Meet Harriet Conway
"Placements across the organisation, being valued as a potential future manager and a journey that’s only just beginning"
First impressions count and it was the enthusiasm of the Allianz staff at recruitment fairs and the fantastic experiences they shared that drew me in to applying for a summer internship with the company. I spent the summer working as part of the motor trade new business team in Birmingham, I really enjoyed the work and got a good feel for the company. I was keen to see even more of what Allianz had to offer and the Allianz Management Trainee (AMT) graduate scheme seemed like the best option for me to experience different parts of the business and continue to learn.
For me, the diversity is one of the very best things about the role. Every six to nine months, I get to see a new part of the business and a new role. And with every new placement, I learn something completely new whilst being able to draw upon previous experience or skills to make the most of my time. The AMT scheme is a fantastic way to explore a number of roles in a great company in a great industry – the opportunities are diverse and the support you receive, both personally and professionally, is amazing. So far, I’ve worked as a Business Analyst in Claims Business Change, an Executive Assistant to a Broker Sales Manager in Sales and Distribution, a Quality Analyst and a Team Leader in our Retail operations. I’m currently in technical pricing within our commercial division where I complete a mixture of project work and daily tasks to optimise the price of our products in the market. It’s always a little daunting starting a new placement but you soon learn to adapt flexibly to new teams and environments and before you know it, you’re adding value to the department.
Having had the chance to apply for a placement in India has definitely been a highlight of the scheme so far. I spent six months there in the role of Team Leader, working closely with the UK counterpart team to increase collaboration and improve our mutual understanding of each other. From this, another graduate and I defined a new development initiative for the team and aligned it across sites. We ran a ‘One Team Week’ which was a branded event across both locations that we shared through a number of activities, photos, videos and blogs to learn all about each other’s countries, customs and teams. It was a fantastic week and my whole experience in India was an amazing opportunity to gain a deeper insight into Allianz’s offshore operations, as well as being a clear framework for professional development.
Each placement you complete is a meaningful experience – you’re given real responsibility in the work you deliver and the graduate scheme owners and line managers are always there to push you to develop and get the most out of your placement. As well as having a close and supportive network of graduates around you who are all going through the same process, senior managers are always happy to spend time with you to discuss future plans and development opportunities. You learn so much even by shadowing someone and it gives you a great insight into what’s required as a manager.
Two years since joining and I’m now ACII qualified which is the advanced diploma with the Chartered Insurance Institute and the company have fully supported me through this with study leave and study sessions, as well as many other training opportunities. Allianz is such a large organisation so everyone’s journey on the graduate scheme is that little bit different – it’s unique and personal to you. You learn so much and build strengths along the way. Different divisions and different teams have different ways of doing things but one thing has stayed the same throughout my experience and that’s how supportive and engaged people are. Every team I’ve worked in has been really welcoming and wanted to stretch me whilst supporting me to perform at my best. As my scheme draws to an end, I have a big but exciting decision to make – what next? There are a wide range of choices available and the previous graduates are testament to that. You’re seen and valued on the scheme as potential future managers at Allianz so the choice of what’s next isn’t the end – it’s just the beginning.
Harriet Conway – Allianz Management Trainee Graduate Scheme