Mattias Bergsvik is one of the Swedes that, after having graduated, left the country to pursue a career abroad. Today he works with Key Case Management at the world's second largest reinsurance company Swiss Re in Zurich, Switzerland, where he a few years ago began his career enrolled into their international graduate programme.
Graduateland was inspired by his story and decided to spread it to our users!
Would you like to start of by telling us some about your background and why you chose to apply for a graduate programme?
I studied business with focus on Service Management at Umeå School of Business and Economics, Sweden. In fall after having graduated I moved to Zurich, Switzerland where I began a 18-month-long graduate programme at the reinsurance company Swiss Re.
To be a graduate at an international company is the perfect start to your career! I got a great insight into the company’s different departments with the internal training and work rotation the programme gave me: for me this was a fruitful bonus in the pursuit of getting the job I aimed for. The graduate programme was a gateway into the work culture and has given me knowledge within the branch of industry the Swiss Re operates.
How was the framework of the graduate programme set up?
We were given 50 days of internal training and a few days of education by external consultants with focus on technical knowledge of the company’s different departments.
The team I belonged to as a graduate, and that I until this day still work for, estimates Swiss Re group’s losses in the occurrence of larger scaled natural disasters or catastrophes caused by humans. This means that the daily work tasks include gathering information, coordination and calculation.
What kind of rotation did you do?
For my rotation I moved to Munich, Germany for a three-month-period and worked with Property Treaty Underwriting with focus on the Nordic market. When working with underwriting you estimate the risks of the clients’ portfolio they want to insure as well as what terms and conditions the contract will include in order to set a pricing on the deal.
How does a Swiss company go about recruiting graduates abroad?
The recruitment process was well organised and divided into three parts:
1. The first application where you applied for the graduate scheme was sent in December. In it you explained what team you were interested in working with and did an online statistics test.
2. Phone interview with the team manager and HR.
3. Two assessment days of test and cases in Zurich. Here we got tested on our abilities to perform group work, presentation techniques, gathering of information, evaluation and negotiation techniques.
Did the programme match your expectations?
Yes it did! The programme is well recognised within larger parts of the company which, in itself, creates good preconditions for your future career. Also, one of the best features with the programme is its international angle: the opportunity of networking with people from different departments all around the world!
What advice would you give someone looking to apply for a graduate programme?
A tip for someone looking for a graduate programme is to reflect on what type of programme framework suits them the best: for me it was important to find a “home team” as well as no more than one work rotation. In my opinion it’s harder to learn something properly if you keep switching departments and teams.
Do research! What separates the different programmes and what suits you the best? Furthermore it’s important not to underestimate the importance of networking within the organisation. Show your interest by for instance combining your studies with an internship/project at the company you’re aiming to apply for an graduate programme at.
Top 3 arguments to apply for a graduate scheme at Swiss Re?
· The network with connections in different departments and all around the world.
· The elaborative education.
· The opportunity to get tips and advice by some of the company’s absolute experts.
Lastly, we’re curious to hear what your future within the company looks like!
That remains to be seen! Thanks to the graduate programme I’ve gotten a clear view of what kind of opportunities there are within the organisation. The company is open to the notion of employees moving horizontally within the enterprise and this is most likely my next step in order to gather more knowledge of the industry in general.
Claims Operations Specialist