Cat Modelling from a former CII Discover member

Georgiana Macdonald shares her experiences with Chartered Insurance Institute Discover Membership and how that led her from a Georgraphy degree to a career in insurance. 

What’s your current role?

I am a Catastrophe Risk Analyst. I use risk modelling software to simulate a variety of natural hazard related scenarios in order to monitor our company’s exposure to these perils. I model scenarios such as earthquakes and tropical storms at different magnitudes and intensities, which then simulate potential losses that could be generated. I then analyse the output data in order to monitor any monthly changes in our portfolios and also to assist our underwriters, who then make decisions for our existing and proposed risks.

What did you study?

I studied BSc Geography at the University of Southampton and graduated in 2016. My Geography degree provided me with a great foundation on which to base my insurance career, as I studied a range of natural hazards as well as man-made risks. I also found my experience in using a variety of computer programmes to be really valuable in helping me use catastrophe-modelling software in the insurance industry.

How did you find out about Discover membership?

I found out about Discover Risk through the Royal Geographical Society, who actively promote the importance of Geographers in different industries. Through the Royal Geographical Society and also my university’s Geography website, I attended an event at the CII promoting the Discover programme as well as a range of career pathways across the market. It was essentially this event that introduced the idea of an insurance career to me, and I progressed onto internships from there before securing my current role.

What did you use from your membership?

The most useful part of my membership was the regular updates, detailing different news stories from the market, as well as employee case studies, internship and job roles and upcoming events. This regular access to such important information is incredibly valuable as it makes you aware of developing stories and increases your commercial awareness.

How do you use social media to develop your career?

Social media has been a really powerful tool for me. LinkedIn is great to connect with potential employers and people in the market, as well as keep in touch with colleagues from past internships and events. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also great to follow different companies and keep updated about company news, potential positions, opportunities and events. This was actually how I found out about the internship at Liberty, so they are definitely worth using not only for socializing but as part of your career development too.

Tell us about your internship at Liberty – what did you do there?

I spent two months at Liberty Specialty Markets in the Exposure Management team, where my primary role was to investigate and analyse data for the property team. I was also given the great opportunity to use catastrophe-modelling software. The outputs I provided were then transferred to the underwriters to use in supporting their decisions. This internship was really enjoyable as well as being incredibly beneficial for my career development. I gained so much understanding of the industry through engaging with my colleagues and being a part of the daily activities of an Exposure Management team.

Do you have any tips on getting ahead/securing these opportunities?

My top tip for securing opportunities in the market is to be as engaged and proactive as possible. I tried to attend as many different events and insight days in the industry as I could, which not only enabled me to meet people in the industry but also learn about the variety of roles and which would be the best suited to me. I would also advise asking as many questions as possible, as there are so many knowledgeable people in the market and this will definitely help you decide whether a role in insurance is for you. 

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See where the Discover membership could take you and check out the Chartered Insurance Institute for more opportunities.