk and put together a price for it. Beyond this, it is a varied role and I get involved in developing marketing material, electronic trading, managing projects, and helping with the restructuring of the division I work in.
What was your motivation in applying?
I studied law at university, and I did consider pursuing law as a career. But I decided I wanted a role where I would be more involved in business. Underwriting appealed because of the decision-making, and I liked the idea of having responsibility from the start. For example, with the construction of a school, I will decide if it is an acceptable risk for the company to take and how much to charge. I chose Allianz because it has a good reputation in the industry, and because it focuses on training and development.
What did the application process involve?
I submitted a CV and covering letter. I then had a telephone interview and was asked competency-based questions. That was followed by a day at an assessment centre. We looked at business cases, and did group work, one-to-one interviews, and numerical and verbal reasoning tests.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The variety of work and the opportunities available. Traditionally, graduate careers in insurance have not had the press they deserve. Although I have an underwriting role, I am involved in different things, from strategy to e-trading and project management.
Most challenging part of your job?
The amount of information you have to keep on top of. The industry is always changing. Whatever the risk you’re presented with, you have to know something about it.
As part of the graduate scheme I undertook the ACII (Advanced Diploma of the Chartered Insurance Institute) which I completed after two years. I’ve also done several internal qualifications. Allianz’s underwriting academy really prepares you for the role.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Keep an open mind about insurance. Most people think it’s all about call centres and car insurance, but it’s actually dynamic and commercial.