Huge congratulations to Wes who recently finished his summer internship with AIG. We chatted to him about the work he did with AIG, the new skills he learnt on the internship and to ask what tips he had for other students looking to follow in his footsteps.
Why did you apply to AIG?
AIG are one of the biggest financial firms in the world, their reputation precedes them and I feel that to work for such a powerful and globally renowned firms is reward in itself. The diversity of offerings in the insurance industry is attractive, - ranging from life insurance - where I worked, to spacecraft or marine insurance.
Also, the department I wanted to work in was filled with young, dynamic individuals forever working to improve the efficiency of their practices and processes. The culture at AIG Life was fantastic in promoting growth, and is a sector that looks promising for the future.
What was the application process like?
The application process was fairly short, I had to submit a CV and then attend an assessment centre. At the assessment centre I had one competency-based interview, followed by an Excel-based finance test. The final part of the assessment centre consisted of completing a group project.
What work did you do on your internship?
I was thrown in at the deep end work wise, being given progressively more challenging tasks that would teach me new skills. I learnt and used SQL to extract and refine data from databases, and then my project involved learning VBA on the job from scratch, to automate a process that would otherwise have taken a week! It was rewarding to produce something that will be used by AIG in the future and make someone's life easier.
I also had to research our products and produce reports on them; the CEO actually used some of my reports and graphs in a presentation on the competitiveness of Life products throughout the past 12 months. To know my work was being used and valued by the firm made me feel that I really was a part of the team and was continually adding value. Throughout the whole period my manager used and valued my opinion as well as giving me the opportunity to do real work that would help me develop a variety of skills and to grow as an individual and as a professional.
What three tips would you give to Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
1) Tailor your cover letter and CV to the firm you’re applying to. You don’t have to start each one from scratch but you should be clever about how you personalise and tailor each one.
2) Reach out to people. These could be people a few years older than you at school, they could be relatives or relatives of friends. Explore on LinkedIn and try to find someone who can give you advice about the firm you’re applying to.
3) Brush up on jargon relevant to the industry you’re going into. Brush up for your interview and application process but also before you start your internship or graduate role if you do secure a place.
What was the hardest interview question you faced?
How would you price a toothpaste product?