We caught up with graduate Kathyrn Pond to find out about her NFU Mutual journey so far. 

What’s your NFUM story, where did you start, what do you do now and how did you get there?

I started in July 2016 but unlike other Graduate Trainees, went straight into role as a Trainee Quality Development Consultant (QDC) within the Sales and Agency department. Having no Insurance background I had a lot to learn but I started right away, with my first day going out to agents and jumping straight into the role. After six months I was signed off in the role, becoming a fully-fledged QDC. This role requires me to influence and monitor the performance of agents and their staff to ensure sales of NFU Mutual products and services meet the required quality and regulatory standards.

What is your proudest moment since joining as a Graduate Trainee?

Being signed off as a QDC after six months was fantastic for me. It was a real sense of achievement, to be trusted and accomplished enough to perform in the role. I was also placed within one of the company’s flagship projects which meant part of the success of this would be down to me.

What advice would you give people applying?

Always be yourself but also show that you are passionate about the job and company. Also, get advice and feedback at every stage of the application as it really helps to show you how you come across and what areas you might need to work on. I got feedback at every stage and it was really helpful, even the negative stuff as it showed me where I needed to improve in the future.

What was the support offered like?

The support was amazing, there was no end of people throughout the business that I could contact if I needed them. My regional and line manager were fantastic, giving me advice and always being available if I needed to talk to them. Furthermore there was support from within the agencies that I worked in as well as from Learning & Development (L&OD) who offered coaching and external support. In addition to this the other Graduate Trainees were brilliant whether it being a friend to turn to or someone who had been through a similar challenge and could offer advice. 

What skills have you gained since joining?

Both my technical and soft skills have both increased immensely. I’ve got my product licenses, as well as my Certificate in Insurance which means I am qualified and know about our products. I’ve also got a lot of confidence in my role and feel accomplished to succeed in it. I’ve learnt how to say ‘no’ when I need to and how to communicate effectively within the business environment.

Why did you apply for the scheme and has it lived up to expectations?

I applied for the scheme as I knew how great the brand was as my family are NFU Mutual customers. The training offered looked fantastic, offering a real chance to grow professionally. It has exceeded expectations, with the opportunities and role growth being excellent.