I feel very fortunate to have started my career at the ABI. All my colleagues were very helpful and friendly and put my nerves at ease very early on. I have made great friends and connections throughout my time here and I hope to keep in touch with many of my colleagues after I leave. The professional opportunities I have been given and the skills I have learned match the social experiences I have had which, in my opinion, is exactly what I could have hoped for before I started!
From the start of my placement, I was given a lot of autonomy over my work and I rarely felt as though I was 'just an intern'. It was clear how my role fitted in with the rest of the organisation and I was always busy working on a project in collaboration with other colleagues. There were occasionally times where I felt like some of my work was overlooked by colleagues in the wider organisation, however I always felt appreciated by my team or the group I was working with directly.
My line manager always listened to my ideas, feedback and concerns and I felt trusted by them. We had regular catch-ups where I was able to bring up issues which I felt were beyond my capability and my manager would give me guidance on how to resolve them, occasionally getting involved themselves if necessary. My director was extremely supportive of me and my ideas; I never felt too intimidated to approach them directly about matters I felt appropriate to do so.
I always had continuous, on-going work to do including day-to-day tasks and general queries. I would often be involved in ad-hoc projects and would have work to do in between meetings. I felt as though my workload was manageable and that I could get involved in workplace activities outside of my usual work. I was able to volunteer and take on work from different teams which broadened my understanding of the organisation as a whole/
I felt like my responsibility during my placement year gradually increased. I felt better able to take ownership for projects and events towards the latter end of my placement year, especially within internal staff resourcing teams where I was able to lead on coordinating fundraising and social events as well as employee wellbeing initiatives. My role towards the end of my placement required me to lead on some events which I felt like I acquired the right knowledge and skills to do throughout my placement year.
This experience will not directly effect my degree studies since it is in a different industry, however the skills I have learnt will definitely enhance my professional capabilities beyond university. I participated in many various internal development sessions like CMS, CRM and GDPR training as well as inductions to the insurance industry and how it works. I took an online course in data & marketing too. As well as technical and professional skills, I was able to develop an abundance of transferable and soft skills which I feel have put me in a strong position for future roles and have prepared me for my career after university.
The open plan office had a nice atmosphere of togetherness. I could see my whole team, directorate and executive team from my desk. I felt like I could always wonder up to a colleague for a chat. We had a nice break room and kitchen called the 'Hub' where I sat and ate my lunch with colleagues almost every day. There is no hot desk policy, so I felt completely comfortable at my desk everyday.
Very well organised; there is a structured inductions process in which you have a meeting with every team to understand their function in relation to you. There are dedicated tasks that the intern is responsible for, and they were made very clear from the start. The role has a part to play in every aspect of the organisation and you learn very quickly that while you have day-to-day jobs, it is also your responsibility to take ownership for the areas of the projects you are involved in. At the same time, there is much flexibility in the different projects you can involve yourself in, therefore you're able to get exposure to all elements of the organisation.
The ABI were very keen to accommodate any training and development initiatives I wished to pursue. Very early on, my line manager encouraged me to speak to HR about my learning aspirations and they signposted me towards a 12-month online course in data and marketing which they used L&D budget for. There were regular internal learning sessions hosted by individual teams to educate colleagues on their specialist work and developments. I received all the standard training that permanent staff did (GDPR, Competition Law etc) and received an induction to insurance training day during which we visited Lloyd's of London.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Healthcare from home
I would be interested in re-joining the ABI after I graduate, however due to the nature of the organisation and its size, there currently aren't many entry-level jobs which suit my skill set or career interests. The organisation is small and limitations to its job-family structure make it hard for assistant and associate-level employees to progress internally which leads to a high turn-over rate, especially among non-external facing colleagues. Having said that, the ABI is an excellent employer and if a suitable job were to become vacant, I would seriously consider it.
Definitely! As soon as you joined you were assigned a 'buddy' who took you out for lunch in your first few weeks. The Sports and Social Committee did a great job at organising social events throughout the year (not just the Christmas party) and I got to know my colleagues very quickly by going to the pub after work on Fridays with them. Most colleagues' departures and/or birthdays were in their favourite bar or restaurant which came with an open invitation. There were always people chatting in the break room at lunch and all our teams and directorates organised 'away days' which included a social bonding element, even virtually during Covid.
I lived at home and commuted into London which meant my essential cost of living wasn't as much as some of my friends who rented in London. However, socialising did make up for a large expense, especially eating out at lunch-time and drinking after work. I managed to save up enough money for living expenses in my final year, however I imagine if I was renting in London this would not have been possible. The City of London is generally expensive, however I feel like this is unavoidable if you want to have the full experience working there.
Great, I really enjoyed it and I have really missed it while lock down has been enforced! St Katherine's Docks were my favourite place to go for drinks after work on Fridays or meet friends for dinner on a week-night. Because of the tube, it was really easy to travel to other areas of London. I would often go to the West End or Soho area if I were meeting friends after work. There are loads of bars and pubs in the Square Mile and the atmosphere is great on Thursday and Friday nights.
Definitely! I sang in the ABI's Choir which put on two recitals a year; I performed in the Christmas carol concert in December. I also wanted to perform in Musical Theatre again and so I joined a group in south-east London which was only a 30 minute walk from my office. I rehearsed there every Tuesday evening and occasionally on weekends. I performed in a pantomime and a cabaret, which some of my colleagues came to watch, and I was cast in a musical which was postponed due to Covid. Many of my colleagues had hobbies outside of work like volunteering and salsa dancing.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
16th June 2020