Life on our graduate programme
Our structured, two-year programme is designed to accelerate your development.
You'll be learning new things, applying your skills and expanding your knowledge, and making a real difference to our business by creating positive, memorable experiences for customers and colleagues alike.
You will receive training and support throughout the programme, including coaching, an insurance specialist mentor, webinars, professional qualifications and support from the Technical Academy.
But what's it really like? We thought we'd leave it to some of our graduates to provide the answers.
Diego - Underwriting, Mexico
Dipika – Actuarial Graduate
"My first actuarial placement was in the UK Personal Lines Actuarial Pricing team for the MORE TH>N business. Most of my time was spent on a motor rate review to provide an actuarial perspective on premium changes - a great way to get practical experience with generalised linear modeling. It was fascinating how I developed from first understanding the established process to spending most of my time adding qualitative information to the modeling procedure, due to changes in our customer base, the economic climate, competitor activity and so on.
"Now I'm in Group Reinsurance. The work is much more varied and gives me the chance to hone my non-actuarial skills as well. The international character of the work has been brilliant, too. I'm originally from Denmark but have spent a few years in Canada and Sweden. Working every day on projects that involve my previous home countries is incredibly satisfying."
Gemma - Claims Graduate
"I didn't know what to expect when considering a career within insurance; I certainly didn't imagine I'd be looking at claims at such a high level from the start. I'd kind of thought I'd work my way up and not be thrown in at the deep end like I was! It was a steep learning curve but one I've coped with well, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of colleagues.
"When I first joined RSA I started by reviewing existing claims, looking at claims with reserves of £100,000 to £10m, before moving on to review new specialist and large claims. There's a lot to learn, but soon I was moving forward and taking more responsibility, helped by the fantastic support given by my line manager and technical coach.
"Claims isn't for everyone; there's a certain mindset that involves analytical thinking and the ability to see the bigger picture. I've been lucky enough to spend some time in Underwriting too, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I know that Claims is definitely where I want to be. Every day you're presented with different scenarios, and I feel like I'm always learning new things. That's the thing about RSA; it's a very people-focused organisation that's totally committed to furthering your development."
Sarah - Specialist and Large Claims Graduate
"I've found that RSA strives for excellence, but is not ruthless in how it goes about it. There's real recognition that people are key to achieving business goals so they go out of their way to develop your technical skills and create an environment in which you can show what you can do. I started in the Third Party Motor Claims Team, dealing with vehicle repair claims up to £5000. Nine months later I was on the Global Technical Graduate Programme, personally dealing with claims up to £380,000 as part the Specialist & Large Claims Team. That's how you can progress at RSA - and since joining the team, I've had exposure to multi-million pound claims.
"I've also met with our barristers on large cases to discuss tactics and test out the evidence of our accident reconstruction experts or medical experts, as well as attending several joint settlement meetings with senior claims technicians to try to negotiate a settlement. We hold the purse strings, so although the barristers can give advice, ultimately it's our decision at what figure we want to settle a claim.
"We aim to settle valid claims fairly and quickly to keep customers moving in times of crisis, but often we come across claims that may not be quite as they seem. I spent the day with our special investigator on a case where we were having difficulty tracing the driver of our policyholder's vehicle. Eventually, we were told that the driver was attending Crown Court. After speaking with court staff and barristers to get a positive identification, the investigator had to confront the driver who was now facing a prison sentence after a guilty verdict!
"Sometimes, you need to see the location of the accident or speak to the insured face to face - and I've been out with our claims investigators. The point is, no two claims are the same and you really have to be entrepreneurial in the way you investigate claims in order to come out with the best settlement for all."
Rafael – Underwriting Graduate
"As an Underwriting graduate I've been able to see risk from various perspectives, understand what it really means and identify the best course of action for RSA in line with the key question: what is our appetite for risk?
"In my first year, I worked with the Technical portfolios in Brazil, rotating around various placements. Very early on I learned how to deal with the industry concerns, identify complex risk situations, analyse proposals, study market trends, identify the strengths and threats of the business - and see how risks can be mitigated to create a win-win situation for clients, brokers and RSA. Some risks are ever present, such as hurricanes, but there are also the threats of fraud and economic downturns that we're facing now. I help to decide whether we're ready to accept risks. I've discussed many situations, from the world economy to local risks, with colleagues in countries including Mexico, Chile, Argentina, UK, Ireland, China and Italy. It's all about defining price, rates, terms and conditions, but as underwriting graduates we get all the necessary training and coaching to gain this expertise.
"Now I'm in the second year of my programme, I'm working closely with my coach to define which portfolio of RSA I should focus on. It's important to enhance my skills to enable me to take on bigger challenges.”
Hanna - Risk Engineering, Commercial Lines, Sweden
“When I started studying Fire Safety Engineering and Risk Management, I never thought I would end up in the insurance industry. As I went further along my studies the possibility of working with Risk Engineering from a property insurance point of view started to reveal itself as an interesting choice. I now work as a Risk Engineer in the Swedish Commercial team. Shortly after I started, I began to visit customers on my own to talk about fire safety and loss prevention, after a start-up period of working alongside my colleagues. I get to see a lot of different types of businesses, everything from retail to the energy sector, both smaller businesses to large corporate groups with exposures of some billion SEK. We have a structured proactive risk management approach to identify, analyse and mitigate risk - thereby reducing our customers' loss potential.
“There are many aspects to my job. For example, it is essential to understand the risk associated with a type of occupancy to make sure it falls within the risk appetite of RSA. Another important aspect is to identify possible risk mitigating actions and recommendations to improve the risk level at the companies that we insure. The job is really varied and I need to be up-to-speed with the latest news, codes and standards to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions to our customers. It is possible to find support in terms of fire engineering guidelines, but a major part of my job is also to use my own judgement.”
Helene - Product & Process Development, Denmark
“I work in the Product & Process department at Codan, where we are responsible for driving and implementing improvements in products and processes, as well as new product development. The work in the department is very diverse and we cooperate with a lot of other departments like Sales, Business Intelligence, Marketing, IT, etc. So far, I have been involved in projects like changing fees and business processes, and mapping competitors’ coverage to find opportunities for new products and alike. Soon, I will be joining a large scale inter-Scandinavian project to implement a new product and pricing structure. As I’m brand new to the insurance industry, it’s really exciting to get to work on a lot of different projects and broaden my horizon every day.
“As a Graduate my daily focus is on the business in Denmark and Sweden, so the induction in London has been a great opportunity to learn more about our mother company RSA and to experience that we’re part of this great global organisation. The opportunities for development are really only limited to your own ambitions. The induction in London has also provided a great opportunity to network with a bunch of colleagues from across the world, from informal chit-chat with the other graduates to having a glass of wine with the RSA Group CEO.
“One of the things I like the best about working for Codan is the focus on employee engagement. I’m fortunate to be on the RSA Global Graduate Programme, but as a company we also provide leadership programmes, the RSA Global Technical Academy, and a strong performance culture. Together with my manager, I’ve set up SMART-goals to be discussed and reviewed throughout the year. It really motivates me to have specific and measurable goals, and knowing that I’ll be rewarded when I meet them. Other little perks are fresh fruits every day and a canteen with delicious, healthy food.”