It’s National Careers Week and what better time to shine the light on our Apprentice scheme. We are huge supporters of our apprenticeship scheme here at ICCI. Last year when our apprentices first joined us we sat down with both Annabelle Barnes & Jasmine Shepherd to get to know them a bit better. Since then our Apprentices have become vital members of our ICCI team. They are now a year into their apprenticeship journey and it has been a pleasure watching them become confident, capable and innovative professionals.
This National Careers week, we caught up with Jasmine who has been working as our Operations Apprentice in our Operations team. We asked Jasmine about her experience as an apprentice and how it has helped her start her career.
How did you hear about the opportunity for your apprenticeship at ICCI?
At the time I was looking I had joined a temp agency and had absolutely no idea what I was looking for! After securing an interview at ICCI, I knew it was where I wanted to work. The office had such a friendly feel to it and the interview process was unique, showing me that ICCI would be an interesting and lovely place to work. I especially loved the apprenticeship plan which is mainly what drew me in. The thought of going into an office job with no experience can be really daunting but the apprenticeship is suited for people in that exact situation!
How have you found your apprenticeship in general so far?
So far, my apprenticeship has been challenging, interesting, rewarding and very enjoyable. Every day, I learn something new and develop my skills within my role, learning things I never thought I would know about! Recently, I have been having more communication with direct clients, which I have especially loved as I enjoy the client facing aspect of my job the most. Sometimes there can be some challenges within the job and it has been rewarding noticing my ability to overcome these challenges and find solutions, something that I struggled with at the beginning.
What has been your biggest challenge during your apprenticeship?
At first, it was an adjustment for me dealing with numbers and learning the correct formulas because I never saw myself going anywhere near percentages again after school. However, I am really enjoying it now! Now I am in the swing of things and I understand the reasoning behind the calculations more, it has become something I genuinely love!
What has been the biggest highlight of your apprenticeship?
We are currently in the process of receiving some training within the office and I have really enjoyed it because it has been a fantastic opportunity to gain some more knowledge regarding the other teams and the roles within their teams. I have obtained a much deeper understanding of how my movements can impact the flow in the office, negatively and positively. This has given me a great foundation to grow from and I think everybody feels similarly. It has been really productive.
What is it like working for ICCI?
It is lovely working in a small office as the relationships between colleagues has a real friendly feel to them. Although professionalism is consistently maintained, everyone always remembers the human factor and knows how each other tick. We have had some great work events which is always fun and a well-needed opportunity for everyone to relax and have a good time which really enhances rapport. I also loved the volunteering activities we get involved with. We spent a day at the GSPCA last year and split into two teams to do some volunteering which was very fulfilling and a fun thing to do together.
What kind of tasks do you complete on a daily basis?
It hugely depends on which part of the month we are in. For our team, the beginning and end of the month are quite full on as, at the beginning, we really focus on organising and sending out the broker statements. The end of the month is dedicated to reconciling all the statements, chasing any outstanding payments, and making sure all of the accounts are up to date. It can get on top of you quite quickly, so it is important to make sure you’re ahead of it all. Other tasks include dealing with phone calls, handling incoming and outgoing post, distributing emails, and dealing with the outward and inward bank accounts from the previous day. I am never left with nothing to do, which is perfect for me.
How is ICCI supporting you during your apprenticeship journey?
ICCI has been really amazing in supporting me, as my original plan was to complete my CII Certificate but after some deliberation, I decided I wanted to focus more on the accounts side, rather than underwriting. I had so much support through this and I am now completing the Foundation in Insurance test, which is specifically designed for individuals in support roles to give them a brief understanding of how the insurance market operates, before moving on to study for my accountancy exams. I hope to take my exam in the next couple of months.
What do you hope to be doing in five years’ time?
I hope that in the next couple of years, I will have some accountancy exams under my belt and feel a lot more experienced in that part of my role.
Do you have any advice for people looking to do an apprenticeship with us and a career in insurance?
I say go for it! It is a fantastic opportunity and I can’t imagine a better place to do it. Insurance is such a good industry to work in because no day is the same, you are dealing with really interesting situations and there are so many different opportunities within the industry, something within it will suit you. Also, everyone at ICCI is really friendly so I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to work here!
To view our apprenticeship opportunities visit insurancecorporation.com/careers/