One of the great things about working for Zurich is the wide range of opportunities available, insurance is so much more than you think! For people who choose not to go to university, Zurich’s popular apprenticeship programme can be a great way to gain qualifications whilst earning at the same time. Let’s hear from one of their recent apprentices, Joseph, about his experiences at Zurich.
Hi Joseph. What attracted you to apply to become an apprentice at Zurich?
Whilst I was at college studying for my A levels, I started thinking about an apprenticeship. The idea of being able to earn whilst I studied really appealed to me. I’d also seen some of my friends who’d been to university struggle to secure good jobs afterward, due to their lack of industry experience. An apprenticeship definitely felt like the right direction for me.
Zurich initially really appealed to me as it is a big multinational company with a strong reputation in the marketplace. I’d also heard a little bit about the insurance industry as part of my A-level Business Studies course. The more I researched, the more I loved what it stands for as a company. Its values are very much in line with mine.
I found the application process for Zurich easier than others I had applied for. It’s great how everyone was interested in me as a person and didn’t worry about my current understanding of the insurance industry. They were looking for people with potential and the right attitude to invest in and help develop.
Can you tell us about your experiences as an apprentice in Zurich Joseph?
I was delighted to start my apprenticeship in Zurich’s Casualty Claims department in October 2019. With the right support around me, I quickly got to experience working directly with customers, tackling some of the smaller claims to start with, and building up to higher-worth claims. I enjoyed the hands-on approach to learning.
Each apprenticeship scheme in Zurich has different qualifications you work towards. Personally, I studied for my Level 3 Insurance Practitioner apprenticeship. I covered all sorts of topics such as legal and regulatory requirements through to claims handling itself. It really helped that a lot of the questions in my exams have been based on things that I am doing in my day-to-day role.
I was given time out each week to focus on my studies and coursework, plus I had a buddy assigned who supported me throughout. Everyone was willing to help, I found there were so many experts to turn to, all with a wealth of knowledge to share. It feels great that now I’m a mentor myself and am supporting somebody else through the process.
As well as gaining my qualification, I’ve learned lots of core skills that will help me in my future career. My communications have really improved with all the teamwork and my interactions with customers. I’ve learned how to prioritise and structure my work plus I’ve developed useful time management techniques.
One thing I find incredibly rewarding is being able to make a difference to people. I’ve seen first-hand how Zurich puts its customer needs at the heart of everything it does. One case that stands out for me is when I helped an elderly man with severe health issues whose gutter kept getting clogged. It resulted in his garden flooding repeatedly which caused him a lot of worry and cost him a lot of money. I was able to help arrange for him to get a new drainage system put in place. He was so grateful, it was good to know that I’d helped him.
What advice would you give other people currently considering an apprenticeship?
Have confidence in yourself and try not to worry. Before I started at Zurich, I was a bit nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect. As soon as I started here, everyone was so welcoming, and I fitted in straight away. I was surprised by how positive the whole experience was and wondered why I’d been worrying so much! Be proud of yourself and who you are. Always try to be the best version of yourself that you possibly can be.
Applications are open until the end of this year for Zurich apprenticeships starting in September 2022. Visit zurich.io/apprentice to find out more.