Sabrina and Semret, underwriting graduates in Hiscox Germany, on their experience on the Hiscox Graduate Programme.
Can you tell us a bit about what you did before you joined the Hiscox Graduate Programme in 2020?
Sabrina: I’m an economics graduate with a Master’s degree in marketing from Trinity College in Dublin. Through various internships and jobs whilst studying, I also had the chance to gain knowledge in sales, partnership management, and marketing management and analytics.
Semret: I studied industrial engineering at The Technical University of Darmstadt. During my studies, I was able to gain experience in various industries through internships and as a working student. I worked as a risk accountant at an energy supplier, in the production strategy of an automobile manufacturer and in the sales management of an IT consultancy.
Why did you choose to join the insurance industry?
Sabrina: To be honest, the insurance industry wasn’t my first choice as I wanted to end up in the tech industry. However, through its diversity of products Hiscox offered me the combination of tech and insurance, which is why I decided to join. I’ve been really impressed by the industry - every day offers new risks to cover, which is what keeps the day-to-day work exciting.
What attracted you to Hiscox?
Semret: Above all, it is the people who make Hiscox what it is. The values of the company are really lived out in everyday life. In addition, it is not an ordinary insurer. The specialist products make it exciting. As a graduate, you get a lot of responsibility and a very good overview of the entire business.
How would you explain what an underwriter does to someone outside of the insurance industry?
Sabrina: As an underwriter you analyse and price the risk. With standard risks like car insurance, as an insurer you have an idea of cost and how often a loss occurs. But with the specialist insurance that Hiscox provides, you have to re-evaluate every risk. I find cyber insurance - insuring against cyber attacks - particularly exciting. As an underwriter, you have to assess the potential damage of such an attack on a company and then determine the price for the insurance.
What’s it like working at Hiscox Germany?
Semret: Working at Hiscox in Germany is a lot of fun. You could say Hiscox Germany is one unit across all its branches - everyone knows each other. Corporate events remind me of a huge family gathering. Everyone is really supportive. If you have a problem you can reach out to anyone for help – team members, line managers or even the Managing Director – everyone is accessible and you are considered a full team member right from the start.
What’s been the best thing about your graduate experience so far?
Both: There is so much. We think we agree that the best thing so far was going to a broker trade fair together and taking part in speed networking to introduce Hiscox and its products. It was so much fun to interact with other underwriters from other insurance companies and to talk to brokers about our products. It was our first opportunity to represent Hiscox on our own at a trade fair. That day we really realised how much we had learnt after only a few months, and how much trust and responsibility we were given to represent the company.
What do you think the insurance industry can offer to recent graduates in terms of career opportunities and development?
Both: The insurance industry reflects what is going on in the wider economy and society - as dynamic as our everyday lives are, so is working in the insurance industry. New risks will always appear, so the industry will never run out of career and development opportunities.
We were both new to the insurance industry and have been able to learn the ins and outs of the business here. There are so many different departments you can learn about as a graduate, from underwriting, to strategy, to claims or marketing - to give just a few examples.
Life as an underwriting graduate in Hiscox Germany.