Checking In - An Interview with Our Apprentices
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It is no secret that the past year has been a new experience for us all, striving to carry on with business as usual whilst having to adapt to a different way of working. This hit home particularly for our Apprentices, Jack and Shannon, who both reached their first anniversary with us during the Coronavirus lockdown.
We caught up with them recently to see how they felt about the situation, but more importantly to reflect on and celebrate their achievements in their first year with Lumley Insurance.
Can you describe a typical day as a Lumley Apprentice?
Shannon: In a typical day, we will review our tasks each morning alongside our weekly work plan, and then prioritise sending quote requests to our panel of insurers to ensure these are back in good time. Throughout the day we work closely with the account handlers, keeping them updated on any outstanding work we have for their clients. In the afternoons I tend to focus more on issuing of documentation and then review my work for the following day.
Jack: A typical day for me at Lumley’s will be a bit different each day, I could be obtaining quotes, speaking with clients discussing their renewals or issuing renewal documentation. Each day I will review my workload to know what to prioritise. I’ve learned to make time to review my emails each morning!
How are things now for you working from home?
Shannon: Working from home now just feels like the new normal. It isn’t too much different as everyone remains in constant contact through team calls.
Jack: At the start of working from home it was hard to adjust, however after the first couple of months it became normal and I was back to being fully productive and able to complete all work as quickly on my laptop as I was in the office and since then I have only been getting quicker.
Do you get a lot of support from your trainer / manager?
Shannon: Yes, we are in constant contact with both Sam and Danni and also have a lot of support from our team leaders and account handler teams.
Jack: Yes, I have regular catch ups with both my manager and trainer and have fortnightly one to ones with my manager to discuss all work I have completed recently and to provide an update on everything I have been working on. I have training with my manager for calls which has helped me to build up my confidence on the phone to clients. I also have refresher training with my trainer on procedures such as renewals, adjustments and also new business. Both my trainer and manager are there to answer any questions I have.
How do you feel you have progressed in your Apprenticeship from when you first started?
Jack: I feel I have developed a lot of skills throughout the course of my apprenticeship, my communication skills have drastically changed as I now feel confident on the phone with clients whereas at the beginning I was a lot more anxious as this was not something I have had to do before. My team working skills also have improved as I have formed an excellent working relationship with my team, and I am able to assist when they are busier and vice versa.
Shannon: I feel I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on our products and general insurance. I’ve also gained a lot of confidence when making decisions.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far?
Jack: I would say my biggest achievement so far has been my first client confirming renewal. This was the first I had completed from the pre renewal contact all the way through to them accepting. It was great to go through that experience and have the assistance of both my manager and team leader to complete the calls and provide the best service for the client.
Shannon: Either passing my Cert Exam or dealing directly with our first clients.
Has the apprenticeship been different to how you imagined it would be, if so how?
Jack: I imagined the apprenticeship would have involved a lot more reading and learning information from workbooks and online training. However, it has mostly involved practical learning. I learn much quicker when I am shown how to do something and then completing it myself after as I prefer to learn by doing.
Do you feel the apprenticeship was the right choice for you?
Shannon: Yes, I feel like I would not have excelled in the same way in a college environment.
Jack: I feel the apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me, as I have always been a practical learner and this was exactly that, learning by watching then repeating and completing until I had perfected something, and the process of these being checked and target setting drove me to try and strive to perform to my absolute best at all times.
What advice would you give someone wishing to start an apprenticeship at Lumley?
Jack: The advice I would give to someone who is wishing to start an apprenticeship at Lumley would be if you are a practical learner then an apprenticeship is most definitely the best option, as it gives you the opportunity to learn lots of new skills by completing tasks involving those skills. I would recommend an apprenticeship at Lumley to anyone who is interested in a practical learning environment with lots of support to help you progress.