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Being a Graduate at Marsh - Hannah's Story

Book open Reading time: 6 mins

We caught up with Hannah to find out her experiences at Marsh McLennan. She tells us about why she was first drawn to the firm, what a normal day on her job looks like and gives her exclusive advice on how you can follow in her footsteps …

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to Marsh McLennan

I studied Business at the University of Exeter, it was a four-year course as in my third year I did a placement at Mars - I was clearly enticed by the free chocolate! My role was in project management, this was an IT-based role and provided me with invaluable experience in a professional environment.

When it came time to figure out what I was going to do after graduation, one thing I knew was that I wanted a structured scheme - this was something that drew me to the graduate scheme at Marsh. The scheme started with a virtual induction week, and although it was virtual Marsh made me feel welcome and supported. It also felt less daunting joining with other graduates who were in the same boat. Now I’m in the office a couple of days a week it’s much easier to see what others are doing, learn from experts, and have more social interactions. This has been great, particularly as one of the key things that attracted me to the insurance industry was that I’d heard it was a people business.

What drew you to Marsh McLennan in particular?

When it came to deciding what career path I wanted to follow I realised that I wanted a job where I could make a true impact. Risk and risk management attracted me as it impacts all of us in our daily lives. At the time, I was on the mailing list at Bright Network so received regular updates on opportunities – it was through this that I discovered Marsh. I checked out Marsh’s profile and discovered that one of their core values was valuing client relationships, as someone who loves meeting new people it seemed like the perfect company where I could build strong relationships. The opportunity also met my desire to work in a fast-paced industry, but without the high stress of a career in finance.

The location was also ideal for me, I could be based in a single location for my job at Marsh, whilst at other companies, I may have been required to move around for different rotations as part of their graduate scheme.

What does a normal day look like?

As cliché as it sounds, every day is different – this is something I was told before joining. I start my day catching up with my manager, we look at what work we have on in the week and just have a general chat. I really appreciated these calls whilst I was working remotely as they made me feel more included in the team and I was able to build a stronger working relationship with my manager. Along with this, I have twice-weekly team calls where we go over what accounts we have on, the upcoming renewals, and discuss other general matters. When we were fully virtual, this was a great opportunity to catch up informally, too.

My role is a technical one, I work with a team of brokers as an account executive, ensuring that the processes and documentation are in place ready to go to market. Naturally, a lot of my time is spent on Excel and internal systems where I make sure that everything is kept accurate and up to date. Alongside this, I have been part of an exciting project where I will capture what our mining team places on a global scale – creating a dashboard to identify different metrics for a number of clients we handle in different territories. The dashboard will help to benchmark clients against their peers to show their insurance programme and how Marsh is providing value.

Alongside my day-to-day role, I have additional qualification and development commitments, at times this can feel a lot but it’s also very rewarding. I’m studying towards my ACII, and so far, I’ve loved being able to learn the more technical aspects of insurance and have used this to supplement my daily work.

What was the application process like and was it about it you enjoyed the most?

There were three stages in the application process. The first was a short application form, where I filled in some standard questions like what degree I studied and why I applied to Marsh. This was much shorter and less time-consuming than forms I had filled in for other employers. Immediately after this stage, I progressed to a psychometric game test and a competency-based video interview.

It was around January time when I received a call inviting me to attend an assessment centre in London. The assessment centre was my favourite part of the process as I got to see for myself the company culture and had the opportunity to decide if it was the right place for me. On the day, the team at Marsh made me feel so welcome and put my nerves at ease which instantly gave me such a positive perception of the company. The day involved various tasks including a group task, a writing task, and a presentation that was followed by an interview. What made the day for me was how friendly everyone was at Marsh; I was made to feel so relaxed and even the interview felt more of a discussion than an interrogation.

A few days later I received a call where I was offered the job.

Reflecting on the process, I would say that it felt less automated than other firms’ application processes. There was a more personal feel, and it seemed like Marsh wanted to get to know you as a person not just as a box to tick. Now I’ve been working here for 9 months, this is reflected in their supportive culture where people are so willing to get to know you and give you their time.

Has BN helped you in your career so far and how?

Bright Network was great in my career journey. What kept drawing me back to the platform was the easy-to-navigate website layout, I could easily find so much useful information including company profiles, advice articles, and graduate stories all in a central location. I’d also used the platform to attend events which helped me to increase my commercial awareness, this was definitely something that helped me in assessment centres as I was able to spark conversations that demonstrated my interest in the industry. Using the resources, I gained insights into the dos and don’ts of assessment centres, how to ace a presentation and more.

Not only was the platform easy to use, I really trusted it as I could see authentic insights and advice from students who had been in a similar position to me, and see how they achieved success.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to apply for a similar role?

Again, I’m going to be cliché – but I read the other day about the importance of being authentic and not trying too hard to conform to what you think others want you to be. Employers can see when you’re trying to be someone you’re not, just to fit a role. So, think about why you want to join the company because although they’re picking you, it’s also about you picking them.

Make the most of the resources you have at university. At my university I made the most of having an employability officer, this allowed me to practice being in an interview environment and use the STAR technique to form well-rounded answers. Practicing in this pressure-free environment is a great way to build the confidence you need to do well at your assessment centre. I also had access to a virtual video interview platform to get used to doing these as well.

Commercial awareness is key. Take an interest in the industry you want to get into, this is a sure way to make you stand out to an employer as it shows you are truly interested in the role.  This was something that I showed at my assessment centre, and just by mentioning a current issue I’d seen in the news, I was able to spur a discussion on the topic and demonstrate to Marsh my passion for joining their team.

If you want to follow in Hannah’s footsteps – discover more out about Marsh McLennan here.