1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Absolutely loved the whole experience! Throughout the 10 weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed all the training as well as all the new people I met. There isn't a single bad point I can make about the internship.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Considering I had entered the internship with minimal experience in the actuarial field, my colleagues regularly gave me calculations to do for clients. I felt valued in a sense that my colleagues trusted me to carry out various pieces of work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
This is something in particular I really valued at Aon. The support that was provided to me was fantastic. Initially I was quite nervous that I might be out of my depth (due to lack of experience in the field), however within the first week my colleagues made me feel at such ease. They all encouraged me to ask as many questions, and to ask for help whenever I needed it. In particular, the 'buddy' system was really useful - my buddy helped me out with everything from expenses to transfer calcs.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The combination of client work in my office and the CSR project ensured that I was kept busy everyday. In general, most of my week was spent on client work. Due to being the only intern in my office, I believe this helped my workload as my colleagues were keen to give me as much valuable work experience as possible. However when the availability of client work was scarce, I had the opportunity to work further into the CSR project. It was a great balance between the CSR project and client work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Considering I was just an intern, I was very surprised by the amount of client work I was exposed to. Towards the end of the internship, my colleagues were comfortable with me doing several calculations for clients. In addition, the CSR project was the sole responsibility of the interns and hence we had minimal guidance. This was a good experience as we developed several skills such as project planning and team work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There is a vast array of skills that I am able to take away from this experience. In particular, I have developed skills in Microsoft Excel, presentation abilities, project management and communication.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was in the Manchester office, and in general it is quite a small office compared to the other regional offices. However, I absolutely loved it. Due to it being a relatively small team, it meant I developed friendships with everyone in the office and I was able to work with almost everyone. The general atmosphere was very friendly, and it felt more like a working family. Everyday I had a good laugh my colleagues.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Absolutely fantastic. Credit and thanks must be given to the organisers of the internship. The 10 weeks flew by so quickly! It was greatly organised as I felt in 10 weeks I had achieved so much. In addition, I was particularly impressed by how the Aon Early Careers team organised several events to help the interns meet each other and interact with another. Several of the interns I am now very good friends with, and this is thanks to the CSR project and celebratory drinks etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In general, I was provided with great training for personal development. I worked with their 'Skills Blocks'. With regards to technical training, this was mainly my colleagues taking time to teach me various actuarial methods.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am over the moon to be offered a Graduate position with Aon for September 2017.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Thanks to several events and the CSR project, I was able to socialise with several of the other interns. After the whole experience, I have remained friends with many of them. In particular, the celebratory drinks at the end of the internship was a great experience!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was fortunate enough to already have accommodation in the area (my university accommodation), so my cost of living was not too bad. In general, Manchester is not as expensive as other cities such as London, so my cost of living and socialising was pretty goodin my opinion.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Manchester is well-known for its night life! I absolutely love the city.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes - I had the opportunity to go to the Leeds office summer party as well as the Manchester office summer party. It was great fun, and I was able to meet a lot of new people.