Summer internship for actuarial consultancy work, specifically in regards to the pensions industry.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a great summer here in the Epsom office at Aon Hewitt. The office atmosphere was very welcoming and the people were very friendly. There was a wide range of work and every day offered a new and exciting challenge. The main enjoyment for me was seeing how my work formed a small part of the services Aon offers to its client, and how even the smallest piece of work carries significant value to the final product.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by colleagues, and every colleagues I worked with or spoke to seems very friendly and welcoming. They were very helpful in regards to answering any questions I had, and their feedback is very valuable in ensuring that I learnt from mistakes and could improve upon the work I had done for next time.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The management were very supportive throughout my summer internship. They were largely hands-off in their approach, however always reminded us that they were available should any difficulties or queries arise. The bi-weekly reviews were great as they allowed us to reflect on our work in a short time span and improve upon this for the rest of our internship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My schedule varied a large amount from day to day. Some days I would be very busy and have a stockpile of work I had to get through, and as a result had to juggle deadlines. On other days though, getting work was difficult and you had to go around and ask for work. Despite this, Aon have a great training website so any time where I didn't have work was not wasted as I did training during that time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My main responsibilities during my placement were drafting transfer values for specific pension members. In general, my responsibilities were ensuring that this work was as accurate and clear as possible. If any mistakes were made, they were changed, and as such I feel like I didn't have much responsibility. So in that regard as long as my work was completed before deadline my responsibilities were very few.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The training and skills I received will help significantly in my degree studies. As I am doing a Maths with Finance degree, the actuarial experience I have received will play a vital role in many of my modules going into my last year of university, and will also help me apply any knowledge I learn during this last year into a real life context.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming. I met with many different employees and all were very keen to meet the new interns. During my internship we had a charity project, and the office were very interested in participating in our events. .In general, it felt like everyone who was there wanted to be there and the enjoyment they had for their respective jobs was clear to see.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The summer internship was very well organised and we knew straight from the induction days our roles and expectations of us. They offered a large insight into the industry as a whole, regardless of which specific stream you took for your internship. We knew what the key dates were and we knew who to contact if we had any questions.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm invested a fair amount in the personal training and development, specifically as a result of having 3 induction days, and covering all travel expenses for these days. On regards to work, the main area of development was on the job training, and I feel like colleagues helped a lot in regards to personal training for this part. They were very hands off in their approach, so although you had opportunities for personal training and development, you really got out the amount of effort you put in.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
In general, they offered half of their summer interns a graduate scheme at the end of the summer internship. You find out if you've been offered one about a month after your end review, so if you impress you could be offered one.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a social committee in our office that largely dealt with creating events for socializing. In general there was something happening roughly once a week, such as drinks after work to celebrate exam results or for someone leaving, a barbeque in the park, rounders, etc. The wide range of activities allow for everyone to get involved at one point or another
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As I lived in Epsom, and as many of our events were organised by the social committe, the socializing wasn't too expensive. The cost of living, however, was rather expensive as it is close to London. I was very lucky to get a nice cheap place to rent for the duration of the internship, but rents in general are expensive for what place you get.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Aside from pubs there wasn't much of a nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
We had a weekly six a side football session that was great to participate in. As Epsom is still quite close to London, the opportunities are there to get involved in things outside of work, you've just got to put in some effort to find these opportunities.