Alex Munro joined us this year as a Graduate Trainee Sales Development Consultant, working in the North Wales region. She’s jumped into the Sales & Agency Graduate Trainee Scheme with enthusiasm, and so we decided to ask her about her experiences so far.
What attracted you to NFU Mutual, and the Graduate Trainee Scheme (GTS)? What does your role involve?
It really impressed me that NFU Mutual care as much about the customer as the figures – that’s exactly what I wanted from a sales position. It’s a fast moving environment with the aim to improve everything, all the time. My job is to develop and maximise sales for the ten agencies I work with. Part of this involves helping with campaigns aimed at driving sales up, such as one recently that encourages new and existing customers to take out household policies. I work alongside a range of people, both in my team and senior management, and with Quality Development Consultants. I’m a driven person, and now I have a career to reflect that.
How much training and support have you received on the GTS?
The first couple of months are heavily focused on training for the insurance courses. The internal licenses are really important too, as you need them even if you’re not directly selling the product you’re dealing with. By the end of my placement, I’ll hold a Certificate in Insurance and the additional Advanced Diploma. These are really useful for my professional development, because they’re such valuable and widely recognised qualifications.
NFU Mutual goes that extra bit further too, because they also put on courses around personal development, such presentation skills training. You can get support with anything you need. I don’t feel that they’re just saying ‘go out and do the job’, but saying ‘how can we help you to be better at doing your job?’ It’s great having that level of support behind you.
Let’s talk exposure. Do you see much of other agencies and senior management? How about client exposure?
As I progress through the GTS, I’ll be working with some large commercial accounts which I’m looking forward to. I’ve been able to spend time with lots of different agencies, and I love to see how they individually operate. Being on the front line allows you to see how they interpret what Head Office directs, and the results are so diverse. After all, each agency is different, with different customers and different needs.
I’ve shadowed other staff at various points, like visiting a client’s house with the Finance Advisor, which is good for seeing the whole sales process from start to finish. And there’s a lot of exposure to senior management across the business. At the start, our induction was really well set up and I met so many people, like underwriters, claims, directors, even the CEO. I like that they all look to us trainees as the future of the company, and they genuinely care about our progression and how we’re getting on.
What would you say to someone who was considering applying for the GTS with NFU Mutual?
You should be prepared to work hard, but the rewards are there for you when you’re driven and want to push forward. But it’s not all work, work, work - there’s a good work/life balance, with fun team days and regular lunches. Being a Mutual makes the company very different from other insurance providers, and there’s a huge emphasis on the customer – they’re at the heart of everything we do here. You’re encouraged to ask questions, and to feel comfortable speaking up. I really feel that NFU Mutual is a great, supportive place to work.