Hello & Goodbye from SUMS Alumni: Marcus Grima (2015)

— 21.06.18

by Adam Greenwood

Marcus Grima, BA Business Management (2015), works in the often overlooked area of insurance. Currently working for Newline Group, a major player in the industry headquartered in London, Marcus was happy to share his experience about why he feels there are real opportunities in the sector for career progresion. Marcus also explains why his Management School degree helped his reflective skills, his passion for all things sport and fitness, and why a warm local welcome and a low cost drink holds sway when visiting the Steel City...

“Face to face business is still extremely important in insurance and is something which you do not get in many other roles or sectors.”

1. Your current role is working as an Assistant Underwriter with Newline Group. Why did you decide on working within the insurance sector?

The main factor which confirmed my decision to work in the insurance sector was the work experience which I participated in during my 1st and 2nd year at university.

This gave me a great insight into the industry as a whole and allowed me to make an informed decision when choosing what I wanted to do. At University, I had little idea about what I wanted to do as a career and work experience was a useful way of getting a snapshot of the career I could have.

The insurance market is an extremely unique and vibrant place and is rarely considered by many when looking for both internships and graduate schemes.

One of the things which drew me to the industry, is the social aspect of working in insurance. Face to face business is still extremely important in insurance and is something which you do not get in many other roles or sectors.

“Group assignments [at the Management School] in particular, were a useful way of improving teamwork and communication skills, and these are attributes which I feel are integral to any working role.”

2. What are your ambitions in terms of progressing in the insurance field, what are the opportunities like within the sector?

The opportunities within the insurance sector are fairly good and are improving as well. This arises from a number of insurance companies starting to appreciate the importance of graduate schemes and school leaver programmes in attracting talented individuals to the market.

Whilst the benefits of being on graduate scheme are clear, they often fast track people into underwriting/broking roles, there are also many other ways of getting into the industry and progressing as well.

This is aided by the fact that a number of the Lloyds of London Insurance syndicates are still fairly small. In my opinion, this is great for new starters as it allows for greater involvement and responsibility.

In terms of my own progress, my aim for the next few years is to complete the Chartered Institute of Insurance qualification and progress into a full underwriting role.

3. In 2015 you graduated with a BA in Business Management. What elements of the degree did you find most useful in starting your career and/or have these changed over time?

One of the massive positives of the degree is the diversity of the modules and how they are assessed. Group assignments in particular, were a useful way of improving teamwork and communication skills, and these are attributes which I feel are integral to any working role.

I also remember taking part in a module in my first year at Sheffield which promoted the idea of self-reflection. Whilst I didn’t first consider this as useful when starting work, this is something which I have since found extremely useful. I now recognise that it is vital that I always reflect upon my own performance and appreciate areas in which I can improve and further myself.

Although it was not part of my degree, being part of the Management Society for two years was and has been massively beneficial.

This is because it was a great way of improving my communication and organisational skills, through managing the many social and sporting events and through working with our various sponsors.

4. Living and working in London, what are the best things about being in the Capital and what are you missing most about Sheffield?

I am originally from London, so it is home for me and where my friends from both school and now university live. I also enjoy the diversity of the capital, even as someone who has lived here all my life, as there is always something new to do or see.

For work, London is often seen by many as the main hub for insurance worldwide. This is great as it provides me with opportunities to see diverse and unique business which I might not see elsewhere.

However, Sheffield has a special place in my heart and is somewhere I always enjoy returning to.

Perhaps its easy to note that the things which I miss about Sheffield are the things which you do not always get in London. A friendly, often welcoming atmosphere - and cheap drinks!

5. Finally, how do you spend your weekends?

I often spend my weekends taking part in or watching some form of sport, whether this is football, I am an avid Chelsea fan, rugby, running or going to the gym. I also enjoy going out with friends and visiting new places.

Recently however, much of my weekend is now spent studying, so that I am able to pass my insurance qualification!

Do you want to be interviewed? Alumni can ask for a interview by emailing mgtalumni@sheffield.ac.uk

10.05.18

Hello & Goodbye from SUMS Alumni: Charlotte Axon (2015)

18.06.18

Hello & Goodbye from SUMS Alumni: Dina Alsharif (2016)