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Admiral Tech Hackathon

On Wednesday 25th September, the entire Admiral Tech team were invited to take part in a hackathon. With around 25 attendees signing up, the hack included

The hackathon took place in our newest building, Capital Quarter, where our Tech team took over an empty ground floor, which provided a dedicated space where the teams could work comfortably.

The teams were made up of five or six people, armed with all the important stuff…..snacks, lots of coffee and Gregg’s sausage rolls, and had to work together to plan, design, develop and build their chosen idea. The hackathon ended on Friday with each team presenting their ideas to a panel of judges.

It was very difficult to choose one winning team, as they all performed well in different areas:   

Team 1: Best realised idea

Team 2: Best tech stack

Team 3: AdmiralEco – best product idea

Team 4: Best view on how to deliver – commercially thought through

The overall winner being Team 3, with a brilliantly executed idea!

We caught up with Wayne, our Head of Architecture and part of the hackathon organising team, to get his thoughts;

“It was amazing to see so many different groups of people come together so rapidly and produce something tangible. The panel was very impressed, and it was tough to choose one winner!

The idea of this hackathon was to bring the department together to work collaboratively and encourage rapid idea generation and creation. We wanted to use it to learn and play with new technologies: no restraints and away from the regular place of work. Some great products have been born from hackathons, which is what we wanted to achieve, so watch this space!

It was a great day. Everybody was smiling, not only was it cool, it was fun and a great few days. We will be doing this again for sure!

Wayne - Head of Architecture

Favourite quote from the two days…

Can I get you a cuppa? Shut up, I am learning JavaScript!

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Admiral Life

Meeting our Army Reserve employees - Daryl

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16/01/2020

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Daryl chats to us about juggling his career and being in the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia We were extremely proud to publicise our promise of support to all those who serve, by signing the Army Covenant back in July last year. We recognise that our Army Reservists are a crucial part of the Defence family, and by implementing protective and flexible workplace policies, we’re able to empower our employees to make a real difference to their personal and professional development.We caught up with Daryl to hear his story…What is your Admiral background?‘’I’ve worked for Admiral for ten and a half years; I began in Claims taking customer calls and joined Claims Audit four years ago and have been there ever since.’’Why did you join the Army Reservists and what Regiment are you part of?“Joining the Army had always been at the back of my mind and it came to a moment in time where it was now or never. My fitness levels weren’t great, so I focused on my training, lost a load of weight and signed up!I’d joined for a little extra challenge in my life, to do something different and to push myself out of my comfort zone. The opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it.I didn’t want to leave Admiral and go into the Army full time but I was craving a new challenge. It’s great that I’m able to enjoy my job here, whilst thriving in a new environment as an Army Reservist.I’m in the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia and have been for the past year now.”How are you finding balancing your two roles as well as family life?“A Royal Engineer is one of the most diverse roles offered in the Army; it’s not just soldiering, but also Combat Engineering – essentially, you have to have a broad spectrum of skills, from front-line Soldier to construction and logistics. The training has been intense; a lot of it you do at the start when joining, but as there is so much, the training carries on as your career progresses.The Claims department has been really good with flexible working; I’m able to finish work earlier at times to get to the Regiment and development courses on time – my managers have been incredibly supportive and have given me all the time I’ve needed.I needed five weeks off this year for training which was all signed off by the Admiral management team. The training then changed due to unforeseen circumstances, but work was so flexible, I took a mixture of paid holiday and unpaid leave for this (I’m still paid by the Army during such training).The flexible working at Admiral is important to me; I know how lucky I am to get this support from my employer.  I’m doing a good job of balancing my job at Admiral, the Reserves and my family life.”Do you find that your Army career has complimented your role here at Admiral?“The training has been fantastic in the Army, it teaches you about responsibility, drive, how to take control of situations, as well as confidence building.The training opportunities are endless, from leadership courses to learning how to work as a team – the training is second to none and continuous.These are all transferable skills that I bring to my role here at Admiral, so ultimately, my Reservist career benefits both parties!”

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Meeting our Army Reserve employee - Chris

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We caught up with Chris, who began his Admiral career almost nine years ago, after spending six years as a Lance Corporal, having served two tours in Iraq We were extremely proud to publicise our promise of support to all those who serve, by signing the Army Covenant back in July this year. We recognise that our Army Reservists are a crucial part of the Defence family, and by implementing protective and flexible workplace policies, we’re able to empower our employees to make a real difference to their personal and professional development.We caught up with Chris to hear his story…Can you tell us a bit about your Army career and career at Admiral?‘I left school with no GCSE’s and decided the Army was the best option for me. I passed my basic training and chose to become a driver by trade and completed all possible licences, including; 17.55-ft, 55-ton, motorbike, off-road, etc, all by the time I hit 17.When I reached my 18th birthday, I volunteered to be deployed to Iraq and that’s when I picked up my Lance Corporal title.In the space of two years, I’d spent a year in Iraq on two separate deployments and I’d experienced a lot, including seeing roadside bombs and losing three friends. After two tours, I was ready for something else and thought to myself, what can I do now?I’m so grateful to Admiral for taking me on during a recession, as I was struggling to find a job for a while. The role was a call centre position, so very different from my background, but I saw it as a great opportunity and a foot in the door. It was a massive change for me, going from what I’d experienced in the Army, to an office-based job, and not forgetting to mention, a pay cut too. After six months I adapted well, got used to the different environment and started to enjoy it.I began in Motor Claims and have since explored various areas of the business, including becoming Admiral’s very own chauffer (which sadly isn’t a position anymore!), before ending up where I am today, which is on the Superior Car team. That’s part of the beauty of Admiral, there are so many internal opportunities to move about the business and broaden your horizons.The Chauffer role sounds interesting, how did that come about?In Admiral, there are many opportunities to develop and experience other areas of the business, so when a job came up for an internal chauffeur, I applied and was successful. I had already completed relevant qualifications for this role whilst in the Army, so it felt like the perfect opportunity for me! Importantly, how was the transition from a career in the Army to a career at Admiral?After being out of the Army for a while, I re-joined as a reservist; I was working full-time at Admiral and part-time in the Reserves. This was a great, but gruelling two years.Admiral supported me during this time and paid me during my training days, as well as the required time away.After my time in the regular Army and Reserves, I adjusted to life at Admiral fine. The decompression training provided by the Army helps bring you back to normality, but also, I love working at Admiral; the simple fact that you don’t have to wear a uniform, or shave; it’s a different world. Coming to Admiral was easy for me, you’re able to leave work on time, and do whatever you want after work, and during the weekends.Whilst I enjoyed my time in the Army, which taught me so much, I now appreciate working in a relaxed environment – and knowing exactly what my day will entail.It’s all the little things about working here that made it such an easy transition for me.What are you doing now and are you enjoying it?I’m now a part of Claims’ Superior Car team – managing a small team that I helped set up from scratch. It involves helping customers who’ve unfortunately been involved in an accident in a “supercar” (Ferrari McLaren , Rolls Royce, etc.). My skills and experiences developed during my Army career, along with my passion for cars and driving, has allowed me to flourish in this role.I feel very lucky that Admiral took that chance on me nine years ago, I’m able to work with my passion and I really do enjoy coming to work every day – how many people can say that?

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