Team: Retirement Segment: Human Capital & Benefits Location: London, United Kingdom Program: Internship program 2014 and Graduate program 2015 University: University of Warwick
How did you come across our Graduate program offering?
Willis Towers Watson sponsored the society associated with my degree: Maths, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics (MORSE) at the University of Warwick. Some consultants from their Birmingham office ran some careers’ evenings and office visits and it seemed like a really friendly and interesting place to work at.
Tell us a bit about your key responsibilities when you were a graduate
I was able to get involved with real client work straight away as both an intern and when I returned as a graduate, with tasks ranging from calculating pensions and transfer values for individual members to calculating the funding level for whole pension schemes. The work was and still is very varied. After a year and a half I took on the responsibility of organizing some of the new graduates’ training within my office while still being on the Graduate programme myself, which I really enjoyed since it was an opportunity to have a more people-facing role.
What were some key things that you learnt during your Graduate program?
Aside from learning about the technical side of pensions, I’ve also improved my communication skills and confidence, particularly in presenting to others. The variety of work that I have been involved with has been much greater than I ever expected and the main thing I have learned is that pensions are in no way dull!
Do you recall your best memory? Tell us about it!
I have a lot of good memories, particularly on the social side of work. We attend the Staple Inn Actuarial Society ball each year in London which is attended by actuaries from a range of companies, and my intake have won the annual Reigate Rounders tournament twice which is always good fun.
What did you like the most about our culture and values?
The main reason for which I decided to return as a graduate after my internship was because of the friendly, supportive and welcoming environment. I felt I was a ‘perfect fit’ with Willis Towers Watson’s culture and values. Here, work is intellectually challenging but also fun and dynamic. I am also proud to work for a company where excellence and client focus are highly valued, as well as maintaining respect for all colleagues.
Which other position(s) have you filled since you finished your Graduate program and where? Did you ever imagine you would fill these positions when you were a graduate?
I am now a Hub Manager within the Retirement team where I’m responsible for people and resource management for a portfolio of around 40 clients. I have always been a ‘people person’ and thought that I would like to be involved with people management or mentoring, but the opportunity to be involved in this from a relatively early stage of my career was not something I expected. I enjoy this more people-focused role alongside my technical work and I’m glad to have the opportunity to do both.
How did being a graduate help you prepare for your current position at Willis Towers Watson?
Being an intern helped with my initial transition from university to working life and gave me some foundation of pensions knowledge. However, this is definitely just a head-start and not a necessity to coming in as a graduate. The best way to learn is on the job and through the training program provided by Willis Towers Watson, which is of a very high standard. The Graduate program gave me the foundations to build on with client work. However, one of the perks of working here is that every day you continue to learn new things.
What advice would you give to someone who’s eager to apply to a Willis Towers Watson Internship program?
My advice would be to take as many of the opportunities offered to you as you can, even if they seem daunting at the time. I think this is the best way to learn and to realize that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want to.
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