Denis Sonic, Intern, Zurich, Switzerland

"Swiss Re is a great place to learn because colleagues are happy to share their knowledge."

Why did you pursue an internship at Swiss Re?

I saw this internship as a chance to apply what I’ve learned from my studies – where I’m focusing on health sciences and medical technology – in a business environment.

What’s your role as an intern?

I’m supporting the casualty team of Swiss Re’s risk engineering services unit with qualitative and quantitative risk analyses in chemical and life sciences. It’s a very technical role, which gives me a close-up view of the underlying risks. It’s also varied. In just two months, I’ve contributed to projects in food safety, medical implants, construction and oil and gas.

How is this experience relevant to your future endeavours?

For one thing, it’s helping me complete my master’s programme, which requires an internship. Looking further ahead, I think this experience working with top risk engineers in the reinsurance industry will positively influence my career path later.

What has been your proudest moment so far?

My first visit to Swiss Re Next, the company’s flagship building in Zurich, made me proud to work here. In terms of achievements, I’m proudest of finding the courage to ask for help when I need it to go further. Swiss Re is a good place to develop this skill because it doesn’t feel hierarchical and even senior colleagues are happy to share their knowledge.

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Melisa Aranda, Technical Accounting Team Leader Life & Health Business Management EMEA, Mexico City

"Swiss Re supported my development from an intern to a team leader."

What was your role as an intern?

I supported the analysis and processing of some of our clients in Latin America for the Technical Accounting Team. It was a good way to apply what I was learning in my accounting studies and to get to know the reinsurance industry at the same time.

How does a Swiss Re internship differ from internships elsewhere?

In other programmes, interns often end up getting unimportant assignments. At Swiss Re I felt like I was part of the company right away and was given increasingly complex and meaningful tasks over time.

What was your most important learning?

Everything. I knew nothing about reinsurance, so all the technical things were new to me. I also learned about the business world and success factors in a large organisation, including teamwork and a sense of urgency.

What do you like best about working at Swiss Re?

I really like my work environment and the flexibility of Own The Way You Work, which helps me maintain work-life balance. But probably my favourite thing about working here is all the opportunities I’ve had to grow professionally as well as personally, starting as an intern and now as a team leader.

Katherine Ross, Intern, Armonk, USA

     "My internship gave me valuable insight into Swiss Re’s perspective on future trends.“

Why did you pursue an internshipat Swiss Re?

I found this opportunity through a Swiss Re employee who I happened to meet at a conference. I was a little uneasy at first because I don’t have a finance background – I’m working toward my bachelor’s in Quantitative Risk & Insurance.  But everyone was really helpful in bringing me up to speed, and I’ve loved the experience so far. I also thought this was a company I could see myself working at full-time after my May 2020 graduation, and that proved to be right! Post-graduation I’ll be joining the Strategic Partnerships Department as an Associate in the graduates@swissreprogramme.

What’s your role as an intern?

I’m working in the credit risk banks & country team of financial risk management, which sets Swiss Re’s exposure limits toward specific banks and countries. In my main project, we’re comparing the testing of the resiliency of banks and other financial institutions to possible financial stressors.

What makes Swiss Re’s internship programme different?

From comparing notes with friends, I know it’s unusual to get broad exposure as an intern. On top of working in credit risk, I’ve been collaborating with Swiss Re’s property and casualty analytics team and five other interns across the country on an analysis of loss drivers in workers’ compensation. This has given me valuable insight into Swiss Re’s perspective on future trends.

What has surprised you?

The challenges of working in a global virtual team have been bigger than I expected. Not only the technologies involved, but the initiative and discipline it takes to make a collaboration work across time zones and roles. My colleagues’ high level of commitment motivates me to deliver for them as well. 

Scott David Taylor, Intern, London, UK

     "I feel everything I’m doing here is meaningful, even if it’s a small piece of the puzzle."

Why did you pursue an internship at Swiss Re?

Swiss Re is a global leader in an industry I find very interesting. I stand by its corporate values and emphasis on personal development and learning. The internship seemed like a great chance to build on what I’ve learned as an international business student in finance and related fields.

What’s your role as an intern?

I’m supporting a key aspect of risk management – internal risk reports. This has opened my eyes to the role that reinsurance plays in the stability of the wider economy and the importance of risk management to many of Swiss Re’s activities. I feel everything I’m doing here is valuable and meaningful, even if it’s a small piece of the puzzle.

How is this experience relevant to your future endeavours?

A lot of what I’m learning can be transferred to my studies and future career, such as stronger communication skills. My now deeper understanding of risk management will also change how I look at business ventures in the future.

What are three things you like about your internship?

It’s exciting to work with leading experts in the industry. My managers gladly share their knowledge in one-to-one tutorials as well as in the group lectures for interns. There are also opportunities to network outside my team. Finally, I like being exposed to my fellow interns’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives through the Group intern project. This enables the team to develop a wide range of unique and creative solutions.

Inés María Jiménez Herreros, Intern, Munich, Germany

"Swiss Re has an open environment and people take time to teach you."

Why did you pursue an internship at Swiss Re?

After earning my bachelor’s in business administration, I wanted to gain some work experience before continuing to study. My first job was in the export credit team of a major bank. One of the insurers covering the transactions I saw there was Swiss Re, which caught my attention for its reputation and for the relationship with Switzerland which I developed after finishing my studies at the Swiss School of Madrid and the University of St. Gallen.

What’s your role as an intern?

I mainly work in two teams: Sales and General Aviation. In Sales, I manage the deals portfolio and participate in client events. In the aviation team, I mostly support the team in costing processes.

Has anything about the experience surprised you?

Yes and no. It’s been as interesting as I hoped, but Swiss Re has a more open environment than I expected. People here are accessible and ready to take the time to teach you, and it’s normal to interact across hierarchies and teams.

What are three things you like about your internship?

I like that my dual role gives me a broad view of the insurance industry, with a focus on clients on one hand and involvement in core business activities on the other hand. I also like that my work is appreciated by my colleagues – it’s motivating to know I’m doing something valuable. Finally, I like Swiss Re’s flexible working conditions.