Working as a general insurance actuary, consulting to a wide range of (re)insurance clients.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the placement a lot. I recieved an accurate view of the work of a general insurance actuary. It has inspired me to enter the industry once I graduate from university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My internship was extended as my colleagues felt I was going such good work with the project I was working on.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given help with projects. There was a lack of formal training, however.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Usually my work balance was just right. On a few days, however, I felt like there wasn't that much to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Along with a new graduate, I was given a lot of responsibility shaping the outcome of a large project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have learnt will certianly help in the future with actuarial work. It has given me an overview of the insurance industry that I'm sure will prove useful in the future. I doubt it would help with my degree, but I never expected it to!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere was very friendly. Everyone was willing to help me out with any problems I had. There was also no shortage of banter that made the whole experience much more enjoyable. I went out for drinks reasonably often with both my colleagues and fellow interns too!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall process was well set up. The HR team managing the internship seem well organised and knew what they were doing. Within the team itself, the overall internship structure was well explained, but there was a lack of certian things - for example, the lack of formal training. Some training was given for Excel (which I now realise is very important in the finance industry!), but otherwise, you had to learn on-the-job.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company helped to give me an idea of what working as an actuary is like. This involved giving me crucial Excel skills, as well as some basic skills in more specialised software. The lack of formal training was slightly disappointing, but was offset by the friendlyness of colleagues who were willing to talk you through a problem/concept if you asked them about it.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prosepcts are very appealing. The graduate scheme seems very thorough and helpful. The company also seems very willing to help new graduates through the actuarial exams, giving them a study day off a week and tutorial classes. Overall, I wouldbe very happy to work for Aon as a new graduate in the future,
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was very good. Many interns were willing to go for drinks after work on a Thursday night. Similarly, many of the colleagues in my team went out for drinks on a Thursday (especially after exam results came in!). Even simple things like going to buy lunch/eating lunch together as a team really helped to build a good social atmosphere.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in central London, things were not cheap! I had to spend £330 a month on train travel to get to work. In addition, lunch can cost £5-7 (unless you go to a supermarket and get a £3 meal deal). I therefore storngly suggest you bring in a packed lunch if you do not want to see your wages float away on the back of an expensive curry from that Korean food restaurant down the road! Drinks, again, are not cheap -- £5-6 a pint in most pubs (except the much-loved Wetherspoons). Do not expect to live cheaply in central London unless you're bringing in things from home!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Centrral Lodnon is known for its nightlife. Many pubs and bars are around the office. Unfortunately most are incredibly expensive when compared to non-London places. However, if you're willing to spend the money (or go out with colleagues who are buying the drinks!) there is certianly a great nightlife to be had.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
When I joined, a 5km run was being held, with many people on my floor running in it. Since them, I haven't seen any large activities organised. However, as part of the internship, you take part in a corporate social responsibility project, and this can mean you get out of the office with fellow interns to try and raise some money for your assigned charity.