Joe Crossan began his journey with us on the Sales & Agency Graduate Trainee Scheme (PTS) six months ago. He’s enjoyed a flying start as a Graduate Trainee Locum Agent, based in our North West region. Here, he tells us all about his experience so far.

A scheme that stood out

I was attracted to the Graduate Trainee Scheme with NFU Mutual because of their big name and solid reputation. Their strong focus on the customer was important to me, because customer service is high up in my values and I already had customer facing experience to offer. The more I researched NFU Mutual, the better they came across. The scheme itself also had great reviews online that emphasised how much support is given to trainees and how diverse the work is. I really liked the sound of NFU Mutual and the scheme, so I decided to go for it.

The assessment day was brilliant, and I was positive afterwards that NFU Mutual was the company for me. The day was interesting and totally not what I expected. We had activities like a group exercise, role plays, and a presentation to a panel. I’d heard stories from friends about their assessment day experiences with other firms, but my experience was completely different! The day was well organised and professional, in a relaxed way. It wasn’t too intense, and was actually really enjoyable.

Genuine experience and exposure

I’ve settled in to my role now, and it’s really quite varied. I work under the Sales Manager who is responsible for all the agencies across the North West, so there are lots of opportunities to visit other agencies. Day-to-day I can be doing all sorts, such as creating sales pipelines, researching new business opportunities, and attending sales forums and meetings. I’ve also been shadowing other people to see what exactly they do, and gain a better understanding of the part they play in the business. Even if I don’t end up doing their role in future, it’s good to know what other people do and how everyone fits together in the company.

I’ve been surprised by the amount of exposure I’ve had to senior management. I’ve seen key figures more often than I thought I would. For instance, during our induction week there was a Q&A session with the directors and senior management, and I’ve been to Head Office for courses that have given me a chance to network across the business, ask questions and get feedback.

Even though we’re quite far from Head Office, I’ve socialised with people from other schemes on quite a few occasions. For instance, the Insights Day involved us completing a questionnaire that analysed our working styles and ideal environments. A bunch of us then met up to discuss the results and complete group activities, which was a great opportunity to reflect on ourselves and get to know each other, too. There’s a close social relationship between us all personally and professionally, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Supporting you to success

There’s a lot of training throughout the scheme. I gained my Certificate in Insurance quite early into the scheme, which was a two week course, and now I’m working towards my Advanced Diploma. It can be quite intense, but I’m well supported by my manager and team. I can have a relaxed conversation with my manager whenever I like about my development and future prospects, and everyone on the team is approachable. The company clearly cares about your professional and personal development.

I definitely recommend the Graduate Trainee Scheme with NFU Mutual. If you do your research and your values match theirs, go for it. There are such high levels of support and exposure to management, and plenty of opportunities across the business. NFU Mutual doesn’t expect you to stay in a box, but to have mobility and progression with your career. I’m looking forward to building my career with NFU Mutual and I know I’ll be supported all the way.