Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a day at Aon in downtown Philadelphia. For all of you soccer fans, Aon is the top sponsor for the Manchester United Football Club, and their name is plastered around the perimeter of Old Trafford. In the business sense, Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance. They handle all lines of insurance and serve as a mentor for hundreds of companies around the world. Twenty interns from the Philadelphia area were invited to spend a day learning about the variety of career options at Aon, and it was a chance for us to learn about the brokerage end of the business.
The morning started off with a brief introduction from the managing principal at Aon Phila and he spent some time talking to us about the skills that will be needed once we enter into the work force. He emphasized the importance of displaying strong people skills and the ability to be a critical thinker. After that, we got to hear from individuals who specialize in client networking, health and benefits, surety, casualty, property and life sciences. Most of the presentations were very informal and they encouraged us to intervene at any time with questions that we might have. Towards the end of the day, we got to hear from an Actuary who works at Aon. This definitely was my favorite part of the day because he was someone who had the same career goals as me. Of course, only two of us were Actuarial Science majors and his presentation put a lot of the other interns to sleep. I guess that they didn’t want to hear about risk modeling and premium pricing.
Spending a day at Aon allowed me to gain a new perspective of the industry that I plan on making a career in. For the majority of the summer, I have had the chance to learn about the client end of the business and yesterday showed me the other end, the brokerage side, and allowed me to network with individuals who have 25+ years in the industry. Some of the presentations gave me insight into what questions to expect in interviews and also taught me useful tips about how to market myself to be a strong candidate. One of the individuals who covered life sciences said that “You need to diversify yourself and allow yourself to be a warm body.” He was trying to say that we all need to find ways to make ourselves stand out and make us have 1 in 1000 character traits. If that could be accomplished, then we all would set ourselves up for strong chances at employment opportunities with the majority of companies in the industry. I also got the chance to learn that some areas of the business make for a near 24/7 work week and that your work really never stops. Guess I better start getting ahead on sleep before I graduate.