Meet David - from Chemistry PhD to Graduate Programme
David completed his PhD in Chemistry at Cardiff University, before joining our Core Graduate Programme in September 2017.
Why did you choose to study for a PhD in Chemistry at Cardiff?
Chemistry was the subject I was most interested in at school and I felt that it had good career prospects. I was originally accepted to study Chemistry at Imperial College, but after a year I decided London wasn’t the city for me. I had a lot of friends in Cardiff and I knew it was a great city to be in, so I moved to Cardiff University.
After completing my degree, I was sponsored to do a Masters and I was part of a research project making new catalytic converters. I found it really interesting to be able to do research that had real world results, hence made the decision to study for a PhD.
Why did you choose to come to Admiral after completing your PhD?
I really enjoyed Chemistry, but the career I would have looked to pursue in my field would have required me to move elsewhere. I was keen to firstly stay in Cardiff, and secondly explore other working environments.
I knew Admiral was the biggest company headquartered in Cardiff, so I knew it would give me the opportunity to learn how things were really run. It also offered a graduate programme that was designed to take graduates with no experience in the insurance industry, which was exactly what I was looking for.
How did you find the application process?
In comparison to other companies, the thing that really stood out to me about Admiral was how friendly and positive they were throughout the application process.
Rather than asking very generic questions, the interviews were very personable and I felt like they took a real interest in me, my experience and where I may fit in within the company.
How did you find your first day?
It was good; they made us feel comfortable, introduced us to the company and told us what we were going to encounter over the next 5 weeks. There were no unknowns, and we settled in really well.
How were the five weeks of training?
Not many of us knew a great deal about insurance so our training was taken from the ground, up. It was very engaging, we learned a lot and we had so much fun along the way.
Where are you currently working?
I’m currently working in Household Claims, which is a relatively new department. It’s growing very quickly, so it’s constantly up-scaling and adapting to change. I’m looking at various projects that aim to improve the department’s efficiency throughout this period.
Where would you like to go next?
I’m keen to get an understanding of as much of the business as possible; I’d like to get some experience in motor insurance, other insurance and other financial services products before securing a permanent role.
What is the best thing about working for Admiral?
It’s difficult to pin down one thing. The people I work with are great and the projects they give me are interesting. Although I’ve only been here for four months, my colleagues are really listening to what I’m saying, so the impact I’m having on the business at this early a stage is very rewarding.
Would you recommend applying for the Admiral Graduate Programme?
Yes, Admiral is a great company to work for. I’ve learned that the insurance business as a whole is actually a really exciting business to be in.
Do you have any tips for applying?
I think the most important thing is letting your personality shine throughout the application process. Of course show that you’re capable, but just be yourself.
You can find out more about our grads and interns’ experiences in our graduate blogs.