Meet the team: 2017 Graduates & Apprentices

Emmi Edwards Graduate Trainee Underwriter - Household & Flood +44 (0) 207 614 5237 emmi.edwards@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied theoretical physics at the University of Sussex,  finishing with a first class MPhys.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I realised you could insure satellites and that sort of opened up a can of worms. Insurance offers everyone the opportunity to find their niche. 

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
No day is the same. The variety of the risks you see is far greater than I ever anticipated.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to my domestic secondments, where I can meet many more people in the building and see how all the parts of the business fit together.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I think my relatives understand what I do more than I do.

How do you like to relax outside work?
I try to run five times a week, I love dancing and I always make sure I cook from scratch every day.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
I'm going to be optimistic and say Kiera Knightley. 

Alexandra Evans Graduate Trainee Underwriter - Marine & Energy +44 (0) 207 614 5268 alexandra.evans@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied Economics at Cardiff University. I’m half Welsh so it was nice to move back to the motherland and pick up a few Welsh phrases along the way. I even got to showcase my Welsh on BCC Wales Radio for being the only English supporter in the packed Mochyn Du pub on a rugby match day. 

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I knew I wanted to be an underwriter as soon as I walked into Lloyd's five years ago during work experience. I like the face-to-face aspect of my job, as well as the more analytical pricing and risk calculating side.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
How different each class of business is. I interned with another class of business at TMHCC before I started here, and I was surprised at how completely different marine liability is in comparison. I’ve come to realise that these differences are what makes London Market so varied and exciting.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
Now that I’ve calmed down about getting my own business cards, definitely the international secondment. I love travelling and have always wanted to live and work in a different country.  
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I always get a softly toned “ahh okay” when I say I’m a trainee underwriter, and I’m not totally convinced my friends and family understand what I do. I still have to fake laugh when someone says they’ll call me for their car insurance quote. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I’m an avid reader and I’ve always got my nose in a book. I’m a sci-fi/adventure fan. The Wheel of Time is my all-time favourite series, followed closely by the Temeraire and Eragon series. I’m currently writing a trilogy about time travel. I also like hiking and travelling.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
I always find myself in embarrassing situations, so I’d go with Mindy Kaling. My friends say they prefer laughing at me than with me. 

Olivia Reynolds Graduate Trainee Underwriter - General Liability (Casualty) +44 (0) 207 614 5263 olivia.reynolds@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied Human Geography (BA) at the University of Liverpool and, contrary to common belief, it didn’t involve a single bit of colouring in. It’s essentially studying how human activity influences or is affected by the Earth – with quite a large focus on catastrophes, both natural and man-made, which fuelled my interest in an industry based on risk. 

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I specifically remember saying to my housemate in my second year of university, that the one thing I categorically don’t want to go into is insurance, and here I am. After actually researching the industry and speaking to others who work in it and love it, I realised that it's more exciting than just car and phone insurance and that’s exactly why I love it – it’s so broad and there’s something for everyone. 

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
How traditional it is. I'd assumed that all insurance was bought online and had no idea Lloyd's existed until earlier on this year. I have tried to explain it to friends and they all refer to it as the Wall Street of insurance – which I suppose is pretty accurate. 

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
The day I have no questions – which seems an extremely long way off at the moment.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I tend to just say I’m on the graduate scheme at Hiscox to save any painful explanation. And I get the same response every time: "oooooooh Hiscox!!" and a very approving nod. 
 

How do you like to relax outside work?
Shopping, eating out and reading are the things I tend to do most outside of work. I’m also quite into my music so go to a lot of gigs, concerts and musicals, and am attempting to learn to play the piano again after regrettably giving it up years ago, which I’m sure my housemate would describe as being more painful than relaxing. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?
I am totally clueless about films and actresses so I had to Google ‘British actresses’ for inspiration for this answer. I’d say someone like Emily Blunt. I look absolutely nothing like her (unfortunately) but feel like she’s a good mix between serious and crazy, with a dry sense of humour.

Itiafa Akerejola Graduate Trainee Underwriter - Specialty Claims +44 (0) 203 321 5542 itiafa.akerejola@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
For my undergrad I studied Business and Marketing at the University of Lincoln. Then for my postgraduate degree, I wanted to be closer to home (London) so I moved to the University of Warwick to study International Trade, Strategy and Operations.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I think what attracts me is that insurance presents itself as a mystery to those just outside the bubble, but once you’re in, you realise that it affects everything. There is a wide scope of disciplines and skills that are useful in the insurance industry which means a great deal of opportunities.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
In my experience, it’s a very professional setting but it’s also quite friendly – that surprised me.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
The international secondment. I particularly like that fact that I’ll be working with a team that has a business need – to me that means getting involved in a challenge which can be quite enjoyable.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I work with a team that deals with a range of matters, including things you probably think only happens in movies. This involves claims ranging from contingency management for musicians or TV shows, to personal accidents for sports players and product recalls. It's a great mixture. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I like visiting the cinema with friends that are big movie buffs – everything is so interesting when you’re infected by their excitement. Personally, I enjoy creative short films and Netflix. I also enjoy walking because there is so much of London I miss out on when I take the bus.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
The person would have to have a love/hate relationship with the camera, so I doubt a film about my life would ever get completed.

Julia Nilsson Graduate Pricing Analyst +44 (0) 207 614 5335 julia.nilsson@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied Natural Sciences at Bath, specialising in genetics, before doing a masters in Business Analytics & Computer Science at UCL. 

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I wanted an analytical role, but I’ve always liked working with people, so it was important to find something where I could combine these two. Relationships are obviously very important in the industry, but it’s also an exciting time for the potential of new technologies and the use of data.  

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
Particularly working within the Specialty division, it has just been the range of things I never realised would be insured.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
If I have to pick one specific element, I think the secondments will be an amazing opportunity to experience different areas of the business and get a better understanding of how they interact. 
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
That depends which relative. I’d tell my Dad I’m a London Market pricing analyst, but my Nan thinks I sell home insurance.

How do you like to relax outside work?
If I can’t be on a sun lounger somewhere hot with a book, relaxing mainly revolves around being with friends and family. That usually involves wine or brunch, but when I can get home to Cornwall nothing beats walking the dogs on the beach. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?
I did an online quiz for this one and got Natalie Portman. No idea how, but I’m not complaining.

Jared Magrath Graduate Data Scientist +44 (0) 207 614 5279 jared.magrath@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied Computer and Electronic Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. 

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
The volume and variety of data sources that are available to the insurance industry make it really appealing for a data scientist. 

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
Businesses still following the traditional insurance model at Lloyd’s and only recently have they made moves to modernise.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
The international secondment. 
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
A mixture of data processing, analysis and visualisation to enable others to make decisions on that data. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I like to get involved in lots of different sports – I particularly enjoy kickboxing. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Neil Patrick Harris.

Grace Balmford Graduate Marketing Executive +44 (0) 207 448 6493 grace.balmford@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied French and International Management at the University of Bath. It was a great degree for me as I was able to combine my interests of business and languages and I also got to spend a year working in Paris.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
To be honest, I stumbled into a career in insurance. However, since being here I can see why it’s a great industry to be in: it is so diverse with an area to suit everyone.   

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
Lloyd’s. Before joining Hiscox, I didn't realise how traditional London Market insurance has remained, and it was only after going in and seeing the underwriters and brokers in action that I realised this. 

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
The international secondment. It will be great to experience a completely different area of Hiscox and since returning from Paris, I've been looking forward to my next opportunity to live and work abroad.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
My role is to support the growth and brand presence of London Market insurance in order to help Hiscox London Market promote its offering and reinforce relationships with its brokers. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I like to run and spend time socialising with my friends and family. I also love to travel whenever I get the chance. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Emma Stone. 

Lauren Stephenson Graduate Trainee - Special Risks +44 (0) 207 614 5412 lauren.stephenson@hiscox.com

Where and what did you study at university?
I studied International Business, Finance and Economics at the University of Manchester.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
I like how you can specialise in an area that interests you, and that insurance is one of the only businesses that actually helps people in times of need.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
All of the acronyms.

Which part of the graduate scheme are you most looking forward to?
Like most people, I can’t wait to go on my international secondment. I’m still not sure where I’ll end up going, but Hiscox has offices in some of the most beautiful cities in the world, so it’s really exciting.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I work in the Special Risks team, which provides kidnap and ransom and fine art insurance policies to clients. My current role is in operations where I’m working on our marketing strategy.

How do you like to relax outside work?
I like to go to the gym a few times a week and find new restaurants to go for dinner with friends.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Thandie Newton.

Rosie Scott Operations Technician +44 (0) 207 448 6843 rosie.scott@hiscox.com

Why have you chosen an apprenticeship to begin your career?
While I was completing my A levels I knew that staying in full time education for another number of years wasn’t what I wanted, so I started to look into apprenticeships. The idea of learning while I worked and gaining professional experience alongside a qualification seemed so much better suited to me. 

What work experience have you gained before becoming an apprentice?
Before I came to work at Hiscox, the bulk of my work experience was made up of retail and waitress work, so entering a more professional business environment was a big change for me. I was worried that it was going to put me at a disadvantage to the other apprentices, but the training and support I’ve been given has been really helpful.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
When I was originally applying for apprenticeships, I didn’t really have much knowledge of the industry. It wasn’t until I went to the Lloyd's Into Work Conference last year that I started to look more into it, and felt the communication and relationships aspects of insurance would really appeal to me, as I feel these are my strengths. 

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
The tour of Lloyd's revealed more about the origins of the market and I think the most surprising thing about it was how a lot of the traditions are still upheld today.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I think the best way to describe it for me at the moment would be that we deal with everything that happens behind the scenes in the London Market, but I’m still learning so much about my role, team and where we fit within the company. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I go to as many different music gigs and concerts as I can. I’m also really interested in vintage fashion, so I spend a lot of time in Brick Lane and other places like that. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Probably Amy Schumer because she has such a dry and sarcastic sense of humour, a lot like mine.

Josh Howlett Operations Technician +44 (0) 203 321 5636 josh.howlett@hiscox.com

Why have you chosen an apprenticeship to begin your career?
I decided that starting a career early, instead of going to university and getting into huge debt, would be a good idea. Also, an apprenticeship gives me an industry-biased advantage, and it is a way to earn and learn at the same time.

What work experience have you gained before becoming an apprentice?
I worked as a paper boy for two years and then at Domino’s Pizza for two years. I also carried out three weeks of work experience in the London Market across more than a dozen syndicates, as my dad and stepdad both work in this industry.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
It is a successful and growing industry, and I feel I wanted to be part of it and grow and succeed with it.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
The diversity of people who work in this industry, and the backgrounds they come from.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
Fun, challenging, hard work but rewarding

How do you like to relax outside work?
I play football for a semi-professional team, for who I train twice a week and play matches every weekend. I also like to listen to music and play 'FIFA' in my chill time.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Taron Egerton.

Jack Brighton Delegated Authority Technician +44 (0) 207 614 5244 jack.brighton@hiscox.com

Why have you chosen an apprenticeship to begin your career?
I didn’t want to go to university as I was put off by the cost. Furthermore, I usually learn things quicker and more easily by doing them, so the opportunity to start working and learning at the same time was a no-brainer for me.

What work experience have you gained before becoming an apprentice?
Before I became an apprentice at Hiscox, I used to work as a delivery driver for Waitrose part time while studying at school. Although it was fun, I knew I wanted to get into insurance and I resigned as soon as I got the call to say that I had the Hiscox job.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
It is a very sociable industry where you can form good relationships with many brokers and underwriters. In addition, the wide range of insurance options fascinates me as you can insure everything from planes to football teams.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
It is just how much work goes into the London Market. Before, I used to think insurance was just brokers and underwriters who liaised at Lloyd’s. It's only now that I'm beginning to understand just how much work is involved. For example, I never knew the team that I'm currently in, Delegated Authority, even existed.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
This is a tough question, as I still don’t really know 100% what I’m doing myself, but I would say it's checking on other insurance companies which underwrite on our behalf. 

How do you like to relax outside work?
I play rugby and enjoy listening to music, as well as having a pint or two with my friends. But I think I speak for many people here when I say there’s nothing better than finding a good TV series and binge watching it.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Nick Frost. His personality in films like ‘Hot Fuzz’ or ‘Shaun of the dead’ matches mine in many ways.

James Triston Apprentice - Special Risks +44 (0) 207 614 5353 james.triston@hiscox.com

Why have you chosen an apprenticeship to begin your career?
I knew I didn’t want to go to university, as I couldn’t decide on a subject that I wanted to do. So, I decided to start my career in insurance through an apprenticeship, which I believe is the best way to get a hands-on experience of the industry. 

What work experience have you gained before becoming an apprentice?
I worked at Currys PCWorld during my A-levels, where they offered me a job, leading to different roles and more experience within the store.

Why does insurance attract you as a career?
Insurance always interested me because my dad deals with insurance companies. He explained to me the basics of the business and what would happen if his company needed to claim, which I found interesting.

What has surprised you most about the London Market since you started?
Just how large the market actually is compared to what people think.
 

How would you describe your job to a relative?
I say that I'm an apprentice in the department which deals with kidnap and ransom and fine art. I work in Operations, where my job is to make sure projects are as efficient as possible.

How do you like to relax outside work?
I like to listen to music, binge watch series on Netflix and hang out with my friends. I also enjoy reading about and researching the latest technology.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Tom Holland.