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Meeting our Army Reserve Employee - Cian

We caught up with Cian, an IT Scheme Executive who balances working full-time at Admiral with his role as a Fusilier in the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh. 

What has your Admiral journey been like so far?
I joined Admiral as a Motor Claims Handler after leaving school at 18. That was in 2019, so I have not been with the company too long. I have been lucky to progress quite quickly, and I am now an IT Scheme Executive, undertaking an IT traineeship, which really aligns with my interests as I took a Computer Science A Level. Day to day, I work with our Customer Services and Renewals Teams, investigating any issues or problems they have with the platforms they use. The nature of the role means that no two days are the same, and I really enjoy the variety.

What about your role in the Reserves? What does that see you get up to?
I have always thought about joining the Army, but at the moment I want to keep my Admiral job and stay close to home. Joining the Reserves has been a great compromise. I am currently a Fusilier in the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh. I take part in our drill nights every Tuesday, and I am just about to go on my Bravo training, which is the equivalent of the second half of Basic Training. I will get to do more weapons handling and 5-day exercises – it’s a great opportunity.

What makes you proud of being part of the Reserves?
I think it is just getting to be part of the Army. Since I was a boy, I have always wanted to be in the Army; I joined Cadets when I was in school, and this feels like the next step – I’m really fulfilling my dream. I feel really lucky to have the chance to do something different, away from my desk and in the fresh air. Particularly now, in the world of home-working, it feels like a real release.

Has it been difficult to try and balance your two roles?
Honestly, it has not been a big issue. When I was still working in Claims, it was a fifty-minute drive to my barracks for drill nights, but my manager always made sure I finished early enough to get there with plenty of time to spare. I get given one week per rolling year for training where I am still paid and it is not taken out of my holiday, which is helpful, and makes a real difference for me. Admiral culture is so supportive in general that I have never had any problems. 

I am proud to be working towards my childhood dream of being in the Army, whilst also building a career here at Admiral – it’s the best of both worlds and I would recommend it to anyone!

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Admiral Life

Meeting our ex-Army employee - Matthew

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

09/04/2021

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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

Admiral: 2020

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24/03/2021

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At Admiral, we care deeply about our people. That is why we’ve done everything we can to support everyone who we interact with – customers, local community and staff, through this strange, unprecedented and difficult pandemic. Our customers are incredibly important to us at Admiral, and so we gave back £110 million to our car and van customers in recognition of them staying at home during the lockdown. Integrity is at the core of our culture and we strongly believe that this was the right thing to do.Not only that, but in April 2020, we launched the Admiral Support Fund for Covid-19, with the aim of supporting our local community. We have donated over £1.1 million to more than 300 organisations across Wales, including schools, hospitals, foodbanks, and care homes. These donations have helped to provide the funding, PPE, school equipment, food, vouchers, electricals, and other items of the utmost importance to those impacted by the pandemic. We accepted nominations from our employees to support local communities and causes close to their hearts and have received incredible feedback about the impact of the fund. Our staff wellbeing has always been at the heart of what we do – and our values as an organisation have long been centred around the idea that “people who like what they do, do it better”. In fact, in January 2021, we were recognised as a Centre of Excellence in Wellbeing by the Great Place to Work Institute. As lockdown began, we concentrated all our efforts on getting as many people as possible working from home. Next we immediately got to work to try and bring the sense of fun and belonging that our office is famous for into our home-working set ups. We’re proud to say that we achieved a lot. We started to send out themed emails to support staff, share positive news, say thank you and of course have a bit of fun. Our Ministry of Fun returned virtually, hosting some incredible events. We launched ‘Team Time’, an initiative that provides a hub of activities for teams to do, encouraging them to spend time together. The postponed 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25-year celebrations from 2020 were held virtually with each employee celebrating receiving a gift, time off work and an interactive virtual event which was attended by Senior Managers in the case of 15, 20 and 25-year celebrations. We held a virtual Christmas party for staff and their families, as well as closing the business early on Christmas Eve to say thank you for the hard work of our employees, and their commitment to our customers. Alongside all of this, we have continued to thrive as a business. We’ve won a lot of awards: 4th Best Super Large Workplace in the UK by the Great Place to Work Institute, 5th Best Workplace for Women in the UK by the 2020 UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women list, 8th Best Multinational Workplace in Europe by the Great Place to Work Institute and the 14th Best Workplace in the World on the Annual 25 World’s Best Workplaces list. Admiral Financial Services reached 100,000 customers, Veygo sold their millionth policy, and Admiral Law secured their largest ever settlement at £5.25 million. And finally, we announced that the group’s share of profit before tax was £638.4 million, a 21% increase on 2019.   To achieve this in a ‘normal’ year would have been an incredible feat, but to achieve this in 2020, during the unprecedented and difficult experience of a global pandemic, is deeply humbling for our company. We are immeasurably grateful to our staff, each and every one of them, as their contributions and commitment to Admiral are the driving force of our success.To say thank you, each employee received a small gift as a token gesture for their continued hard work through the ups and downs. More than anything, we miss being able to put the kettle on and have a few treats with our teams, so we sent each employee a mug, some sweets and a thank you note to try and recreate that as best as possible. We do things differently – we always have. Ultimately, we think that’s what makes us great. If you are interested in joining us, please have a look at our roles and start your Admiral Life today. 

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Kat Gil Mast

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Kat Gil Mast