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Meet Bethan – Internal Consultant and Admiral Graduate Alumni

Bethan started on the General Graduate Programme in February 2018 and has since taken up her permanent role in Internal Consultancy. 

What skills from your degree have helped you succeed at Admiral?
I studied Business Management at Cardiff University and specialised in Marketing. The degree gave me a good foundation in business, whilst also building on softer skills, such as presenting and teamwork. Following university, I worked at a start-up printing company in Nottinghamshire as their Sales and Marketing Manager. This helped me understand more about how businesses work in practice and developed my interpersonal skills before joining Admiral.

Why did you choose the Admiral Graduate Programme?
I had heard so many great things about Admiral as an employer from university and people I knew. Like many people, the rotational aspect appealed to me as well because it seemed like an opportunity to grow my skills and learn about different parts of a large organization.

Tell us about your placements during the Graduate Programme? 
My first placement was in the Product and Marketing team in AFSL (Admiral Financial Services Limited) followed by a shorter stint in Commercial. During this time in AFSL, my responsibilities included optimising web journeys and meeting with partners. Following AFSL, I spent my second placement in the Household Product Team looking after InstaQuote. During this time, I focused on improving the online journey, as well as working closely with Operations, Underwriting and Pricing to improve the product’s performance. For my final placement, I took all of the knowledge from Household in the UK and moved to Paris. For almost 10 months, I worked for L’olivier on the launch of home insurance in France. This involved lots of project management and product ownership.

What was your favourite part of working abroad?
Doing a placement abroad really pushes you out of your comfort zone. I was moving to a new country, where I couldn’t speak the language, and into an IT role, which was also brand new to me.

Whilst it wasn’t a holiday, I was still able to soak up Paris - I mean come on, you’re in Paris, you know? L’Olivier also have a contact centre in Lille, which I got to visit a few times as well as our European IT hub in Seville.

What tip would you give to someone considering a placement abroad?
Like I said, it isn’t a holiday because you are there to work, so just make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons and really up for trying something new. I also think you have to being willing to make the extra effort. The L’Olivier office is a lot smaller than Ty Admiral - there’s only 50 people or so there - so it’s beneficial to make the extra effort with your colleagues. Also you’re only in that place for a certain length of time, so make sure that you get out and explore when you can!

I also think that learning the language basics before you go on your placement will help. I can still read French in emails and my colleagues’ social media!

What is your best memory from your time on the graduate scheme?
My favourite memory is probably the first few weeks in induction. 

There’s just nothing like it, you become so close with your cohort and it’s just so much fun. I’m still in touch with people I started with.

My other favourite memory is the day that I boarded the plane to Paris for my final placement, it was just such an exciting day.

What was your greatest achievement while you were on the programme?
I think my greatest achievement would have to be seeing the first sale of home insurance in L’Olivier go through. It was rewarding to see where all my hard efforts had gone.

Tell us about your current role.
I am now an Internal Consultant. I get to work with various departments across Admiral to help them with business issues they are facing and align it with Admiral’s strategy. I find it very interesting as I am continuously learning about new areas of the business and researching solutions to their problems.

What does your day-to-day look like?
My day completely varies depending on the project and business needs. I could be doing anything from meeting with stakeholders, researching, creating presentations, finalising projects to smaller side pieces of work. Each large project varies in length, but they tend to be 3 to 6 months. I usually work on 2 projects at a time, so this job has really helped me hone my time management skills.

Did you expect to take this career path?
I never expected a career in consultancy, but I can see how the Graduate Programme lead me here. You work across such a range of areas and change every 6 months. You are constantly learning, then moving again - you have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Also, because of my time on the programme, I am able to relate back and have a bank of knowledge that I wouldn’t have gained any other way. .

What do you enjoy most about working at Admiral?
There are three things that I really enjoy about working at Admiral. Firstly, the size of the business, since moving from a printing start-up to a big business it has emphasised the scale of Admiral to me. Admiral is so big that you just find it very hard to know it inside-out and that is something I really love. The second thing is the people I work with, everyone at Admiral is so open-minded and willing to listen to eachothers’ ideas, thoughts and opinions. Then, the final point, which sounds cliché and overlaps a bit with the last point, is the culture at Admiral. The culture is so rare but everyone is so friendly, there’s emphasis placed on work-life balance and the benefits are good as well. There’s a focus on self-development through things like the Buy A Book Scheme and Admiral Academy.

What advice would you give someone thinking about applying?
I think it really is as simple as just be yourself.

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Admiral Life

How to: Answer frequently asked interview questions.

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General

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"Tell us about yourself." Explain your previous roles, education, hobbies and interests and don’t forget to expand.  We want to know what these experiences have taught you. Elaborate on how you can use what you’ve learnt in the working environment. Be mindful not to overshare and keep it professional. "What are your weaknesses?"Pick a weakness relevant to the role you have applied for. Make sure to explain what you have done / are doing to improve in this area. Some people think picking a strength and spinning it to seem like a weakness will come across better, but it doesn’t feel honest and can insinuate you are not self-aware. It’s ok to be honest – none of us are the finished article. "What are your strengths?"Pick strengths that are relevant to the role and provide examples to support your answer.  Read the job advert beforehand and familiarise yourself with essential and desirable skills – this will help to ensure you’re showcasing the skills the recruiter is looking for. "What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?"If the interviewers don’t specifically ask for a ‘professional’ example, it’s OK to draw from personal experience, however, you should always make sure you’re able to relate it back to the role you are applying for.  The main thing to cover is why you are proud of this achievement, what it taught you and how it has prepared you for this role.  "Why do you want this job?"Show off your knowledge! The interviewer will want to know you’ve researched this role and the company.  You should know a fair bit about the role you’ve applied for – read the job advert, visit the career site and follow the company pages on social media platforms.  Explain what attracted you to this position.  You may wish to talk about the company benefits, the working environment, the opportunities and why you think you’ll be successful. "Where do you see yourself in five years?"Be honest and be realistic. If you want to progress that’s great, but suggesting you want to be the CEO within a few years might be unrealistic.  Think about the opportunities available to you in this role, not only will this show you’ve done your research, but it will also show that you are willing to work hard and are keen to progress.  If progression is not for you, that’s also fine.  You should explain how you plan to continue to do a great job and all the skills you have that will enable you to this. "Why do you want to leave your current job?"Be honest and be professional.  Be diplomatic in your answer and don’t forget you’re in an interview.  You may want to use this question as an opportunity to talk about the new role and why you are excited about the prospect of joining this company. "Why should we hire you?"This is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants.   It’s tough to compare yourself to strangers but use this opportunity to talk about your strong work ethic, relevant skills and passion for the role.  Expand upon your answer and provide examples – this is usually one of the last questions in an interview and you don’t want to miss out on this last chance to impress the interviewers. "Do you have any questions?"Lots of people think they must ask a question at the end of an interview, but if the interviewers have been comprehensive in their explanation, then you might not have questions.  This is fine - don’t feel like you must think of something, but equally, make the most of this opportunity to discuss anything you’re unsure about. Here’s some of the questions we regularly get asked at the end of an interview:What do you like most about working for *insert company name here*?Would you like me to expand upon any of my answers or examples?Are there opportunities for training and development in this role/department?What would you say are the most challenging aspects of this role?What are the next steps of the process?

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Graduate careers: Omar's story

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Meet Omar who started on our Analysts Graduate Programme in February 2020. Here he tells us about his journey so far and his hopes for the future at Admiral.  What were you looking for during your job search? I studied Natural Sciences at university, and despite focusing on life sciences for the bulk of my degree. I found myself enjoying my maths and computing modules the most and so I decided I wanted to focus on that after uni. Why did you choose the Data Analyst Grad Programme? I found that Admiral were one of the only places offering a dedicated analyst grad programme which was accessible to someone with my background (having not studied Maths, Physics, Computer Science etc.) Being able to dive straight into what I was interested in was a big pull for me.   How did you find the recruitment process? It sounds very cliché, but I really enjoyed the recruitment process. The written application was longer than what I was expecting and used to, but that was in place of any psychometric testing, so as a result I was able to send off my application, confident that it was an actual representation of who I was! Similarly, during both my interviews, I felt like the interviewers were interested in me as a person more so over any qualifications or specific knowledge. They weren’t trying to catch me out at all, so I felt comfortable to speak honestly during questions, openly saying when I didn’t know or couldn’t figure out what was being asked. What does your day-to-day at Admiral look like? I’m going into my penultimate month in my placement now with Acquisitions MI, one of the main data providing departments. Our main reporting tools here are SQL, Excel, VBA, and MicroStrategy and throughout the placement I’ve had a chance to learn all of them. Now I have a lot of flexibility in picking up jobs which focus on what I want to develop further. One thing that really surprised me about Data Analysis is the element of design that came with it. I honestly thought that the roles would be exclusively processing numbers (which there definitely is!) but a big aspect of my role is thinking about how the data is presented. I’m not much of an artist, and I found this hard at the start, but now I sometimes find myself doodling little sketches of dashboards or brainstorming potential design ideas. I like to break up the day with little pockets of doing something different when I can, usually it’s reading whatever book I’ve got from the Buy a Book Scheme during lunch, or sometimes a bit more of a structured training put on by the Admiral Academy or my department. What skills have you found most useful at Admiral? Communication! I’ve found it really important to be quick and transparent with your communication. If your work is going to take a week or two longer for example, a quick email explaining the situation goes a long way! I’ve never been met with anything but appreciation for the honesty.  Do you see yourself working for Admiral long-term? Absolutely! One thing that excites me the most about talking to more senior members of the company is the variety of the careers they’ve built. I’m looking forward to building my journey here. What would you say to someone sceptical of working for an insurance company? When I first joined Admiral, I had a very rudimentary understanding of what an insurance company actually does; but very quickly I began to learn about the differing roles in the company and how it all fits together. One of the most exciting things for me about the grad programme is the fact we take placements in 3-4 very different roles and get to spend a lot of time getting to grips with each one to find a niche that we enjoy and are interested in. Is there anything you would recommend to someone applying for the data analyst grad programme? When I first applied to the programme, I was apprehensive about the size of Admiral and worried that my work wouldn’t contribute much to the company. It quickly became apparent that this wasn’t the case, almost immediately after I joined my department I was able to start having a meaningful impact to work we do here and quickly built up a relatively high experience in some of the software we use. Now I’d say that the size of the company is a huge factor in the enjoyment I get from the work I do, giving you access to data and the ability to find trends and insights you probably wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. 

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