Support & Guidance
- 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis.
- 2. Have you learnt any new skills, or developed your existing skills?
- How would you rate the training provided during your experience?
- How would you rate your development of industry-specific skills during the experience?
- How would you rate your development of personal / soft skills during the experience?
- Please rate how these skills have helped you in your career development
- 3. Were you given much responsibility during your placement / internship?
- Please rate how meaningful the work you were doing was
- 4. How much support and guidance did you receive during your placement / internship?
- How would you rate the support and guidance from your line manager?
- How would you rate the support and guidance from the wider team?
- 5. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
- How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture?
- How would you rate the social opportunities?
- How would you rate the diversity initiatives?
- How would you rate the charity, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
- 6. To what extent did you enjoy your placement / internship?
- Please rate your level of enjoyment on your placement / internship
- Please rate how your experience met your expectations
- Please rate the future employment prospects at Willis Towers Watson
- 7. Would you recommend Willis Towers Watson to a friend?
- 8. What advice would you give to others applying to Willis Towers Watson
As an intern, your work is very similar to that of a new graduate. A typical day could involve training with other interns, real life client work, professional development and insight webinars, and virtual conversations with senior colleagues in your office. There was also an intern presentation that was to be completed virtually with interns from other offices, to an audience of your peers and more senior colleagues. In reality, no two days as a trainee actuarial consultant are the same, as I have often been told while applying for jobs, and my internship at Willis Towers Watson has proved that!
The internship really set me up with the skills required to pursue an actuarial career. As well as technical skills, the internship made me more confident in using both proprietary actuarial software and universal software like Microsoft Office, particularly as specific training was provided for many of these applications. It also improved my communication skills, as I learnt how to discuss technical questions virtually. And finally, time management, as I was often working from home, you had to schedule your day reasonable efficiently to ensure tasks were completed on time. And, finally, prioritisation of client work was a useful and essential skill to ensure you delivered work before deadlines.
We were given lots of responsibility almost from day one. We had the opportunity to work on a range of real life client work after only two days, on a variety of different clients in a number of different areas. We were also given responsibility for managing our own timesheets, task list, and using Microsoft Teams and Outlook to monitor for work, meetings, and training. Colleagues from across the client teams made sure to involve me in any work they could, which gave me a broad insight into the work that Willis Towers Watson, and actuaries in general, do.
Support & Guidance
My line manager was excellent, and communicated clearly from the beginning. Willis Towers Watson gave their name and contact email in advance to answer any questions we might have had. They were always accessible through Microsoft Teams throughout the internship, and they helped get us involved in any social events. The wider team were always friendly and willing to help, and were also forthcoming with work. My buddy was particularly helpful, they were always willing to help me find work or support me with any questions I may have. Support was extremely accessible despite the virtual nature of the internship, and didn't prove challenging in the way it had the potential to. Any problems I encountered were quickly resolved, and my colleagues took the time to ensure my understanding was correct before moving on. This helped me to deeper understand what I was doing. The general office attitude towards support was that they were always willing to spend the time to help me understand what I was doing (or doing wrong) and I am extremely appreciative of that.
The company culture was inclusive on all levels, and everyone was treated with respect - I always felt comfortable with my colleagues. The company organised a social event on an afternoon after COVID-19 restrictions lifted, where I was able to meet my colleagues from the office face-to-face, which was great, but there was also ad hoc lunches and dinners, as well as trips to the pub. This provided a good opportunity to network with colleagues better. The company has inclusivity and diversity networks who run events available to staff, and also has charity partners and donation matching. The general atmosphere of the company was extremely positive, and it gave you a good impression as a workplace.
I loved my internship at Willis Towers Watson. Any ideas I had of actuarial work were surpassed, and I learned and gained insight into so much over my eight week employment period. Not only was the work interesting, Willis Towers Watson presented itself as a company that would be enjoyable and rewarding to work for, with great career, social, and other opportunities. My expectations were exceeded by the internship, everyone was so helpful, the work was interesting and I was enthusiastic about it, and I feel like I know what is involved in an actuarial career. In terms of returning to Willis Towers Watson when I graduate; yes, yes I would! Not only is it the UK's largest retirement consultant, it also seems like an incredibly supportive and friendly workplace and somewhere where you would enjoy working each day. I very much hope they will ask me back!
Learn as much as you can about the line of business you are applying for, particularly any professional qualifications you may have to study for. In Retirement, this is the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' fellowship exams, which I would highly recommend you understand fully before going in. Make sure you understand the current developments in your business area fully, and make sure you are enthusiastic about these. In our assessment centre, some hot topics were covered in a presentation, if you are mentioning any of these make sure you have understanding in addition to what they told you in that presentation. For Retirement, make sure you know the ins and outs of defined benefit and defined contribution, even if you are only working in DB. But, make sure you keep the distinction between them. DB and DC are radically different products that require different actuarial knowledge, and therefore turning up and speaking about DC would suggest you don't fully understand what you are applying to do. However, know the importance of DC to UK pension provision too. I was inspired to join by the atmosphere at the interview - it was relaxed and conversational - and by the prompt and efficient response from the company with my offer.
Internship (1-4 Months)