I found the placement a thoroughly enjoyable one, in particularly resulting from the challenging and varied nature of the work. I was also very fortunate to be invited to a number of social events with Aon colleagues and clients which were a real privilege and enabled me to network around the industry and business itself. In a similar vein, Aon employees are very welcoming and always willing to sit down and chat over a coffee to give their insight into the business, offering advice and answering any questions you may have. I would've liked to have been given more work to complete during my placement and also perhaps given some more responsibility however I fully appreciate that the my understanding of the industry may have been insufficient and the work load inhibited by the slightly seasonal nature of the business. We were also given the chance to work with various charities as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility scheme which was a fantastic opportunity which I otherwise might not have been able to get involved with.
I felt very valued by my colleagues and I am incredibly grateful for that. My line manager in particular would quickly introduce me to any team members that I hadn't met yet and consistently monitor how I was finding things and whether there was anything I wanted to know/ask about. As mentioned, I was invited to a number of social events which really made me feel appreciated as part of the team. The team even very kindly held a leaving lunch/drinks for me which was totally above and beyond which certainly was the cherry on top.
I felt that my colleagues were always very approachable if I needed some support and/or guidance. If I were set a task, I would always received a detailed explanation of what was expected and the chance to ask questions. In my first week, one colleague even managed to sit down with me to explain a concept for well over 2 hours and I doubt you will find that level of attention at any other placement.
Clearly, some days I would be a lot busier than others. However, given that over 80% of risk is placed during the winter months with the Non-Marine Retro team, it was a particularly quiet period to be joining the team so I would attribute this as the main reason for not having more to do. On the other hand, given that I wasn't always too busy it opened up the opportunity to meet with colleagues outside of my team and network around the business which was most definitely worthwhile.
I would've liked to have been some given more responsibility during my placement however I appreciate that I might not have had a sufficient understanding to carry out a number of tasks. I was given the opportunity to run an endorsement to a client at Markel which was brilliant experience and a responsibility that may not have been afforded to all interns, whether at Aon or elsewhere.
I felt that it was a very worthwhile experience whereby the knowledge, exposure and networking gained will stand me in good stead for the future.
The general atmosphere was a lively one. The ability to hot desk meant that I was able to sit next to a variet of people and everyone was very friendly and chatty. At times there were a large number of people away on holiday which would make the office seem somewhat quieter. The office itself is fantastic and always provided a buzz. The other interns were also a very fun crowd and it was great to share the experience with the,
Given the ad hoc nature of the work flow, there were times when I felt that I could've been given additional projects during my time there to learn more, however the Corporate Social Responsibility project was useful in this respect. I wish there had been more purely learning sessions or lecture like we had in the first week to gain a better understanding of the industry at hand. Gaining access to the information drives and obtaining a personal phone number were difficult challenges.
I believe that I was a fair amount attention and help with regards to learning the business. I possibly could've been given more however I didn't want to disrupt those who were far busier than myself and who clearly had far more important work to be getting on with. I was also introduced to a number of clients which they wouldn't have done so if they didn't want to invest in me as a long term prospect. Sometimes attention was diverted when we had a few others on work experience join the team however this wasn't something that bothered me and I can also appreciate how that is an essential element of the personal training and development for others.
I was delighted to hear that I had been offered a place on the graduate scheme for the forthcoming year. Given that I am also a university graduate, this would also mean that I would be able to factor in a gap year. Despite this, Aon were willing to offer me the opportunity to work there up until the beginning of the graduate scheme. Given my long term ambition to complete a ski season, there may even be an opportunity to join Aon up until I depart for such an adventure which would be fantastic. There appears to be significant scope to move up through the business having joined the graduate scheme and this is certainly a key motive.
Yes there was a fantastic social scene which I really think helped my enjoyment of the process. A number of interns were always keen to meet up for lunch and or go out for dinner and drinks after work. The CSR project teams were split across different offices nationwide so was a good way to keep in contact with further out offices and meant that they were still fully integrated when they came down to the London Headquarters for various events.
Clearly living and working in central london is very expensive however I think the ranking scale is poorly weighted as whilst it wasn't cheap I was still able to socialise very often. It was expensive but the quality of the restaurants/bars was far higher than elsewhere so I think it was expected from the internship. I also was able to live from home during the placement which reduced a number of costs in that respect.
There were a lot of bars on offer. A particular favourite was a bar called One Under Lime situated directly next to the Lloyds of London which provided a great atmosphere, especially on a Thursday night. This was a great venue and we often went there. The Folly was also a great location for a Friday night where the Intern party eventually ended up. On the whole I'd say that the nightlife was good.
As mentioned I was invited to a number of social events with the team and clients also however I am unsure whether this constitutes outside of work. We attended an U35s Reinsurance Industry wide party which was a lot of fun and a good experience. I think a primary reason for the limited opportunities was the fact that we were there on such a short term placement. Given more time I certainly would've got involved with the numerous football/hockey teams.