A POLICY OF DEVELOPMENT
“I’m very proud that we provide protection to many thousands around the world,” says Shreya Rawlley, about global reinsurance company Swiss Re. “Swiss Re supports insurance companies meet their claims if there is a catastrophe, and has been helping businesses and societies to manage large risks long before the term ‘globalisation’ was coined. When a devastating earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, Swiss Re was there; when India suffers from floods today, Swiss Re is there. We share our expertise to help create effective responses when disaster strikes. We help people to get back on their feet and that is very rewarding.”
Rawlley relishes the fact that Swiss Re makes a difference, and has done so since its establishment in 1863. “We are a knowledge company,” she says. “We use our expertise and deep understanding of the insurance markets – which stems from a century and a half of experience in the global reinsurance business – to be true partners for our clients and to create innovative, tailor-made products for them.”
Part of what makes Swiss Re special is that it constantly stays abreast of future developments and has a system in place to track emerging risks arising from trends, such as driverless cars, artificial intelligence or climate change. The company’s commitment to managing climate change extends to the benefits it offers its staff. The company supports efforts to reduce personal carbon footprints by subsidising the purchase of environmentally friendly products. “It’s a nudge, so that people do things in the interest of the world,” says Rawlley.
“It was a life-changing experience.” That’s Rawlley’s feeling about her time on the graduates@swissre programme – and she insists that these are not empty words. “I’m a different person now,” she says. “For me, the empowering and collaborative environment I was working in significantly improved the experience. Everybody was so friendly, and I gained a lot of confidence from the programme. It really developed my personality.” Rawlley joined the programme in September 2013 after Swiss Re visited her university campus in India. She was immediately attracted to the company’s international status, its clear investment in knowledge and people, and the diversity and flexibility of the jobs on offer.
“I was an economics graduate but there were other people on the programme who had completed masters and PhDs in different specialities,” says Rawlley. “We could really learn and seek guidance from these people. I was with graduates from all over the world – mainland Europe, the UK, Asia and the Americas – and to be among so much diversity was amazing.” Rawlley also found that simply living with her fellow graduates was as valuable as the intensive courses she attended.
A learning environment
Rawlley graduated from the graduates@swissre programme in February 2015. She then started to work closely with the managing director of the Bangalore office as a business analyst. She continues to enjoy her time at Swiss Re and testifies that it’s a great place to work for all employees, irrespective of a person’s function, location, gender, cultural background or age group.
Graduates@swissre is just one of many development programmes that the company invests in heavily. For senior managers, the Leadership Development Programme and Management Excellence Programme are conducted annually. The Swiss Re Academy also offers a variety of courses on topics such as Re/insurance simulation workshops, project management, client conversation skills and Big Data Analytics, which are open to all employees. As Rawlley says, “Swiss Re has embedded constant learning into its culture.”