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LSE Careers Consultant gives a positive outlook for insurance careers

LSE Careers Consultant gives a positive outlook for insurance careers

Viki Chinn is a Careers Consultant within LSE Careers - this is, of course, part of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

We turned the tables and asked Viki a few questions about her experience of the sector and talking to students about risk and insurance. Here are Viki's responses.

What is your experience of the risk profession?

I look after a few insurance companies within the Patron scheme at the Careers Service, acting very much as a conduit between them and the students I see. I act as their point of contact within the careers service and we liaise regularly to ensure we are up to date with what is happening with their recruitment processes.

I regularly introduce students to the sector and guide them through the recruitment processes. One of my proudest achievements was recently introducing a young lady to the sector and, having gone through the process step by step with her, finding out last week that she had been offered what she considered to be her dream job by the very company I initially introduced her to.

I also sit as a lay member for the Professional Standards Board Diversity Action Group for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the professional body for the sector, alongside both lay members and professionals.

How do you think students view this sector?

I have never yet met a student who has considered insurance as a career option, so all are initially taken aback by my suggestion. Most, however are open to listening and not at all averse to considering it, particularly once I have described the range of roles available.

How do you persuade students to consider insurance as a career choice?

More often than not, many of the students I refer are coming from an International Relations background, so it is a simple matter of explaining how that makes a good match and how their skills are valuable in areas of insurance. I always describe how no-one ever considers it themselves until it is suggested to them by a careers adviser or similar (thus allowing them to relate it to themselves) and how I heard that very story from an IR graduate working in the sector.

I also talk about insurance as an interesting option when I present seminars to both students from specific departments and those that are attended by students school wide.

What would you recommend to insurance employers interested in raising their profile?

Engage more with University Careers services. They need to have a visible presence at fairs and events and, where possible, have a presence on campus. Careers advisers have the closest one-to-one contact with the students they are looking for. Advisers need to know about you and consider you good employers - they are your best tools. 

Employers also need to be active in engaging with diversity. Many applicants with disabilities have very relevant skills and would be desired candidates but are deterred by a lack of information about diversity practices and inclusion on company websites. This also acts as deterrent to other candidates who are judging the company's general practices.

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