The former EXPLORER not only learned a lot about insurance as a trainee – he also learned a new language.
Iñaki de la Sota Schütz has been a junior underwriter at Munich Re for the Iberian market since July 2020. Prior to this, he spent almost two years as an EXPLORER, taking a close look at various parts of the Group. Looking back, he believes that the decision to take part in the trainee programme was a good one.
After studying economics in Barcelona, I did an internship with an automotive manufacturer and worked a little, but I didn't really know where I wanted to head professionally. The EXPLORE trainee programme was ideal for me: I could try things out and find out what I enjoy and what I’m not so keen on. I got to know many different areas and gained further experience abroad.
A new adventure every three months
The trainee programme’s name says it all. It’s very much up to you what you want to take a closer look at, and you will discover a lot of new things. Your stints are not predefined, and it remains to be seen where you will end up once the programme has finished. This is not everybody's cup of tea, because such extreme flexibility goes hand in hand with a bit of uncertainty. Every three months you pack your things and start another adventure with a new focus and new people, often in a new location. My plans changed more than once because I always had new ideas about where I wanted to go next.
We got along great and often went out together after work. In the second year of the trainee programme, we even took a holiday together in Spain!
Every trainee does one or two stints abroad. I spent three months each in Colombia and Brazil. I always wanted to learn Portuguese. Nine months before I went to São Paulo, I started taking classes at Munich Re. During my time in Brazil, I was able to perfect my language skills on site.
Friends told me that in some companies, trainees compete with each other in a kind of rivalry. With us, it was not like that at all. We were 10 men and women with very different backgrounds, degrees, and career objectives. Maybe that was the reason why we didn't see each other as competitors. On the contrary, real friendships developed. We got along great and often went out together after work. In the second year of the trainee programme, we even took a holiday together in Spain!
It’s never dull
We all know the common prejudices against insurance companies as employers, and it is really astonishing how far away they are from reality. When I tell people where I work, they always bring up the same clichés: boring, conservative, everyone wears a grey suit – and nobody ever has a laugh. Of course there are times when you should wear a suit. After all, we sell security and that should be reflected in our clothing. But we are not over-formal at Munich Re. People are very open and the work atmosphere is relaxed. And it certainly isn’t boring. Digitalisation is bringing completely new technologies to the insurance industry, which in turn pose many exciting challenges. I am curious to see what adventures are waiting for me here in future!