So, the first few weeks of my job proper have been pretty hectic. With the World Cup on, the office essentially shuts down at 4pm each day. The company sends out links to the BBC World Cup feeds – which perhaps says something about the company culture -and everyone on my team gathers around the manager’s desk for the next two hours. It’s much the same story for the evening games, as my English flatmates and I go to the building’s common room or a pub and talk about how the World Cup is For Sure coming home this year.
In terms of actual work, I’ve been given a sort of vague project as well as a general assignment to help the team where needed. Because travel insurance is such a new product for Admiral, I’m one of only four on the pricing team. This means I chip in on routine pricing reports and occasionally answer pricing queries from travel representatives in Admiral’s call center, but most of my time is spent on my “summer project”, which I’ll present in front of senior management in August. My job is to identify new rating factors and changes to Admirals rating structure (i.e. what the happens between getting a customer’s information and the computer spitting out a price for insurance) based, initially, on competitor analysis. While this seems (somewhat?) interesting, it means going on price comparison websites, getting quotes from competitors, changing one tiny detail, and seeing how that changes the price… over and over again. To date I’ve filled about 2000 Excel rows. For now, though, I have the data that I need, and can compare the price changes to cost data for the company to make some initial observations- definitely more stimulating work.
Admiral places a huge emphasis on personal growth, something I’ve really come to appreciate during my first few weeks. This takes a variety of forms, from being trained in the programming languages SAS and teradata SQL to the Buy-A-Book scheme, where the company will foot the bill for up to £75 worth of books, as long as they pertain to your work. I feel really thankful to be at a company that invests so much in its people.
In my free time, I’ve been trying to hang out with the other interns, and experience as much of Wales as I possibly can. Last Saturday for instance, I took a bus to a national park, climbed the highest peak in southern Britain, and returned home, only to go to a karaoke night put on by the intern group just an hour later. So far, I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends, and I love the company culture and living in Cardiff.
The pictures are of my hike last Saturday, the view across Cardiff from my desk, and myself (middle) and some of the other interns this weekend.