After three years of hard work the first group of students have graduated from the Be Wiser Uni for Insurance.
The scheme is run by Be Wiser Insurance from its Andover offices. It offers young people the chance to study, alongside working in the business, to gain an industry recognised qualification.
Natasha Hookings has just completed the Surestart programme that she started after studying A levels. The 23 year old went to private school and was the only pupil in her class not to follow the traditional university route.
“I decided this was a better alternative to university because it meant further learning and a career at the same time,” said Natasha, who lives in Andover. “I have worked really hard and there are lots of opportunities at Be Wiser if you are positive and put in the effort.”
Along with her fellow graduates Natasha now has an ACII qualification, an advanced diploma in insurance, from the Chartered Insurance Institute. After working across all the departments within Be Wiser Natasha is now working in the audit department and is aiming high. “I would like to stay at Be Wiser and progress into middle and then higher management.”
Ruth Moate, who has also been on the Surestart programme says working in different areas of the business allows you to meet different people and learn from them. The 27 year old from Basingstoke helped start a project that allows customers to talk to someone as soon as they call in rather than an automated system. “The team started with just six people and has grown to 22. It’s been great experience being involved from the start and I am going to continue pushing this forward.
“It’s a really good alternative to university,” she said.
Natasha agrees. “A lot of my friends who have a traditional degree are now working in shops and don’t know what they are doing and they have no work experience.”
Twenty five year old Ben Sarvesvaran knows what he wants to do now he’s graduated from the Kickstart programme. He is keen to work in underwriting and says he’s really enjoyed the last three years. “There’s a good sense of community with graduates of a similar age,” he said. “And I have learnt a lot about insurance and contracts.”
“We are really proud of what our graduates have achieved, it just shows that hard work really does pay off,” said Crescens George, Chief Operating Officer at Be Wiser. “They are successfully applying all of their acquired knowledge from their qualifications, into their roles here at Be Wiser which is fantastic to see. We wish them the best of luck in their future careers within Insurance industry.”