You entered Ernst & Young as auditor directly after graduating. How did you get this job so quickly after graduating? And how did your career continue?
After a Bachelor job fair Ernst & Young Invited me to an assessment center in Frankfurt. There presentation and discussion skills were particularly highlighted - and these were strengths trained and encouraged at the IU (formerly known as IUBH). That is how I got the job in auditing. After three years I changed to Senior Consultant to a consultancy in Frankfurt. Within my primary mandate at Munich Re I was rapidly promoted to Director at Gutmark, Radtke and Company AG.
How did the change to Allianz corporate & speciality occur?
The three year trend continues: Via a job ad in the Allianz alumni network, where I was a member following an internship, I noticed the position at the specialty insurer AGCS and met with the manager. After a total of eight meetings we agreed on tasks, responsibilities and of course salary.
How did you get promoted to your current position at Allianz Asia Pacific and why did you emigrate to Asia?
Prior to the studies at the IU (formerly known as IUBH) I was an intern twice in Singapore and liked living there. Returning to Asia was always an option for me. That was known within the Allianz group. After about a further three years at AGCS a call came from the regional Chief Risk Officer - and after a few meetings I set off for Singapore.
What are your current responsibilities?
The tasks are comprehensive and diverse, which is supported by a matrix organisation. A Risk Coverage Officer is responsible for several countries – in my case Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. You are responsible as point of contact for all risk topics. That brings responsibilities such as consulting and veto rights in product development and investment decisions and also discussions on capital requirements, the risk analysis of acquisition possibilities but also the evaluation of the local risk function. In addition I am responsible for the implementation of governance requirements and the so called “integrated risk and control systems” at Allianz in the countries of the region where Allianz operates. Currently there are 10 countries with 16 units. This requires a high readiness to travel with two to three flights each month.
How did your studies at IU prepare you for your career?
Here you see the focus on communication and service skills as one of the important cornerstones. In our studies there were frequent discussions and many presentations in small groups. That really strengthened team skills. This approach also strengthened the self confidence and capabilities to be able to respond professionally to even the most difficult questions posed by potential employers. The education in English and in a further exotic language - in my case Mandarin - gets employers to sit up and take notice! Students should definitely leverage that opportunity!
Why would you recommend studying at IU?
Particularly the international flair on the Campus combined with the English language studies and an additional foreign language are also a big plus for me. The small groups in seminar style also drive community spirit. Due to the moderate size there is also a rapid and un-complicated access to teachers, which means there is an “informal” way of exchanging ideas or addressing problems. Furthermore the Campus in Bad Honnef is very modern. The excellent public transport links mean you are in Bonn or Cologne very quickly. These are there-fore perfect prerequisites for a successful career cornerstone. Go for it!