We caught up with Viktoriya to hear all about her journey to Hiscox, why she is passionate about the industry and to hear her top advice on how you can follow in her footsteps.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I graduated in 2019 with a degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield. I’ve had experience taking summer finance courses in Singapore as well as having done work experience in accounting and wealth management – this was all aimed at helping me to figure out what career path to follow. Eventually I came across insurance, and although I knew little about the industry, I felt that the Underwriting graduate scheme at Hiscox fit my skills and values.
What is your role and how long have you been at Hiscox?
I joined Hiscox’s Underwriting graduate scheme in 2019, it’s a rotational scheme so I’ve had the opportunity to work in different underwriting teams and also work on projects. During my underwriting rotations, I focused on becoming an expert in the underwriting function. This involved upskilling myself, understanding how the business functions, and building relationships with brokers. This was an operational role where I streamlined business processes by identifying who the stakeholders involved were, how communications could be increased and how an effective workflow could be established. The outcome of this was a platform where users could do everything from submitting changes to creating audit trails, this created a much more transparent process. Seeing the huge impact that it had on helping teams to work more efficiently was very rewarding.
I’ve now been at Hiscox for 2 years and have been involved in such a wide range of things. Through this I have gained a vast range of experiences and met so many amazing people.
What do you find most interesting about the Insurance industry?
Before starting at Hiscox I knew very little about the industry, but through my time as an underwriter, I have discovered that insurance is everywhere and impacts our daily lives. I find it exciting that I play a role in shaping the future of insurance. Hiscox, in particular, has been great at empowering me as here I have a place where my views are valued.
I’m excited to progress further in my career and get involved in understanding the strategy behind insurance along with its impact on the wider community. I’ve come to realise that my career path doesn’t have to be linear with insurance as there are so many development points, opportunities to learn, and projects to get involved with. I’ve picked up so many new skills through being willing to help out and open to new ideas – this has really supported my development on the scheme.
Tell me a little bit about the Hiscox NextGeneration Network.
The Hiscox NextGeneration network is designed to guide new joiners through the world of Hiscox and insurance. It’s all about creating networking opportunities, both internally and externally, in the widely connected insurance industry. Its aim is to increase the transfer of knowledge between generations through events such as the History of Hiscox.
The network hosts workshops and talks where we share resources to help support young professionals progress through their careers - our events have included a LinkedIn Masterclass and talks on financial savviness. There are many great pools of information and knowledge that our members can draw from which help them to understand how they can drive their career.
What inspired you to get involved with this network?
I started as a member of the network, but over time I was inspired to get more involved – this resulted in me becoming the co-chair of the Hiscox NextGeneration Network. My passion for the network stems from struggles that I faced before I entered the industry; I empathised with other young professionals who were finding it difficult to know the right path forward. Insurance is a very connected world, and coming from outside it can feel daunting as you don’t always know where you can find the right guidance. The network has provided a place for people who are in similar positions to connect, share their knowledge and learn the skills that they need to progress in the industry.
When I first started as co-chair it felt like quite a large step-up. I quickly had to learn to balance my day-to-day role as well as ensuring I was delivering value to the network’s members. At times I have found it to be demanding, but through getting more people involved in the network and making it a more collaboratively run group it’s been much more manageable. Giving members more ownership in the process has got them more engaged and has in turn provided greater value to them.
What is the company culture like at Hiscox?
It was refreshing to join a company that actually embodies its company values. Everyone is so friendly, keen to get to know you and so willing to give you their time – this was reassuring as a new joiner. The flat structure has made it easy to approach both my team and senior leaders with any questions I have, and it's clear that there is a lot of effort made in the company to keep this openness.
Innovation is another key aspect of the culture here, people are constantly looking ahead and working in a collaborative style to generate new ideas.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at Hiscox?
Keeping up-to-date with the news is key, not just this but also thinking about how this will impact the world of insurance. Having this commercial awareness will demonstrate your analytical skills as well as show that you are interested in the industry – something employers want to see.
I would also recommend familiarising yourself with the company, read into their values and think about how they match with your own, get to know the industry and any potential future problems. Doing this can make you stand out in the assessment process.
For people who are interested in applying to Hiscox, I would say just go for it. There are so many opportunities here in terms of development, it’s a flexible workplace comprising of open-minded people and there’s a diverse range of things for you to get involved with outside of your day job. One of the best things for me is the networks here, they are a great resource to help you meet new people and deal with personal problems. Hiscox is a great place to work because it makes work enjoyable and helps you build strong bonds with your colleagues.
Feeling inspired? Check out Hiscox' profile to explore the current opportunities.