In the summer after graduating, I went to work for Allianz as an Intern in the Finance department in Guildford, where I was given the task of analysing and reconciling some of the Claims recording processes. I did a lot of research when I was applying for internships. I was looking for an employer with global scope (i.e. potentially opportunities to travel the world!) and which cared about its people. The tagline on the Allianz Careers website at the time was something along the lines of “Large enough to provide you with opportunities, but not so large we don’t know your name” which appealed to me greatly.
I enjoyed the internship and the opportunities I had and left feeling confident that Allianz is a company I wanted to work for. I must have made a good impression because I was offered a spot on the Finance Graduate scheme which alleviated the pressure of finding a job and meant I could focus on my Masters.
I started on the Graduate Scheme a year ago working in the Personal Lines Technical Accounts team at Allianz’ Head Office in Guildford. The Finance Grad Scheme is three years long and I’ll spend a year in three different placements which should provide a good breadth of experience whilst allowing enough time for me to become technically proficient in each role. I’ll shortly be starting my second placement as a Financial Analyst on the Speciality Finance Business Partnering team which I’m very much looking forward to!
I’m responsible for the financial accounts for Petplan (which is a subsidiary of Allianz Insurance) and Corporate Pet Insurance. The role involves a cycle of monthly, quarterly and annual reporting both to internal stakeholders and to external regulators, as well as working with auditors and others across the business such as Actuarial and Business Partnering. This takes up probably about two-thirds of my time.
I’m a member of a couple of committees, one of which promotes communication across the Finance department and another which seeks to promote and improve the Graduate experience.
I’m also part of a project group which is seeking to formalise the work experience programme across the company, and which aims to encourage those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This has been very rewarding and has involved working with senior people from across the business – so there’s lots to get involved with, the experience is what you make of it!
My experience is that the people are Allianz’s biggest assets and that the company appreciates this. There is an atmosphere of collaboration and managers genuinely value their teams. I think the best example of this is when, as a Graduate, you move between teams. The process of getting trained up in each role can be time consuming for the teams involved but this never seems to be a problem – people are always welcoming and happy to help!
If you’re interested in the Finance Grad Scheme, I’d definitely look at the Finance internship. Allianz takes on fewer Finance Grads than other schemes, so by making a good impression on the internship, you increase the odds of being offered a place on the Grad scheme since the company will know you fairly well already. (It also made a difference going back to university knowing that I didn’t have to worry about applications and assessment centres again!)
Otherwise, don’t be afraid to let your personality show through. As a company, we’re just as interested in who you are as we are in your experiences at school, university, past jobs etc. The interviewers and managers want to get to know you!