Madison Robinson, Senior Underwriting Assistant for Hiscox’s Marine and Energy team, shares her thoughts on the City of London Business Traineeship Programme and how one intern scooped a Highly Commended Trainee of the Year award.
Earlier this month, Amal Dahoum, one of our trainee interns, employed through the City of London Business Traineeship Programme – run and organised by Brokerage Citylink – took home an award for Highly Commended Trainee of the Year.
Presented by Lord Mayor Alan Marrow at a ceremony in the City of London, the award is a fantastic achievement for Amal, who is one of four interns that Hiscox took on as part of the traineeship programme which aims to provide opportunities for young Londoners to work in the City and gain real work experience.
Here at Hiscox we expanded the number of interns we took on through the programme in 2015, recognising the genuine value that they bring to the business. Amal, along with the other three interns who’ve worked with us this summer – Janet Siwoku, Sakib Ahmed and Grant Igbokwe – all passed a rigorous selection process to join the business which included verbal, reasoning, and numerical tests as well as a group exercise interview at our assessment centre.
Making a genuine contribution to the business
While here, they all worked in parts of the business participating in genuine projects that help contribute to Hiscox’s future. As well as attending a series of courses such as presentation skills and an introduction to insurance, they also work alongside our graduates on their intern scheme developing new and innovative ideas to help shape our business for the future.
Next year we’ll be looking to take on at least four interns through the programme and continue our support of a programme that gives inner-city school leavers the opportunity to work in a City firm; an opportunity that otherwise might not have been open to them.
For me, managing the intern programme – alongside my underwriting day job – has been hugely satisfying and I believe an important part of increasing the diversity of people we employ in the insurance sector. Coming from Lewisham, I also joined Hiscox after signing up with the Brokerage Citylink, and have been able to take full advantage of an opportunity that, without the scheme in place, I would not have had.
Amal Dahoum - the intern's view
Why did you apply for the City of London Business Traineeship (CBT) Programme?
I applied as a means to gain career clarity, to build my network and meet people on the CBT team who can help and support me through my internship and future career prospects. The multinational make-up of the City of London makes it an appealing place to work alongside the variety of different people, industries and skills.
The completion was quite tough, were you confident you’d win through?
I became more confident in my ability to win through after my CV and cover letter were shortlisted and then more so after I passed the required tests. The assessment centre really revealed the high calibre of students who were applying for the role.
What would you say are the most important things you’ve learnt during your time at Hiscox?
I have developed personal, corporate and technical skills and am now more comfortable in a corporate environment, talking to people in different areas and positions in the firm.
As part of our intern project, we were challenged by Hiscox to research and develop ideas to ‘disrupt’ the insurance market; finding out what customers really want from insurance e.g. protection from financial loss or peace of mind? The project showed Hiscox’s willingness to listen to our ideas and see our perspective on how insurance can evolve and become more current and responsive.
I have also undertaken a role in the digital marketing team, gaining a wealth of business and technical knowledge.
Above all, I feel that what I have learned is very transferable, current and in terms of business knowledge/insurance, can be shaped into a future career.
What would you say to other students finishing their A Levels this year, would you encourage them to apply for the Programme?
Before joining, I didn’t have as much industry knowledge or as much understanding of London’s Square Mile as I do now. Before my time at Hiscox, I didn’t know much about insurance or what was expected of a digital marketer. However I now have great career clarity and I aim to carry on with digital marketing as a future career, something I would have probably not considered before my internship.
Your internship has been extended until December, what next?
I have a place at Loughborough University for September 2016 to study History but before then, I hope to take on another digital marketing role or perhaps explore other roles and industries in the City as well as take time out to travel.
If you’re in year 12 or 13 at school and interested in applying to the City of London Business Traineeship Programme for 2016, click here (external link) for more details.