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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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Elena Betes joined us on the Future Leaders Program and helped found Rastreator in 2008 in Spain our first Price Comparison site outside of the UK. Since January 2014 she has overseen our Group Comparison Portals. She shares her experience and advice to MBAs considering a career with Admiral. What have been some of the best moments of your career? I feel proud when looking back at something I’ve created. I feel proud to have created environments that people enjoy working in. There will always be ups and downs, but when things are working well, results are strong, and the team is doing their best, that’s the moment when I step back and think ‘wow, look how much we have achieved together!’. What do you love most about your role? My role right now consists of overseeing the ‘penguins’, which includes all our comparison sites around the world. They all require completely different supervision and support, so I have to adjust constantly. Adapting to the needs of the people that I'm working with is highly rewarding. I love it. I also love the visibility I get from working with these international operations. I love connection, seeing ideas from one place and linking them with people from another. It's allowed me to focus on my strengths instead of on my weaknesses. What advice would you give to MBAs joining us on how they can be successful? Firstly, no one will tell you exactly what to do or how to do it. It's about you proactively defining your scope, discovering your ambition, and then convincing everyone to come along with you. Don't expect someone to tell you exactly how things should be done and be ready to bring your creativity and initiative to drive change and to make things happen. It’s also important that you embrace the culture and enjoy getting your hands dirty. You need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get things done yourself. It’s also important you have a strategic mind and be able to connect the dots between business problems and opportunities. What do you look for when hiring an MBA? I think it comes down to a combination of factors. The intellectual level of the people that we hire is very high. That’s the base. But it must be coupled with being a good person! We care about doing the right thing for our customers and for our staff and we look for MBAs that will embody this. At Admiral there are no politics; there's a lot of intellectual discussion and challenge, but our priority is always collaboration. So, we love it when people come in with ideas, optimism, and a willingness to work together and get things done. What can Admiral offer MBAs that is different to any other big company? Firstly, an environment that cares fundamentally about people. It’s simple but I think it is one of the single most important values when looking for a long-term career with a company. I don't think a lot of companies our size could say that they have maintained a culture of innovation and transparency from the start up until the present day. The fact that we still make decisions based on what we feel is the right thing for customers, employees, and shareholders is quite special. Secondly, it’s that Admiral offers you a lot of space to learn, to invent, and to be yourself. I think this freedom to be authentic is one of the reasons behind our success. I love that we’ve maintained an entrepreneurial mindset giving people space to come in and make mistakes, to test things, and to learn from both failures and triumphs. You can find out more about the journeys our MBAs have taken here or read more about our MBA Leadership Programs. Alternatively, follow our MBA Leadership page on Linkedin.