Madison Bowlby, Insurance Practitioner Apprentice, Aon
What does your apprenticeship involve?
I contact clients for information about their claims so we can conduct investigations. A lot of it involves Excel, and updating claims and reserves.
How did you acquire your apprenticeship?
I was looking for a change and saw on the AON website there was an available apprenticeship. I stalked it for a few months and eventually got an email stating applications had opened. I went for an interview at AON and got the job.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Getting paid to learn was the main factor. I wanted the structure of a nine to five job as well as the freedom to study.
How is your apprenticeship structured?
The first year you do PDI (Professional Diploma Insurance) One, Two and Three, and that gets you your first qualification in insurance. Then you carry on and develop your qualification after the first two years before getting your degree in third year. You also move around different departments in your company each year, which gives you a feel for everything before you choose what you want to specialise in.
What skills are important for success?
On a daily basis you need a lot of people skills. Although we’re not client-facing, we interact with each other all the time as the office is open plan. Excel and computer skills are very useful but you learn those very quickly if you don’t already have them. Also essential is a serious willingness to learn, and good phone manner.
What do you love about your apprenticeship?
The fact that everyone is really supportive. They know where I’m at and are always willing to help. They give me new things to do every day so I’m not bored, and every day I’m learning something new. It’s invaluable. I feel like I’ve worked in an office for decades. I feel the three years experience is almost more important than the degree because you really know how to work with other people in business and I have learned so much outside my college course.
What skills should be developed for an apprenticeship?
Teamwork is definitely important. Getting up early in the morning is a good one too, but other than that I would just say the skill to keep working at something even if it gets a little tough or you feel lost. Consistency and willingness to learn are essential.
What are your career ambitions?
I think I really like claims at the moment but it’s the first aspect I’ve tried so there’s always room for something else. I’m currently working on a project about cyber insurance, and I think it’s so new and interesting that I feel I might end up going into that area.