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The people that make our digital vision possible: Meet our Head of Change, Matt

Technology is getting smarter by the second, which makes this a hugely important department but one which is also fun, friendly and relaxed. We believe that an informal, team-spirited environment where people pull together, especially in times of pressure, increases productivity.

Matt, Head of Change, started at Admiral 13 years ago and has had various roles throughout his career here; from Technical Project Manager to CIO, and now he’s Head of Change. Matt’s also more recently completed his MBA at Cardiff University (not to mention also completed an Ironman outside of work!).

What do you do in Admiral Tech as Head of Change?

I look after all change for the UK Insurance Business with a focus on technology.

What do you enjoy most about working for Admiral Tech?

I’ve always liked the fact that if you’re willing to try something and get stuck in, there are lots of opportunities, your destiny is in your own hands. It’s also a healthy environment to work in.

What do you think really sets Admiral Tech apart from the competition?

There are a few things here; the fact that we’re the biggest tech employer in South Wales, given the size of the department. Also, we talk about becoming a tech company that sells insurance, but really this has always been the case. We were the very first direct-to-phone insurer, there’s Confused tech – the very first comparison website and Elephant - one of the first direct to consumer web only insurance providers. Tech has always been at the heart of the business and continues to be.

We understand the importance of digital to the future and we’re investing a lot into it.

Do you think there are lots of opportunities to grow and develop here?

We have a sizeable budget for learning and development – we’re investing in certification courses, through to an all-encompassing online learning tool, PluralSight. Staff also have the ability to learn as part of their day-to-day job.  

What’s the culture like at Admiral Tech and how is it changing?

We’ve moved from having a structured waterfall approach to an agile environment and culture. We are seeking to give our Delivery team as much autonomy as possible to deliver and prioritise their work.

What’s the most exciting project or upcoming change happening within Admiral Tech?

There are a few ongoing.. We are embracing digital to ultimately delight customers.  We also have our move to cloud – using new cloud technology for scalability and flexibility, amongst other exciting projects and changes.

Where is Admiral Tech heading?

I think that tech is moving to an eco system based model generally over the world and if you’re not capable of playing in that field, you’ll be left behind.

We’re embracing the power of tech more and more with rapid progression in tech as a key investment of the business. 

How will the department look in the future?

The business will drive prioritisation, and tech will increase and improve to deliver what is needed. I think we’ll see fewer conversations about tech and the business being two distinct things and everything will be a change project.

It’s an exciting opportunity for people given the point in the journey we’re at and the level of change that’s around the corner.

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Admiral Life

Meeting our ex-Army employee - Matthew

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

09/04/2021

Summary

We spoke to Matthew, who prior to joining us at Admiral, was in the Army for over eighteen years, serving in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. As you may know, Admiral signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019. We are committed to supporting reservists, ex-armed forces personnel and their families, both inside and outside of the workplace. Before coming to work at Admiral, Matthew was in the Army for over eighteen years. We caught up with him to hear more about his transition out of the Army and into Admiral… Could you tell us a bit more about your experiences in the army? I joined the Army at 15, right after I took my GCSEs. I thought I was the hardest kid in the world when I joined, but I found out I wasn’t! Honestly, I was a bit of a tear-away, and joining the Army did me a world of good. I had a really varied experience. I started out in the Coldstream Guards – wearing a red jacket and a furry hat outside Buckingham Palace, living in Westminster and then Chelsea barracks. One year, instead of taking part in the Trooping of the Colour, I decided to try out for P-Company. I was successful, got my wings, and joined 3 Para (3rd Battalion, Parachute Company). I saw a lot of conflict – Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia and Serbia, the Second Gulf War, Afghanistan. I had some good days, and some bad days; in the army your bad days are really bad. How did you find the transition out of the army? Transitioning was hard, but eventually I made the choice to leave and be with my family. Right before lockdown, I was a guest speaker at my children’s school, and one of the children asked me what the hardest thing about being in the Army was. I told them that physically it was P-Company selection, but that mentally the hardest thing was leaving. When I drove out of the camp for the last time, and realised it was all over, I pulled my car to the side of the road and cried my eyes out. I didn’t want to leave. The Army is more than a job, it becomes a massive part of your life. I was so young when I joined that there were things I had never had to do for myself before, like going to the doctors and getting a bus. Civvy street can be really overwhelming. After eighteen years, I was very institutionalized, and to an extent I probably will be for the rest of my life. The Army is a completely different world, and the transition out takes a lot of adjustment. Whilst I was in the Army, there were times where I thought I would prefer an office job, mainly to have a rest from running up and down mountains with my kit on. In reality, the transition to an office job was mind-numbing, and I wished I was back on those mountains. It took time, but I adjusted. That’s what they teach you in the Army - improvise, adapt and overcome, and that’s what I did. How did you come to work at Admiral? It took me a while to end up at Admiral. Straight after I left the Army, I worked in Close Protection and Counter Terrorism, which is a natural step for a lot of ex-servicemen. After a while, life events took over and I had to step away. I ended up in Technical Support for a while, and if I’m really honest, it wasn’t the job for me. I didn’t mind the job so much, but the place I worked was difficult. I’m based Swansea way, so I ran into lots of people who worked at Admiral, and I heard nothing but good things. When I first joined, I was shocked at how different it was to my old company. On my first day of training, when we were talking about car parking arrangements, I asked my manager a question about bringing a motorcycle to work. She told me that she didn’t know the answer, but that she’d find out. Within ten minutes, she got back to me with the information I needed. I remember being shocked. At the last place I’d worked I would ask a relevant question and most of the time, I’d never hear back. The level of communication at Admiral is similar to the Army, and it was really refreshing. How have you found working at Admiral? Honestly, it is rare to work for a company that supports you like Admiral does. I know that because Admiral isn’t the first company I have worked for since leaving the Army. I struggle with PTSD, but my Team Managers have always got behind me and supported me, even when I’m having a bad day. It’s quite easy for me to slip into the squaddie mentality of ‘I’m fine’, but I’ve worked a lot with People Services (HR) and they have given me the support that I need. It’s the first time since I’ve got out of the Army that I know I’m working for a company that supports me as much as they can and understands my situation. Civvy street can be really hard, and that’s why it is so important to know that you’re in a place where you will be looked after no matter what. That is what Admiral is for me. What are you up to at the moment? I currently work as a Customer Loyalty Representative. My role includes development, so I get to do some coaching within my team and the department which I really enjoy. I also spend time monitoring other peoples’ roles and improving our customer service. There is a lot of opportunity for progression at Admiral, and I am excited to be moving onwards and upwards, building another career for myself. What transferable skills do you feel the Army has given you? I think the biggest one is communication. In the Army, you’re constantly interacting with people you don’t know, so you really develop the skill of confident communication, which has definitely come in handy in my current role. Flexibility is another one. In the Army, there is a saying that you have Plan A and Plan B, but it’ll be Plan C that comes into play. And it’s true – there have been times when I have planned and trained for months, only for something to not happen. Similarly, having a sense of humour, because it keeps you grounded and helps you face any situation. In my current role, if things don’t go exactly to plan it doesn’t phase me, because I can keep things in perspective, find a solution, and move on. I suppose you could say it has made me more resilient. What do you enjoy most about working at Admiral? No one shouts around here and compared to other places I’ve worked that’s a real plus! Apart from that, there’s real variety in the people you speak to on the phones and I really enjoy interacting with customers. I’ve always believed that it’s worthwhile coming to work if you can help someone out, and make their life just a little bit easier, and in my current role I get to do that. One of the customers I spoke to the other day told me that I had made her day, and it’s the rewarding moments like that which make it enjoyable. That’s why I love my role and being a part of Admiral.

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Valvanuz  Guerrero-Perez

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

Valvanuz  Guerrero-Perez

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

A Day in the Life of a Senior Business Analyst at Admiral

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Admiral Tech

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

29/12/2020

Summary

We spoke to Kirsty Williams-Henry a Senior Business Analysis at Admiral who has worked for the company for over eight years. Here she tells us about her role and what it’s like for a woman in tech. Tell us about your career so far and what led you to a career in Technology? I would say I fell into my career in technology due to my love of all things tech from a young age: I was the first of my friends to have a PC and I used it for almost everything! I pursued my love of technology at college by doing an A-Level in computing where I was the only girl in a class of eight. I found that I had a natural flare for technology as it aligned with my love for problem solving and the logical way my brain works. I soon realised that technology was the future and I wanted to be a part of it! I went on to achieve a first-class degree in Computer Forensics at the University of Glamorgan. After graduating I became a coder and developer for a company that had forty-three men working there and me, alongside one other woman who was not in a tech-related role. After this I joined the IT Graduate Programme at Admiral where I have found a home for the past eight years. On the Graduate Programme I got to dip into lots of different roles and ended up as an IT Business Analyst, something I would never have imagined myself doing prior to the programme. What does a typical day in your role at Admiral look like?  No day at Admiral is typical! During a day at work lots of things could crop up, such as live bugs that might pull me away from other projects and diversify my day. Admiral is very good at allowing employees to try new things. Each day allows you to put a different hat on, you have a lot of freedom to explore. My day often involves meetings and discussions with Product Owners and Project Managers.  I need to be able to understand systems from their point of view and how they would be using them. This means I can explain things to them and put guides together to aid their understanding. Most of my time is spent with the Developers and Testers within my team. I translate the requirements from those on the business side of the company to those on the IT side, enabling problems to be solved. Attention to detail is key as a Business Analyst - the smallest of details must be correct for systems to function correctly. Admiral have also been great at flexible working: they have been very accommodating to me and my changing needs and have also been great at enabling us to work from home effectively during the pandemic. If you could begin your career path over, would you change anything? I would never change my job role; I love it and feel like it is a great fit for my skillset. If I had to change one thing it might be to investigate different areas of IT and more specifically IT Security as I find it an extremely interesting area. How does your work impact Admiral and its customers? My role as a Business Analysist means that I am involved in the business end-to-end. I meet those in business Operations to see the reality of how the technology that I work on is being used throughout the business, as well as any problems that might occur. From there, it is about them collectively working out what they may want from IT and the system and then it is translated into something that the IT team can take forward and work on. Being able to see how the changes really impact those working within the business services and the call centres of Admiral really inspires me to work harder and is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Do you have any advice for women that want to start a career in Technology?  It can be difficult for those in Technology to put themselves into other people’s shoes whether it be the customers, those in call centres or those in business support areas, and I have found that the women in tech that I have worked with have been excellent at doing this. The language of development and IT can also be intimidating but I encourage people to spend a day with my team so that they can see that they would easily pick it up. No one should be afraid of Technology; anyone can do it if they give it a chance! I would advise women to find the part that interests them within Technology and run with it. For example, if you have a creative mindset, there are many creative elements to IT.  You need to be an artist to write code!

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Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams