Grace Reynolds

Actuarial and Investment Consulting Summer Internship

Why did you apply for Barnett Waddingham?

I went to lots of careers fairs during my time at university, however no firm caught my eye as much as Barnett Waddingham. From talking to employees representing the company, I could see that they were passionate about their jobs and proud of where they worked. Being a slightly smaller, independent firm, I got the impression that Barnett Waddingham was a company that cared a lot about its staff, not just about profit. I looked into the values of the company and I felt they were aligned with my own.

I was drawn by the mix of both Actuarial and Investment consulting I could do as part of a summer internship, meaning I could get experience in both areas before deciding what I would like to do as a career going forward.

What was the recruitment process like?

The recruitment process was straightforward and well communicated by Barnett Waddingham. I had to first fill in an application form, which was then followed by a telephone interview, and then I was invited to an assessment day at the Cheltenham office. This involved some online tests, an interview and case study, a presentation I had prepared in advance and a group exercise. The whole day was run professionally, but everyone who I spoke to made me feel welcome. We had the chance to speak to those running the interviews over lunch which gave me further insight into what it might be like to work at Barnett Waddingham. Each of the exercises was challenging, but those who were assessing you tried to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

What have been your highlights?

The first few days of my internship were in Leeds with the all of the other interns. We had two days of inductions and training, which also included dinner all together in the evening. This was a great start to the eight weeks, as I got to know the other interns a lot better and spend some more time learning about the company in a more informal setting before I started work in “my” office.

The team atmosphere really stood out for me over my time as a summer intern. I always felt I was involved in work that was important, and I was treated like a valued member of the team – with lots of support if I needed it. I was able to get involved with a wide range of tasks and develop my knowledge far beyond what I had expected. Barnett Waddingham also promote a good work life balance, so I never felt I had to stay late to work and it definitely wasn’t expected.

Other highlights for me include taking part in the Barnett Waddingham intra-office football and netball competitions, which I was encouraged to attend if I was interested and represent my office.

What have been your challenges?

Throughout the summer internship, we had a series of assessments which were there to challenge us. I did two technical presentations during my last week on what I had learnt, which pushed me to present my own work to a group of people at varying levels in the company. With support from the team over my eight week placement, I was able to do this with more confidence and with a lot more knowledge than I had previously!

What advice would you give to a student following in your footsteps?

I would fully encourage anyone interested in a job in either Actuarial or Investment consulting to apply for the summer internship. Not only did it open my eyes to the world of work before taking the plunge with a graduate job, but nothing can give you a better insight into a career than trialling it first. If you are accepted onto the internship, I would recommend trying to make the most of every opportunity and get involved with as much as you can.

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