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Megan Burn

Megan Burns- Graduate
Currently I am an technical underwriter in the Lancaster branch and have been working at Allianz for just over a year now. I am over half way through my graduate scheme as well as undertaking my level 6 apprenticeship programme.

A typical day (pre-covid 19) would be based in the Lancaster office. In my office, I specifically look at SME business (small to medium size enterprise). I am currently working in the New Business sector and therefore this would entail analysis of potential new business presentations/clients. I specifically am located within the broker markets department and therefore a lot of my day to day discussions and trading will be with brokers. I will review and analyse risks as well as trade with brokers to get the best terms for both the company and the client. I would typically do this via both telephone and email conversations.

However, it is not only brokers that I speak to. I may also discuss larger cases with the Business developers, in house senior underwriters or higher authority holders in order to get their thoughts or to make them aware of risks that we now have on cover. I will also speak to our claims department and loss adjusters if I am dealing with an existing business enquiry or renewal review. I would definitely say that no two days are the same as you see a variety of different risks which I think is what makes my role so interesting.

I feel that the most interesting fact within the insurance industry, and within my current role, is that market trends and the demands that are constantly changing. I feel a sense of collaboration and being able to be a part of the process which enables Allianz as a company to progress and adapt with the market demands is very rewarding. One example that I can detail is based upon the coronavirus pandemic. This has impacted the whole industry across the board whether this be individual policyholders, employees and insurers. The market has moved at a fast pace in order to grow and adapt to the demands that it has been faced with. It has been extremely interesting to be able to witness the impact that the pandemic has had on all of these sectors and the steps that the company has had to take in order to provide the best possible outcome.
I knew that I was looking for a role/sector that was going to challenge me. I was very interested in the insurance and financial sector and was specifically looking for a role that would allow me to explore a range of areas. After a lot of research into the insurance sector and roles within, I knew that Allianz was a perfect fit for me. Their company values and wide range of learning and development opportunities were very appealing factors to me. 
I think that for me personally this would be a mixed response. As my degree was not related to insurance or my current role, it did not prepare me technically for the role that I am currently in. However, university did teach me a lot of transferable skills including essay writing, working to deadlines, organisation, amongst others. I feel that university has definitely provided a very solid foundation.
Diversity and inclusion is extremely important to me personally. Allianz is very proactive with diversity and inclusion and they very much promote this. I remember that throughout my recruitment process in particular there were always questions along the way in regards to whether the recruitment process would need to be altered in any way or if I needed any particular extra help. This aims to provide a barrier-free process and enables and inclusivity.
I would say that I was surprised with how approachable everyone in, irrespective of their role within the company. From past experience with previous employers or throughout education this was sometimes not the case. However, every individual that I have met has been extremely approachable and always happy to help or discuss, whether that be your peer, branch manager, regional distribution manager or even Jon Dye. This is something that I really admire about Allianz as a company.

The application process for the graduate scheme was typically a longer process than any previous process I had entailed prior. I would say that it lasted the course of a few months, from the moment that I had submitted my application to the acceptance. The process was very much straightforward and it was clear at each stage what was expected. I think that the hardest part for me was the video interview. I am a very hands-on learner and like to be very social and interactive and therefore for me, the video interview was challenging as they were pre-recorded questions and no real interaction.

However, my most enjoyable part of the process was the assessment centre. I enjoyed the group activities and being able to test myself in different and unknown environments as well as being able to interact with current employees.

The company is extremely welcoming and inclusive. As an employer, they are always very encouraging of both your personal and professional development. There is very much a sense of collaboration and empowerment to be the best that we can be and there is always support/guidance along the way to help with this. 
I am involved in my local branch CSR group which means that at times we may put on events outside of working hours, along with our sports and social groups. This allows us to get involved in fun activities with colleagues in a more social setting.

Do your research! I think the best thing to do is to research the company, the role and the industry as much as you can to ensure that you know what type of role that you are applying for and whether this is a good fit for both yourself and the company.

Other than that, I would personally advise to just be yourself and let your personality shine through in the interview process. Good luck!