Skills and competencies

How to kick-start your career at Aon

21 Jun 2023, 15:41

What can you do to make sure that you’re one of 250 successful graduates and apprentices kicking off a stellar career at Aon next autumn? We’ve teamed up with Early Careers recruiter Louise Pergande and graduate actuarial analyst Emily Owen to get some insider information.

How to get a job at Aon

Do your research

First things first: if you want to secure a role at Aon , hit the internet and put some time into some background research. Find out what the company does, its culture and values and where it sits in the world of professional services – that’s a key piece of advice from Louise, one of Aon’s early careers recruiters. As a global organisation, with 50,000 employees worldwide, Aon offers unrivalled opportunities for career progression but you’ll need to leave interviewers with a strong impression of why Aon is on your hit list of employers beyond that.

Show off your strengths

Don’t feel intimidated if you haven’t got a placement or internship under your belt – Aon is looking for more than a tick list of attributes. ‘If you’ve never done work experience or had a placement at a corporate company or financial institution before, but you’ve worked in retail, or in another capacity, you will have a lot of skills that will add value to your CV and have experience you can bring to us as an organisation, so showcase that in your application and interviews’ says Louise. ‘We want to recruit people who have the right attitude and have come from a multitude of difference paths. Many of our roles require a level of numerical ability, but there are others where we welcome students from any degree background. We don’t pigeonhole all of our graduates into a numerical box; we want to get a breadth of experience and background across the organisation,’ she adds.

All work experience is good

Emily Owen, who graduated in chemical engineering from Birmingham University, works on the pensions side of the business. She found even those placements and internships that didn’t quite hit the spot turned out to be useful.

‘It’s good to have work experience – I’d say in pretty much anything, even if it’s not directly relevant to your eventual career choice,’ she says. A month’s engineering internship helped Emily decide she definitely didn’t want to take her chemical engineering degree further, and she also discounted a career in law.

Knowing her skills lay in numeracy and analysis, she looked at roles in risk assessment, initially in banking. 'I enjoyed learning about risk assessment in my placement year, so I had a look around for internships. Internships were definitely useful, partly because I got to experience the job I might be doing, but also because they helped me make up my mind,’ Emily explains. ‘When I did my internship here in Bristol we did a group project on diversity and inclusion and I learned that was a big focus for Aon. I hadn’t researched Aon’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies before then so it was good to get an insight into that.’

Receiving a job offer

Emily was offered a graduate job about a month after her Aon internship finished. ‘At Aon you are offered a permanent contract alongside your grad scheme offer,’ she explains. ‘That’s not true of all employers: they don’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be able to stay on once you complete your programme.’ Securing an offer also took away the stress of job applications, Emily found. ‘Applying for placements, I’d attended different places for interviews and I found it very time consuming.’

When it comes to working in a regional office Emily is keen to emphasise that all of Aon’s graduates across the UK get to mix and meet up at planned events. ‘I am glad I am not working in London though – I prefer to be here, definitely,’ she says.

Understanding what your job will entail and how much training you’ll have to undertake before you accept a job offer are key to thriving and being happy at work, Emily feels. ‘You have to sit recognised actuarial exams to qualify for my role but the company offers a lot of support and is eager to help. One of my tips is to ask lots of questions and look for help as you are learning,’ she says.

An Aon recruiter’s advice for success

Louise offers these top three tips to applicants hoping to make a good impression at Aon:

  • Show off your commercial awareness and acumen. Start by researching Aon’s business and consider how recent and ongoing global events might have had, and might still be having, an impact on its clients.
  • Get to know the type of roles you want to do and your motivation for applying. My advice is, be able to answer ‘Why Aon?’ Why do you want to work for Aon, why did you apply for a particular stream, programme or role? If you can replace the word ‘Aon’ in your application or answer with the name of any other organisation then you’re not being specific enough.
  • Visit the Aon stand at your university or college careers fair. Universities do advertise which companies are going to be at an event, so use our website and watch our video content beforehand, then come along and meet us. You will find a lot of information on our website as well as people working for Aon to talk to. Have a meaningful conversation with us – it’s good practice for you and you never know whom you might meet. It doesn’t happen all the time, but from our point of view it’s lovely to follow someone’s path from meeting them at a careers fair, to seeing them at an assessment centre, to knowing they’ve secured a job.

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