A huge congratulations to Ben who successfully secured a role as an IT Graduate at Allianz. We caught up with him to find out more about his experiences at Allianz so far and his top tips for Bright Network members wanting to follow in his footsteps.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background
I am currently an IT graduate. I grew up in south London and went to the University of Reading where I studied computer science for three years. I love sport and socializing.
What inspired you to apply for this role and this company?
I came out of university knowing that I wanted to take forward what I had learnt at university but did not know which area I wanted to specialise in. I was attracted to the Allianz scheme because I was interested in being able to rotate around different teams within the IT area.
What was the single most important thing you learnt in the first week of your role?
Having never worked in an office before, the biggest thing I learnt was how best to conduct myself in an office environment.
What is your current role and how long have you been at Allianz?
My scheme includes four rotations over two years. My first rotation was information security where I looked at risk management and incident coordination. I then moved to Emerging Technologies as a project manager. During this placement I was engaging with different areas of the business and implementing new technologies to understand whether the system can add value. In my current placement I am working in IT Business Continuity where I am looking at disaster recovery and business continuity plans. The teams objective is to ensure that in the event of a disaster, Allianz will still be able to continue meeting our customers’ needs. Following this placement I will be moving to work in the robotics team, before looking for a role off the scheme.
What would a 'normal' day look like for someone in your role?
Every day is very different. My usual day would be spent attending meetings to discuss our progress on our projects and between these meetings I spend time completing my actions to enable the projects to progress.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you're in?
A big part of my role is researching and implementing new IT systems and I find this really interesting. Since starting at Allianz I have learnt a great deal about how our Claims department works and have found that really interesting too!
What was the application process like? What was the hardest part and the most enjoyable?
I found some of the tasks at the assessment centre tricky. For example, they gave me a pack of information that I was asked to make a presentation on. However, the assessment centre was also the best part for me. It gave me an opportunity to meet current graduates over lunch and ask any questions that I had which made the scheme become more real.
What is the company culture like?
I have been really impressed with how friendly and helpful everyone is at Allianz. This really makes a difference and enables me to get my work done.
How important is diversity to you and what is Allianz doing in this space at the moment?
I think diversity is a really important topic for all businesses today. I think that Allianz foster diversity well, however there is always room for improvement. Allianz have started putting on events to bring people’s attention to the diversity of the company and how we can benefit from this.
Have you had the opportunity to get involved in any activities outside work?
Allianz are firm believers in work life balance and therefore there are many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. I play squash, badminton and football with work and this is a great way to get to know colleagues around the business. Also I have had opportunities to get discounted tickets to sporting events.
Has anything surprised you since you started?
The biggest realisation for me since I started is how much effort it is to iron 5 shirts a week for work. I haven’t worked out yet if it is more effort to do them all in one batch or quickly every morning.
Do you feel that university prepared you for what is expected of you in your role?
University helped me develop my knowledge and soft skills required to work in this kind of environment. Whilst at Allianz I have been fortunate to be able to build on that knowledge and have had to apply it to a business context. However, It did not prepare me for early starts!
Finally, any tips for anyone who'd like to apply for a similar role at Allianz?
Definitely apply! All the schemes give you the opportunity to see a wide range of teams across the business. Be yourself when it comes to the interview and assessment centre. They are hiring you for who you are and not because you are an expert in all fields.
Looking to follow in Ben's footsteps? Discover live graduate opportunities with Allianz.