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Working at Miller - the inside track

Working at Miller - the inside track Miller is a City of London-based insurance broker that regularly recruits talented young people to build their career in the business. You can find out more about that by going to the homepage. 

For those of you who want to know what it's like working at Miller, read on for insight from graduates and non-graduates working in a wide range of roles. 

Myles Latif, Claims - apprentice

I joined Miller after finishing school in 2016. University never really appealed to me and I have always aspired to pursue a career in the City as early as possible. Through my own research and speaking with friends and relatives, I began to seriously consider a career in insurance. My school suggested an apprenticeship may suit me and I soon found that many insurance companies were offering opportunities to school leavers. I was lucky enough to come across a position on Miller’s first apprenticeship scheme and managed to secure my place after progressing through an assessment day and subsequent interview.

I joined Miller’s Specialty claims team and was immediately exposed to a wide variety of claims across the marine liability and hull and machinery lines of business. On a day-to day-basis, I review notifications of existing and potential new claims and advise underwriters of these losses. I am responsible for managing the settlement process of various claims: ensuring money is collected from insurers and paid out to our clients as efficiently and quickly as possible. I have also been given the opportunity to visit underwriters independently and experience face-to-face broking.

Miller’s apprenticeship scheme provides the opportunity to gain a professional qualification and this was an important benefit for me. Each month I meet my mentor, reflect on my experiences and work on my apprentice portfolio. This contains various pieces of work and case studies to evidence that I am on track to meet all the requirements of my role. As an apprentice, I receive support for my exam studies from both my mentor and the learning and development team, and aim to achieve the CII Certificate in Insurance by the end of my first year.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the diverse range of tasks and challenges that I have worked on since beginning my career at Miller. The majority of the claims I handle require different approaches in order for them to be dealt with efficiently and it is this variety that I find most interesting about working in claims.

After completing my apprenticeship, I hope to continue to progress with my insurance exams and gain some of the more advanced qualifications. I am confident that my knowledge within claims and insurance will widen vastly and as a result I hope to have more experience in handling complex claims going forward.

Oliver Mackie, Compliance - graduate 

After completing my Environmental Science degree and undertaking a postgraduate law degree, I found myself applying for training contracts at a wide range of law firms. Alongside these applications I also applied for a role within Miller’s legal team; however I was instead offered a three-month contract in the compliance team. Once I had settled into the role I soon realised that this was somewhere I could use skills from my law studies to good effect, for example, analysing and interpreting regulatory documents and information.

After my initial contract expired I was offered a permanent position and within two years moved to a role managing the new monitoring team. I now have responsibility for the day-to-day monitoring of teams throughout the firm, helping them trade while remaining compliant with the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules and requirements. Recently I enjoyed managing a project to address changes in US tax legislation which required the creation of a new IT platform and delivering training to employees and partners across the business. Non-compliance with this legislation change would have resulted in Miller potentially losing 30% of its income from US insurance premiums so my contribution was timely and important.

Since starting my career in 2010, I’ve found insurance to be a varied and interesting sector to work in. I particularly like the way it impacts on and helps all industries and walks of life. For me, I hope that in the next few years I will be able to achieve my CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance and further develop compliance within the firm.

Jamie Farrup, Programmes - school-leaver

I joined Miller in November 2013 having sat my GCSEs the previous summer. I initially got the inspiration to pursue a career in insurance from my uncle who recommended Miller to me. I decided to send in a speculative application in case there was something suitable available and was really pleased to be successful in getting a junior claims role within the reinsurance team. 

I spent a short time broking, processing and learning reinsurance treaty claims and was then offered a chance to spend some time with the facultative technical and placing team. I jumped at the opportunity and quickly gained in confidence and experience, which led to me being offered a new role within the North American binding authority team. I currently handle US transportation, homeowners’ and commercial property business, which I really enjoy due to the variety of risks I work with on a day-to-day basis, as well as the different markets and clients. 

Another key milestone for me has been completing my CII Certificate in Insurance just nine months after joining Miller. I am continuing to study towards more CII exams to advance my knowledge and career.

The opportunity I have received from Miller is unbelievable. In my two years here I have learned a tremendous amount and have had the opportunity to work in a number of different roles before settling in a role which is particularly well suited to me. Everyone is very friendly and more than happy to help me develop. 

If I could give a piece of advice to people starting out, I would say; always be open to opportunities because you never know where they might lead.

Stephanie Ferrao, Sales and Business Development - graduate

My route into insurance was somewhat unconventional. I left university with a Masters degree in English Literature and went on to complete a law conversion. When it came to undertaking practical experience in a corporate law firm, however, I felt that it was not the environment for me. I was still interested in a sector which was legally-orientated, so insurance was an obvious choice.

I decided to speak to a few friends who worked in it and spent some time researching the sector and potential employers. I believe it is really important to apply for jobs with your eyes open and think about the kind of company you want to work for, considering the culture that would suit you best. I felt strongly about working for a company which was a specialist in commercial insurance lines, so when I learned about Miller, I applied straight away for an advertised role in the Sales and Business Development team. 

My role involves supporting the business in the creation of new business proposals and tender responses. This means working closely with brokers, actuaries and other stakeholders to come up with innovative insurance proposals that generate more business. On a day-to-day basis, I draw on communication, negotiation, project management skills as well as the ability to manage long-term relationships. My role is flexible and has allowed me to take on new challenges and responsibilities in wider areas, including developing and leading internal skills training programmes which I have really enjoyed. Alongside this, I’m studying towards the CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance qualification which has helped me to understand the technical aspects of insurance. Studying while working is not easy, but I would strongly recommend this process to anyone starting out in insurance.

Although not always widely known, insurance is a great place for graduates as it is a fast-paced industry with interesting work, plenty of learning opportunities and a decent work-life balance: it is certainly where I will continue to build my career.

Richard Wallis, IT support manager - apprentice

I always knew that I wanted to work in IT and, despite having achieved the grades, I also knew university was not for me. 

I wanted to be hands-on from the outset which is why apprenticeship schemes appealed to me; it was a chance to combine education with practical experience.

I spotted the scheme on which I trained in a local newspaper, applied and passed a rigorous interview process.

I was full-time at Miller from the outset apart from a day’s training every fortnight at college. I spoke to my classmates and discovered few of them were getting daily exposure to IT, whereas I had been thrown in at the deep-end from the outset, which is exactly what I wanted. Within a year, I had moved up from being a junior support analyst to a support analyst. Two years later and I was running the IT support desk team. This was a big step at the time, considering my age and experience, but I was motivated by the support and endorsements from senior people within the IT team.

The main focus of my time is on streamlining and efficiency, analysing patterns and ways in which we can drive efficiency.

I also spend a lot of time managing talent, I’m fortunate in this respect as I have a very strong team reporting into me. The advice I would give to young people starting their careers is; never stop thinking about what you want to learn and how you want to develop your career.

I would recommend giving insurance a try, there are a wide variety of career paths available, it is more diverse and interesting than most people think.
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