How an operations role opens many different career doors

18th January 2018
Robert Plummer

Rob Plummer – a graduate on the Hiscox graduate scheme – joined Hiscox in an operations role and soon found his career taking off in many different and unexpected directions.

In 2015, I applied to the Hiscox graduate scheme and was offered a role in Colchester as part of the UK operations team. The role was as ‘Business Consultant’ which was a mix of project manager and business analyst roles (and no… I didn’t quite know what the job would involve either!). Despite it not fitting in with my original career intention to move to London, I took the job and relocated to Colchester.

In my first year, I worked on a project to implement the compliance requirements of The Insurance Act, as well as a pilot that considered how Hiscox could do business in a completely different way. Though very different projects, they were both extremely broad and I worked with a huge number of teams across the company, which was a great way to develop my knowledge of the business.

Working in New York

At the conclusion of these two projects, I began my international secondment underwriting terrorism risks from our New York office. For three months I learned on the job to underwrite and had my first experience of working with brokers. Towards the end of the secondment, a huge highlight was bringing in a major new business policy. Unfortunately I can’t quite claim all the credit as it had to be looked at and signed-off by an underwriter, but it gave me a real taste for underwriting.

On my return to the UK, I had a discussion with my manager about underwriting being my goal and was able to join another underwriting focused project where I helped to design a new operating model and train underwriters on a new system.

Finding a new role

Towards the end of my time on the graduate scheme, I secured a new role as a Portfolio Underwriter in our London-based team underwriting technology risks. And, to complement my prior experience, I organised a six week secondment to the team that decides what we charge for insuring technology risks.

At Hiscox, it is almost guaranteed that there is a project going on somewhere that can give you some valuable experience. Starting out in an operations role has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to try my hand in many different areas and having these experiences was a significant factor in getting me the job I ultimately decided I wanted.