Willis interns thrive on opportunity
Two summer interns at Willis Towers Watson (Bermuda) have spoken about how the opportunities have increased their knowledge of the insurance industry.
Courtney Brown and Kyra Dunstan are studying at universities in Canada. They underwent interviews before being chosen to receive the internships at the brokerage company.
Paul Scope, chairman of Willis Towers Watson (Bermuda), introduced the summer intern programme in 2015, and it has grown in popularity with keen competition for the available slots.
Ms Dunstan was awarded the intern placement in the insurance management area, while Ms Brown has been interning in the broking area.
Wendy Percy, office manager, oversees the students. The programme aims to attract university students who will soon be graduating and going into the market by offering them a view into the world of insurance.
The programme in broking is specifically designed to provide real experiences by introducing the student into each line of the business; property, casualty, healthcare and professional risks. The aim is to attract and retain the best upcoming talent to progress the company and the industry towards gender balance.
Ms Brown is in her last year of University of Waterloo where she is expected to graduate with a bachelor of environment and minor in international trade.
Speaking of her internship, she said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the broking side of the industry.”
She took part in the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies’ Intro to Insurance Bermuda Internship to gain a foundation.
“Coming into this internship I had very little knowledge about what insurance broking entailed. All of the brokers, from technical assistants to senior vice-presidents, have been instrumental in not only showing me the ropes but also providing a welcoming team environment.
“Being able to attend meetings between underwriters, clients and brokers was one of the many highlights of this internship. I also appreciated the tasks assigned where I felt I was making a contribution to the team.”
She said that after graduating next year she hopes to gain an entry-level position in the industry, adding: “I believe broking might be the ideal place to start.”
Ms Dunstan is attending University of Western Ontario and is expected to receive a bachelor of management and organisation studies, specialising in human resources.
She said: “Having done the BFIS internship and visited Willis Towers Watson last summer I was interested in expanding my knowledge of the insurance industry. The programme has been a great experience for myself and I have been exposed to various segments around the compliance aspects of the industry.
“The biggest takeaway for me is that I have learnt how flexible and adaptable companies have to be in this industry in particular with the ever-changing and increasing compliance landscape”.
She felt like a member of the team during her internship, and added: “The culture of inclusivity and diversity that WTW holds in its core values are clearly evident in the office environment and through initiatives put on by both the local and global WTW branches.”