What skills did you learn during your micro-placement?
Confidence: My self-confidence increased. I realised that you have make mistakes in order to improve and speed up when a similar task arises again. My experience also taught me to ask lots of questions and not to be shy, as people are usually very happy to help.
Commercial awareness: I was so involved with the company and got to see how it runs. This has increased my knowledge vastly on what an insurance company is and how the business works. The internship really enabled me to engage with current situations occurring within the company as well as in the industry.
Creativity: Over the two weeks, some of the tasks we were given required a fresh set of eyes and a more creative approach, which I loved! This allowed my creative juices to flow and I got to see what worked and what didn’t through trial and error. This showed me that in the work place, it’s good to try new ways of doing things even if they may not work at first.
What was a typical day like when on your placement?
No day was typical. My days were jam packed and involved meeting lots of people from many different departments in the company who explained their job role and their daily tasks. They were very open to helping me and responded to any of my quesitons.
This is my account of one of my days on placement:
Friday 6 August 2018: Today, we worked on our attraction document which was looking out how to attract more people to the Reading offices but also attracting women into the industry.
We then went to a wellbeing meeting and got to see how the company really cares about its people and that its not all about insurance. We then spoke to a scrum master (I had no idea these existed before this meeting!) which was interesting, as you don’t think there are certain ways to do projects but there are e.g. Agile approach. We then worked with Rebekah in Marketing on the Christmas meal event, which was interesting as you knew you were working towards something that was actually going to happen!
What were the highlights of your experience?
The Thatchem talk: Thatchem is a company which tests autonomous cars to make sure they are compliant to drive on the roads and see what situations they fail in. They showed us a Tesla and Mercedes with self-drive technology and spoke about the future of the insurance car industry with this new technology.
It was so interesting to engage with not only current issues but the effects that these issues will have on the future for the insurance industry. It was also very cool to sit in driverless cars such as a Tesla to almost see the future of the roads!
I also enjoyed having an opportunity to work on a project with the Risk and Compliance department that allowed to be creative and work on something that will actually be of use to them. It’s nice to know that I could actually be helpful to them even though I’d never worked within a department like that before.
Having a desk, as simple as it may seem! It was nice to have your own log in, your own email and space to work. This made it feel very professional and allows you to fully integrate with the team.
Were there any low points?
I honestly cannot think of any low points as all of things we were doing were of so much interest to me!
What was the best piece of advice that you received while on your micro-placement?
Make sure to try different areas whilst working. This is because many of the people I spoke to did not start out in that department originally and moved throughout the office in order to find a position they liked.
I think this is key because its always good to try new things and constantly be learning. Furthermore, not being scared to move and to realise that there’s always a way to find your ideal job, even it means moving sideways before you move upwards within a company!
Did you make any contacts while at Covea Insurance?
Yes, I have since used LinkedIn to connect with the people I met whilst working at Covea. Hopefully, this will solidify my professional network.
What advice would you give other students interested in similar work?
It’s really key to make sure you find something you enjoy and find stimulating, as you are there from nine to five everyday! And the only way to do that is to get work experience and find out what you like, don’t like and what you’re good at. Mixing it up and change is good as it ensures that you embrace the experience rather than fear it!