Aon graduate application tip: how to summarise your understanding of Aon and the job role
Many of Aon’s application forms ask you to summarise your understanding of Aon and of the role to which you are applying. In each case, you don’t have many words to play with – 250 words or up to 1,000 characters.
Why might Aon be asking these questions?
Probable reasons include:
- To check whether you have a realistic understanding of what the role involves and what the firm does
- To check whether you have done your research
- To check how commercially aware you are
- 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:
- You know what the firm does
- 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 2016’ and one that is specific to the employer, for instance ‘reinsurance Aon news’). You’ll find reports (including by Aon) that cover the impact of continued low interest rates upon the gap between supply and demand for reinsurance products. Where that gap is tight, which factors other than price might make one reinsurance product more attractive than another? Where can you find evidence that Aon has control over those factors?
Aon application form question: summarise your understanding of the role
Here you need to analyse the job description for the role, considering what:
- The primary purpose or objective of the role is
- You would be doing day to day and the types of projects/products you’d be working on
- The skills that you would use the most in the role
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 general insurance actuarial programme states: ‘You will work in small project teams to deliver a wide range of actuarial and analytical solutions to Aon's global client base.’ Using the services that Aon’s job description gives as a guide, you could go on to explore what some of these actuarial 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.
If you have the space, bring in a bit of ‘you’
If you have written under the word count, 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!