As a third year Comparative Literature and English Language and Linguistics student finding work experience has been a challenge. With all the endless essays, presentations and pressures of third year, I did not think work experience would have been possible before graduating university. However, I was given the opportunity to undergo work experience for Marsh & McLennan Companies for two weeks. For those of you that do not know, Marsh & McLennan Companies is one of most successful worldwide insurance firms.
During my two weeks I was based within the International Property Sector at Barry Marsh. Within the insurance world I was informed that June is one of the busiest periods in the business, in terms of binding contracts and renewing clients. Therefore, by working throughout this period gave me a great insight into how the company functioned day to day.
My role consisted of various tasks which included basic admin roles, helping organise meetings, researching information, creating opening memos and also creating pie charts for client data. During this busy time I felt that my assistance was of great help to the brokers. By working closely with the international property team I was able to have a closer insight into the role of a ‘broker.’ One of the most important skills I have learnt is how to use Microsoft Excel to a higher standard. Whilst working at Marsh I realised how fundamental Excel is for a successful business.
One of my favourite tasks was aiding one of my colleagues for a client presentation. I introduced the team to a presentation software called Prezi. Prezi is an alternative to PowerPoint that engages the audience by using dramatic zooming and panning to bring a presentation to life and avoids the classic ‘death by PowerPoint.’ My expertise within Prezi really impressed the team and they insisted that they would try to incorporate Prezi instead of PowerPoint when possible!
Another aspect of my role included going to Lloyds Market to shadow the marsh brokers and the underwriters of the market. This gave me the opportunity to meet various experts of the insurance world. I left my placement feeling a sense of accomplishment. The placement has helped me narrow down what sector I would like to pursue within the future. Most importantly during my work experience I improved my interaction skills, organization skills and has helped build my confidence.
The B-KEW bursary was essential for my work experience at Marsh. It allowed me to travel to London for two weeks instead of one. Without the bursary, I would have missed out on a whole week’s worth of work experience due to the travelling costs. The extra week really helped network within the insurance world and I have received further work experience by another insurance firm since. Finishing university isn’t that bad after all!
– Katie Penn was a 3rd year Comparative Literature and English Language and Linguistics student at the University of Kent.