Name and what you do at Aspen
Jake Foster. I am an Underwriting Graduate from the 2019 Grad cohort.
What was your pre-Aspen background?
Where are you from?
I am from Kent in the UK. However, I spent 18 years growing up in South East Asia.
What did you study and to what level?
I studied Geology at Durham University and achieved a BSc degree.
How did you learn about insurance, why did you want to work in the industry?
I learnt about insurance through my father, who works as a loss adjuster. After further researching into the industry, I found specialty insurance of great interest given the diverse mix of both products lines and insurance risks dealt with.
How did you join and into what position?
I joined through the Underwriting Graduate Scheme and I am one of the 11 graduates employed globally for Aspen’s 2019 intake.
What has your experience of Aspen been like?
The rotational aspect of the Graduate Scheme has provided me with a great insight into the various aspects of how an insurance company operates. So far, I have worked in the Operations team, the Distribution and Marketing team, the Environmental Liability team and am currently working in the Office of the Active Underwriter. Plus, I still have two rotations to go!
Highlights and challenges
My main highlight has been meeting all the different types of people, both internally and externally to Aspen, throughout my rotations. The exposure you get with people in the company is a definite perk of the Grad Scheme! We also had an induction for the first week and a half at Aspen for all of the Graduates (including the Grads from the States who flew to London), which was a great opportunity to meet everyone and gain a firm understanding of Aspen and the insurance industry before joining a team.
I think the biggest challenge for me has been having to work from home. Being a fresh face in the company you want to have that face-to-face interaction to get to know people better (drinks after work also help). Saying that, each team I have joined whilst working from home has been great at getting me up to speed and with the support of the company, I have still been able to perform my job to the best of my ability.
Why would you encourage young people to apply for early careers at Aspen and what advice would you give?
At a young age, it is understandably difficult to decide what you want to do for your career. The specialty insurance industry is a hidden gem, with not a lot of people having a great knowledge of it, but it being a fascinating industry to work in. Working at Aspen, you are given responsibility right from the start and are able to add-value to whatever team you join, providing you with invaluable early experience.
My advice to applying for an early careers position at Aspen is obvious, but I think the most important and that is to be yourself in any interview or assessment centre situation. If you are successful in your application, not only would you be the right fit for Aspen, but Aspen would also be the right fit for you.
Anything you know now that you’d have liked to have known earlier?
It’s okay to be nervous! Everyone gets nerves joining a new company as long as you remember that there are fantastic people in Aspen who will do their best to support you and make you feel comfortable throughout your time at the company.
What are your career plans for the next five years?
What do you hope to achieve?
With my Graduate Scheme ending in September 2021, my goal is to become an Assistant Underwriter for one of the product lines. From there, I am aiming to continue with my CII qualifications and carry-on learning, improving and progressing my career further within Aspen.