Intern for ten weeks. Everything from broking, spreadsheet setup, client communications, catastrophe mapping, report writing, shadowing, client dinners, CSR project
I greatly enjoyed my internship. It was my first proper foray into the corporate sector and the team I was assigned to included me from day one. I attended numerous meetings, broked in the Lloyd's market and participated on numerous client lunches and dinners throughout my time. It enabled me to fully immerse myself in an industry I had a limited understanding of prior to the internship. The organisation of the internship was seamless, right through from application to completion. The work was occasionally dull, though I learned that to participate in the enjoyable components of the scheme, groundwork had to be laid.
The reason I have subsequently accepted a full time role at the company was largely resulting from the people I had the privelege of working with. They were friendly, inclusive and more than willing to take the time out to expain new concepts to me. I grew both intelectually and socially as a result. I was made to feel valued insofar as the tasks I was given became increasingly important and hgih-pressure as the internship progressed. Meetings were regular throughout my time there so that I was able to further develop my skillset following feedback.
This was a big benefit of the team I was in, though I was aware of some others on the internship who perhaps had less individual guidance form their supervisors. My "buddy" and manager were both very open to discussion, be it a discussion on a required technical skillset or a more mind-bending discussion on how to deal with an issue or structure an insurance programme. They were willing to cede control of certain tasks but maintained an open inbox should I have any questions. My manager from day one included me in all team meetings and coffee breaks to ensure that both my, and his, expectations were being met.
For 80% of my time I was busy. My first week was hectic, but a lull followed when my team went to Europe on a business trip. Perhaps my level of business was exemplified by the fact I used just 2 of my 4 days of leave - partly as I wanted to be continuously involved and partly as I felt obliged to follow up various tasks. What I was pleasantly suprised by was the amount of time I waa able to spend away from desks, be it for visits to the Lloyd's market, meetings, lunches or something else. I am an active person and I hate sitting still for long periods, so this was a total blessing in disguise.
Progressively more and more throughout my time. I started in an observational capacity but by the end I was managing my own account, dealing with clients directly, and particpating in meetings with my own thoughts and actions. Whilst it had be somewhat tempered given my status and the importance of clients, it did feel more immersive and I had more responsibility than I originally expected.
As I am already a graduate my newly found insurance skills won't be relevant to future degree studies. My physical geography skills from university were helpful withoyut being esential to my performance on the internship. My skills based training and development of corporate skills will be exceptionally useful as I further my career at Aon and beyond. I will also now start to complete my professional qualifications in insurance so the skills from my internship will no doubt help to kickstart my understanding in those fields.
The office atmopshere is one of Aon's strengths. As a physical space, the office is spacious, clean and facilitates interaction with different colleagues. The vibe is cheerful and doesn't scream the stereotype of dull desk job. People are open to conversation and the dull murmer that falls across the office at all times actually facilitates work. There is a sense of unity at busy times, though the very quiet nature of the office on Friday is disconcerting and motivation is hard to find.
Excluding a misplaced email which complicated my attendance at the assessment centre, the internship was exceptionally well organised and comprehensive in its content from application right through to completion. Events are organised weeks ahead and the weekly lunch and learn sessions enabled me to see different parts of the business which I figure is the holistic aim of an internship. The trianing days ran smoothly, though at times, they were a little pedestrian in their content. Overall, a very well run operation in comparison to other experiences I've had.
Financial investment in training and development is more common at a graduate level, but it must be said that the time invested in me by my team(and others) facilitated my rapid learning of the insurance market and has prepared me excellently for theoretical lfie on the graduate scheme. I found that the personal skills directly addressed, such as email construction and presentation skills were inherent and not as beneficial to me. It was the corporate skills that I picked up which were of most value, and those came free of charge through the immersion of my team in my learning.
Following the internship I have been offered a full time position with the company. And many of the other interns will be as well, so it is safe to say that doing the placement was very advantageous to future prospects, insofar as I have picked up technical and soft skills far more quickly than I would have had at university. From my understanding, the graduate scheme at Aon is highly regarded by both those within the organisation, and those external to its operations.
There was a strong social bond between the interns which was evidnet from the residential training course. Activities designed to bring us together were quite frequent, especially when the corporate social responsibility project started to reach its conclusion. Lunches and drinks together were common on a weekly basis, though the cost of doing this, and the variety of schedules each of us had, meant that there were some restrictions on socialising.
Given that I was based in London, the costs were much higher than other parts of the UK. Though this was a paid internship, most of these earnings went to rental payments. Dinners and drinks were expensive in the event that discounts weren't utilised (though Pizza East do a 50% off Monday!). Given that many events were impromptu the cost of socialising did escalate andf accumulate throughout my time there.
Good restaurants and bars, though they were pricey. I didn't go to any nightclubs so I can't comment on those.
There were some opportunities to get involved through the CSR project fundraisers, though sport and hobby activities could be dispensed more readily by Aon. I have a feeling that such activities might be facilitated more readily on the graduate scheme when there is more time to organise such things.