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Aon graduate application tip: how to summarise your understanding of Aon and the job role

Why might Aon be asking these questions?

Probable reasons include:

  1. To check whether you have a realistic understanding of what the role involves and what the firm does
  2. To check whether you have done your research
  3. To check how commercially aware you are
  4. To check whether you can identify the most important/relevant points in an argument and can communicate them concisely.

Keep these in mind while giving your answers: focus on communicating your knowledge and understanding clearly.

Application form question: summarise your understanding of Aon

You need to demonstrate that:

  1. you know what the firm does
  2. you know how it fits in with its competitors.

Crucially, however, you might want to demonstrate your understanding by briefly giving your take on Aon, based upon what you’ve found through your research. You shouldn’t feel that you have to make some over the top, gloriously positive-sounding judgement, as that can sound a bit hollow. The important thing is to be observant. Do some sensible searches (eg one that searches top-level and up-to-date topics such as ‘reinsurance trends 2017’ and one that is specific to the employer, for instance ‘reinsurance Aon news’). You’ll find reports (including by Aon) that cover everything from the impact of the increased number of category four hurricanes to changes in the levels of mergers and acquisitions, and regional reports, eg on Asia or Latin America.

Aon application form question: summarise your understanding of the role

Here you need to analyse the job description for the role, considering:

  1. what the primary purpose or objective of the role is
  2. what you would be doing day to day and the types of projects/products you’d be working on
  3. what the skills that you would use the most in the role are.

In essence, you are considering what a successful professional in that role would be like. However, it may help you stand out if you think a bit outside the box.

Think about how the role fits in with others at the firm: who would you work most closely with? Also consider how it might differ from other financial services firms. If the role at Aon differs from how it might work at a competitor, that’s really interesting to note.

Aon does actually give you a pretty clear job description to start from: don’t be tempted to copy and paste or lightly reword. Instead, use it as a basis and do some further research. For example, the Aon actuarial consulting (pensions) programme states: ‘Our aim is for you to develop into a trusted advisor for your clients as soon as possible. This will be achieved through developing both your technical and consulting skills – including communication techniques, project management and networking. Throughout your career with Aon, you will continually improve your commercial awareness and professionalism, which will make you stand out as a successful consultant.’ Using the services that Aon’s job description gives as a guide, you could go on to explore what some of these pensions solutions would be and talk about the types of work you would be doing for different clients.

If the work is likely to deviate from standard office hours or involve working from client sites, it might be good to write about it – to show that you are aware of the job’s lifestyle implications.

And you could use the opportunity to state how your understanding of the role increases your motivation for wanting to work for Aon in that role or to state how your previous experiences or your skills set make you well-suited for that role, providing an example or two. It never hurts to underline your motivation for applying or your suitability for the role!

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