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Graduates and Students

Meet Bethan – Internal Consultant and Admiral Graduate Alumni

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Graduates and Students

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Blog

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04/12/2020

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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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Graduate careers: Omar's story

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Graduates and Students

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Blog

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17/09/2020

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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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What you need to know about our Graduate Programs

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Graduates and Students

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Blog

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21/08/2020

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How long does the programme last? Both our core and analyst programmes last for up to two years, our core programme is split into four six-month placements and our analyst programme is made up of three eight-month placements. Slightly longer placements for analysts means that there is plenty of time to pick up on how to use specialist software like SAS, Python and SQL. What will the programme cover? You will join Admiral with fellow graduates and benefit from a comprehensive five-week induction, which not only gives you the opportunity to network and build friendships at work but also a strong foundation to start your first placement. You will learn about the insurance and Fintech industries, our history, culture, products and customers as well as being part of interactive workshops to develop presentation skills and work-place competencies through the externally recognised ILM Level 2 qualification. Thanks to the success of our previous schemes (our programme has been running since 2006), Graduates are held in high esteem by managers from across the organisation who will have specifically requested for you to join their teams. This means you will contribute to and take ownership of projects with real responsibility which make an impact on our business. Most recently, Grads on our core scheme have undertaken placements in departments such as Marketing, People Services (HR) , Claims, Compliance as well as with our sister companies, start-ups Veygo and AFSL. Our analysts focus on more data-driven departments, recently taking on projects in areas including Pricing, Data Analytics, Management Information and Automation. At the end of your first two rotations you will undertake ILM Level 3, as well as non-department specific training throughout your placements on topics such as project management, emotional intelligence & resilience and neurodiversity. You will choose your final placement in an area where you would like to accept a fixed role, using your learnings and experiences from the programme to determine your career path off of the scheme.   How will it help me in the future/career prospects at Admiral Completing several placements in diverse areas of the business means that you will develop a strong understanding of how our business works while developing an array of work-based competencies. It also means that you will be exposed to industry experts across a variety of departments, building a well-established network and will have plenty of opportunity to find your niche. Our Graduate Programme is first and foremost a developmental programme which means we work with you to ensure that you are growing and progressing with each placement. Will I get paid along with other benefits?   Our starting salary is £21,000 a year and after one year of service you will also be awarded up to £3,600 worth of shares each year that you are with us.  You will also benefit from various perks that we offer, such as discounts on insurance and in businesses across South Wales, a cycle-to-work scheme, free fruit and gym access, a salary advance when moving home and more. Why Admiral? What makes Admiral’s Graduate programme different 1. Flexibility and the chance to try our different careers - The Grad scheme at Admiral is the perfect opportunity to try out different careers. Your first placement is selected for you by our Programme Management team, after this, you can choose your subsequent placements anywhere in the company, even if they are not linked to your degree or past experiences. Within Admiral we have several start-ups, allowing you to gain insight into the running of an entire business. Take Admiral Pioneer for example, our recently launched our start-up hub, conceived with the aim is to seed, launch and scale new business initiatives in insurance and non-insurance growth areas. 2. Support and networking – You join the company with other graduates who you have regular contact with throughout your career with Admiral in the form of ongoing training, meetings and regular socials. You will also be joined by graduates from previous cohorts (including a grad buddy) meaning you have a strong network within the company from your first day. Throughout your time on the programme you are supported by our Programme Management team and your business mentor (an industry expert ready to share their expertise with you) as well as your line manager and team on each placement. 3. A personalised experience – our Programme Management team and the wider company are dedicated to providing you with the best experience possible, allowing you to shape your pathway at Admiral. This could mean supporting you in seeking out bespoke placements, created to align with your interests, skills and areas for development, or by providing one-on-one coaching and training. Self-development is actively encouraged and our Buy-A-Book scheme covers the cost of providing you with two career-focussed books each month. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved with projects outside of your placements, and we operate several Diversity working groups dedicated to areas such as Age, BAME, LGBTQ+, Disability and Social Mobility which you can get involved with as well as frequent opportunities for charity work and side-projects. How do to apply? Take a look here: How to secure a place on our Graduate Programme                        

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Emily  Bonney

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How to get into Analytics?

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Graduates and Students

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Blog

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13/05/2020

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Intellectually challenging, interesting and enjoyable. Jobs in Business Analytics, Pricing and MI functions are at the very heart of a company. Through data analysis, these teams have the chance to make a real difference.As analytical careers grow in popularity, we thought it would be a good time to ask some of our analysts how to get into Analytics. They said...To develop your passion, the big step would be to opt for a degree, or A-level in a mathematical subject such as Maths, Physics, Engineering (or another STEM degree). Check out GradCracker, it’s the UK's careers website for STEM students. There, you will find what type of work placements, Internships and Graduate jobs are on offer.We generally look for individuals that have a logical approach to problem solving and attention to detail. If you’re good at crosswords, sudoku, quizzes or other problem-solving activities, then this is great practice and it shows us you’re a logical thinker.Experience in a programming language or even using Excel and writing macros in Visual Basic will also support you in working towards an analytical career.It’s not just about working on your own, a key part of working in Analytics is the ability to explain technical concepts to a non-technical audience. This is an acquired skill, so any experience that you can get in this would be advantageous. Find out more about a few of our Analysts at Admiral…Adii - From analyst internship to placement year in PricingMatt - One of our Analyst GradsArianne - Physics Graduate and now one of our Analyst GradsHere are our current Analyst vacancies:Quality AnalystSenior Automation Test EngineerAutomation Test Engineer

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How to Secure a Place on a Graduate Programme

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Graduates and Students

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Blog

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07/05/2020

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Before applying: Get involved in things in and outside of University. Join a society, a club, volunteer, or gain work experience where and when you can. This will help you stand out and give an insight into your personality and skills. Update your CV. Make sure you highlight relevant experiences and skills, and don’t forget to include all your qualifications. For CV tips, check out our 7 Tips for CV Success.Research different roles and different companies and find the one for you. We want to know why you’re choosing our grad programme and our business, so you must know your stuff.  Submitting a written application form:Write your answers in Microsoft Word first, proofread and spell check everything before you submit it.Read each question thoroughly, be concise and structure your answers.If you’re asked to give an example, try applying a method like STAR (situation, task, action, result).  Interviews:Practice and prepare. Think about what you may be asked (interviewers will nearly always ask you a range of behaviour and competency questions), so prepare some good examples that cover a range of topics.Know your strengths and weaknesses and be honest. We want to know what you’re good at but we also want to see that you can recognise your weaknesses and know when you need to ask for support from your team.If you have some work experience, be sure to know exactly what that has taught you and what skills you’ve gained from it.Try not to let your nerves get the better of you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a minute before approaching an answer, particularly if it’s a business scenario or problem-solving question. Interviewers want to see how you approach and think through your answer.Lastly, and most importantly, be yourself and let your personality shine through! We want to get to know YOU.You can read more about our Graduate Schemes here. Our Programme will open this Autumn.

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