Testimonial Trainee Milan

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Combined professional training/study - Munich Re

“Working at Munich Re is a life experience”

Francesca Palmeri joined the company in 2014 starting as a trainee in the International Graduate Trainee Programme at Munich Re, Milan. Now she works there as a Financial Consultant. Francesca has an Executive Master in Insurance and Risk Management and a Master in Accounting, Finance and Control.

When I first heard about the International Graduate Trainee Programme I immediately thought: this is an amazing learning opportunity. Today, I have to say it is much more than that. It is a life experience. You get to meet people from all over the world with whom you share moments, smiles and fun. From having little knowledge of reinsurance when I started, I have since learned a lot about reinsurance in all its aspects and gotten a bigger picture about the company, its core business and the market. I have also visited Munich Re’s headquarters and its operation in Princeton, which I really enjoyed. In addition, I developed further skills in the Finance area and increased my technical knowledge of Accounting topics.

In my day-to-day role, I have diverse meetings with colleagues from other departments such as Underwriting or Client Management and conference calls with the headquarters. As a Financial Consultant in Milan, I am responsible for Controlling and Reporting to Top Management and to the headquarters. One of the best opportunities is being close to strategic topics. For lunch I like to go out with different colleagues. Munich Re, Milan is a small branch so everybody knows everyone.

It might be a commonplace saying but it is true: living abroad opens your mind. You get to learn a lot about yourself, about other cultures and you challenge yourself at the same time. In my opinion, my time abroad has made me a better person. I have studied abroad and I really loved it. Now, being a trainee in the International Graduate Trainee Programme, I am also given the opportunity to work abroad and this, for me, is a fundamental step in my career path.

For my international assignment I moved to Munich, where I worked in Accounting. The exposure to how things work in headquarters and how complex such a huge reinsurance group can be has been such a great learning experience for me. Culturally as well, it has been interesting that there are some funny cultural differences between Germany and Italy. First of all, the latte macchiato after lunch. In Italy everybody would stare at you scandalized about the choice. After 12 o´clock only Espresso is socially accepted. The little milk you get in Italy, you get it for breakfast. The second thing that comes up to my mind is the dinner time. In Italy at 19.00 you get a snack. Several times I found myself negotiating with my colleagues the time to go to a restaurant and have dinner together. Besides these small aspects I have not experienced strong cultural differences, at least for now. After all, as they say in Italy, Munich is the most northern Italian city.

I just can give one advice to the new and upcoming International Trainees: The learning doesn’t end with the International Graduate Trainee Programme. Take the most out of this experience!

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