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Interview with IE MBA and one of Admirals International Pricing Managers

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

I’m originally from Spain, I have an academic background in Telecommunications engineering and Computer Science, prior to completing my MBA at IE. Before joining Admiral as an International Pricing Manager, I worked for six years in Paris, managing the performance of IT systems and business applications at a French multinational in the sector of environmental services. In these years I progressed steadily from intern to managing a team of six people.

My work was very fulfilling from both a personal and a technical point of view: I built strong friendships and had lots of fun at the office, while tackling the challenges of moving most of the company’s IT systems to the cloud. In my position, I was able to see the impact of our team’s work on the satisfaction of the company’s employees and on the bottom line. However, I felt that my work had little direct impact on the customers and the top line. Pursuing an MBA seemed the best option to complement my engineering skills with business in order to pivot my career toward roles that have the direct business impact that I seek.

What motivated you to apply for Admiral as an International Pricing Manager?

The Admiral Recruitment team visited my business school (IE) in Madrid to present the company and its MBA leadership development program at a career forum. Although I was in Hong Kong doing an academic exchange program, a classmate told me about Admiral and sent me the slide deck of the presentation. From those slides and my own research, I discovered many aspects that I liked about Admiral. For example, the company’s culture strongly promoted employee well-being, emphasising a fun workplace and a flexible work-life balance. The fact that Admiral was founded by two MBA Graduates and that several MBA recruits have progressed to business division CEOs convinced me that it was a company well suited for a fresh MBA Graduate.

The role of International Pricing Manager was very appealing because of the impact that pricing has on both the customers and the top line of a company. This role, which sits within the International Pricing and Analytics Team, seemed to also provide the opportunity to work closely with data scientists on interesting topics such as Machine Learning. The prospect of continuing my career in a multicultural setting and travelling regularly to France, Spain, Italy and the US was the icing on the cake. So, I decided to apply.

What were your expectations of the role before starting?

Since I was going to pivot my career to a very different path in a highly analytical role, I expected the learning curve to be particularly steep. My concerns about being able to ramp up as fast as required were mitigated thanks to the support provided by the Admiral Recruitment team during the interview process; there is an induction period that is tailored to the previous background and the future role of each candidate.

And how was your experience of moving to a new city?

Settling in a new country can be challenging. As soon as you move, you need to deal with many local administrative procedures on top of looking for somewhere to live. Settling in Cardiff was less difficult than expected thanks to the help of the Admiral Recruitment team. They provided me with a company house for free, swiftly answered all the questions that I had about administrative procedures, and gave me any documentation that I needed, such as a proof of address to open a local bank account.

Finding accommodation in Cardiff was much easier and cheaper, compared to the cities in which I had previously lived. Cardiff strikes a good balance regarding population density, having a compact city centre with many offices, amenities, and flats, and suburbs with traditional houses, both around the city centre and in the bay area. An unexpected advantage of this city is that my house is located only 10 minutes away from the office by bicycle, significantly closer than my previous commutes.

How has your experience in the IPM role been so far?

My teammates were very welcoming, and I soon realised that I had the chance to be in one of the most multicultural teams within the company. The scope of the role is larger than I expected, covering diverse types of pricing strategies, leveraging advanced AI models, and working with both UK and international stakeholders at all levels of the organisation. Training within the Claims department has allowed me to learn more about core activities in the insurance sector and understand the strong focus of the company on caring for our customers.

The induction phase includes a range of training, I received an unexpected assignment during my second training stage; researching how other companies outside the insurance sector use data innovatively to put together a case study and presentation for the Admiral international CEOs. This assignment has given me the opportunity to gain visibility among top management in an early stage of my career within the company.

What projects or initiatives lie on the horizon for you?

After my induction, I will work on a wide variety of projects. For example, helping devise our future pricing strategies and ramping up the deployment of machine learning models in the cloud. The scope of these projects may be for single products or cross-product, ranging from traditional car insurance policies, to telematics policies, loans, or on-demand car insurance.

There is an increasing emphasis on innovation, so I expect to have the opportunity to work on projects that allow Admiral to continue staying ahead of the curve. This is particularly interesting to me in light of the accelerating evolution of the Finance and Insurance sectors, in the context of disruptive technologies and new business models.

Apply Now - Future Leaders Program - International Pricing Manager

Apply Now - Future Leaders Program - International Business Development Manager


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Admiral Life

What we did to help the Coronavirus response

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22/07/2020

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So, what have we done for:  Our Community We have set up the £4 million Admiral Support Fund for Covid-19, which is predominantly providing funding and support in South Wales, where we are based, to the NHS, charities, support groups and will also allow us to contribute to any insurance industry wide charitable effort. We have been active in helping several charities and groups, which we are extremely proud of. Here are just a few ways we have helped: Supported Swansea, Cardiff and Newport food-banks – diverted our fruit supply to these extremely important community organisationsSupported The Wallich with food supplies  Donated to The Play Yard which provides meals for under privileged children and familiesDonated to St Thomas Parish which distributes food / meals to vulnerable people within SA1 area, amongst other supportive initiatives£100k donated to The Community Foundation WalesFeeding NHS staff through donations to various organisations Supplying essential items to Hospitals across South Wales in the form of medical shoes, calculators, pyjamas, etc We also asked our employees to send in details of their charitable events that had been cancelled so we could support and help with fundraising for their chosen charities. Brian Martin, Head of Business Support at Admiral said: “Admiral’s support means so much for our community and we will continue to work hard to help those in need in such a difficult time. “ You can find out more about how we’ve been supporting our community here.  Our employees To support our employees, all employees are being paid their full salary and no employees are being furloughed under the UK Government funded scheme and we don’t expect to benefit from any other initiatives funded by the government. Ecare, our counselling and support service for employees have also introduced a ‘Dependant Line’ for any dependants in employees’ households to offer additional support during the pandemic 24 hours a day. We also have a Workplace Support function who order a range of equipment to make life easier for employees at home whilst working. Nearly 2800 orders so far and climbing! To help our employees get the right advice, we have teamed up with HSBC who now offer 121 telephone appointments to help anyone with their financial concerns. Our Training function “Admiral Academy” have developed several webinars, online courses and playlists for all our employees that focuses on mental health, living in lock-down and working remotely. We are also building a programme for the future of ‘smart working’: how we integrate remote and office time, the use of office space, how we manage teams, the cultural implications, organisational structure and technology.    Our customers We pledged to give back £110million to our car and van insurance customers in recognition of the fact that our customers stayed at home and drove less during the UK wide Covid-19 lock-down. A £25 refund was automatically given to all customers for each car and van covered with us on the 20th April 2020, a total of 4.4m vehicles. We gave the refund to reflect there have been fewer cars on the road during the lock-down which resulted in fewer claims. This was done to ensure as a company we didn’t benefit during the lock-down. Our intention was to return estimated savings to our customers rather than benefit from reduced driving during the lock-down. We have also waived any motoring claims excess fees for NHS or emergency service workers and supporting NHS volunteers. We guarantee cover for customers using their vehicle to transport people, deliver medical supplies and equipment, or items to people who are self-isolating. In addition, we wanted to show our support for NHS and emergency service workers by giving them a free courtesy vehicle to keep them on the road during the lock-down. We are further supporting our customers who are in financial hardship as a result of the outbreak by being flexible with customers struggling with monthly payments. Cristina Nestares, CEO of UK Insurance at Admiral said: “During this challenging period, our main priorities have been helping our customers, supporting our local community and protecting the wellbeing of our employees, which is why we have introduced these initiatives to give something back to the customers and communities we serve. “This is an unprecedented time when people across the country are driving significantly less than before the lock-down, and we expect this to lead to a fall in the number of claims we are seeing. We want to give the money we would have used to pay these claims back to our loyal customers in this difficult time. We have also already reflected this change in driving behaviour in our pricing for customers and will continue to do so. “

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Contact Centre

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24/06/2020

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There is no one type of Admiral employee and we’re always looking for people who can bring new experiences and perspectives to our teams. If you’re looking for an employer who values ambition, eagerness, inquisitiveness and a desire to learn, then a role at Admiral may be what you’re looking for. To apply, and be successful in a contact centre role at Admiral no previous experience in insurance or call centres is required. We consider the potential of the candidate, their eagerness to work here, their ambition and enthusiasm, over any previous experience in a similar role.You also don’t need any specific qualifications to join the contact centre teams at Admiral. If you are self-motivated, polite, friendly, responsible and hard-working then you already have the core skills and attributes that we value in our team. We provide training for all other skills you’ll need to be successful in your role.It’s just as important that you like us as we like you, so as part of the recruitment process you’ll get the opportunity to come in the office, where we’ll tell you a bit more about the company, you can sit in with the department you are applying to join and get the opportunity to ask any questions you have. When you attend one of our ‘meet and greets’ you’ll notice that we have a unique culture which we want staff to enjoy and believe in and who be great ambassadors for the business. If you believe in what you’re doing and you’re happy in your role, you will provide the best possible service to our customers, which is our philosophy, ‘people who like what they do, do it better.If this all sounds great to you and you want to stand out amongst the crowd at application stage focus on your application, this is the first piece of information we’ll see about you so take the opportunity to go into as much detail as you can, drawing from any relevant experiences as much as possible. This is also your chance to show off the research you’ve completed on the role and the company. Candidates who have completed thorough research tend to sell themselves very well. And always use spell check!If you’re successful at the application stage make sure you prepare for the telephone interview and face-to-face interview by having a thorough read through your job description and have a good understanding of what the department you are applying to is looking for.  This information can normally be found in the job description, which can be found on our website – try looking at the relevant department section, under ‘Working Here’. Also take a look at ‘Inside Admiral’ to get a better understanding of our culture and what it’s like to work here.You have a short window of opportunity to impress at the face-to-face interview and to allow the interviewers to gain good insight into your personality; be happy, inquisitive, always show your enthusiasm and willingness to learn, that will really impress the interviewers. And don’t forget to smile!Finally, how can the candidate be successful in the role – any top tips?Beyond the interview, if you are keen to build your career at Admiral, you’ll need to display a tremendous work ethic, with key qualities such asPunctualityInquisitivenessSuccessful at hitting targetsAmbitiousFriendlyTeam playerTo summariseStand out at application stage by having a detailed and error-free application.Stand out at telephone and face-to-face interview stage by showing that you’ve completed your research on the role and company – have a good understanding of both, and again expand on your answers as much as possible, drawing on any relevant experiences from college, university or a previous or current job.In the face-to-face interview, relax, be yourself and smile.Don’t forget, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on 0800 118 1619 or workwithus@admiralgroup.co.uk

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