What made you choose the Hiscox Finance graduate programme?
Prior to joining Hiscox I was studying for my Master’s degree in Finance at Durham University. Like many others finishing their studies, I found myself not entirely sure what job role I wanted to go into. I knew that I wanted to work broadly within financial services, but nothing specific jumped out at me. I came across the Hiscox graduate programme and was drawn in by the variety of rotations the scheme offered and knew that I needed to apply. The graduate application process was refreshing, and I was particularly impressed during the final interview stage. The interviewers were very personable and sincere, encouraging two-way conversation so that I could decide if Hiscox would also be a good match for me. I was certain that if I were to join Hiscox I was not just going to be another number, but a valued employee whose development would be prioritised.
Did it live up to your expectations?
Yes absolutely, although the Covid pandemic meant my start at Hiscox was not too ordinary! I wasn’t sure how things would work starting a brand new role completely remotely, but I was quite quickly put at ease. People went out of their way to help get me up to speed. Despite all being at home everybody did their best to maintain the social aspect, and I got to know my colleagues very well despite having never met them in person. As I settled into the programme and people began to return to the office, I was then able to meet colleagues from across the business face to face. I have really appreciated how people have been willing to go out their way to show me the ropes and train me up.
Tell us about your rotations whilst on the graduate programme.
I started out working in the Financial Planning & Analysis team for our London Market business unit before moving over to the Group Functions working with the Investment team, Group Financial Reporting and Investor Relations. I then returned to a business unit to spend time working with our Reinsurance and ILS division for a few months. To finish off the graduate programme I returned to the Investor Relations team to assist them during a particularly busy period. It’s a relatively small team and the work is really fast-paced but I have learnt an enormous amount with exciting insight into how capital markets work and how our company is run at the top level. We recently issued £250m of debt on the bond market which involved being part of an investor roadshow with the Group CFO. Prior to that I had been working on annual and interim external reporting and analyst presentations, as well as collating analyst views on our share price. There have been a variety of projects and workstreams that I have enjoyed being involved in and no two days have been the same!
How have you been supported in learning new skills during your time at Hiscox?
The support from Hiscox has been phenomenal. Whilst you are on the programme you have a graduate line manager who helps plan your rotations around the business and provides you with career guidance. This is a senior colleague within the business who assists in connecting you with people around the Group to help accelerate your career and provide new opportunities.
I have also been given lots of support towards obtaining my ACA Chartered Accountant qualification, with plenty of paid time off to attend lessons in preparation for my exams that I am due to finish next summer. The study support I get from Hiscox means that roughly about 20% of my time is spent studying or doing off-the-job learning of some form. I also have a development coach who oversees my studies and checks that I am getting the right exposures and experiences. In addition to this, as part of the graduate scheme we have had training on public speaking, developing emotional intelligence, and improving our financial acumen.
What does the future hold for you?
I am really excited to have started a permanent role in the Syndicate Finance team following completion of the graduate scheme. I really enjoyed working with our Lloyd’s of London business during my rotation in Hiscox London Market so I am looking forward to gaining some more experience there. I will be working in the Financial Planning & Analysis team, assisting with the Syndicate Business Forecasts and checking our progress against them. I am going to miss being on the graduate programme but pleased to be continuing my career with Hiscox in an exciting area of the business.
Liam tells us about his experience on the Finance Graduate scheme at Hiscox.