The former EXPLORER found out that any topic can be exciting if you really immerse yourself in it.
After completing EXPLORE, you can choose your job from many locations around the world. Carla Havemann decided to move to London in 2018, where she has been working for Digital Partners ever since. She got to know the subsidiary of Munich Re as a trainee.
My studies focused on European law, as well as environmental and development aid. But I consider myself to be more of a generalist, so after my studies I looked for an entry-level position where I didn't have to decide on the specifics of the job right away. This is exactly what attracted me to EXPLORE.
If someone had told me a year before I started as a trainee at Munich Re that I would end up with an insurance company, I would have shaken my head no. But this trainee programme shows you opportunities that you would never expect in this industry. During my first stint, for example, I dealt with car insurance. I can't really relate much to this topic – I don't even have a driver's license! But I quickly realized that the subject is totally exciting, as it is all about the mobility of the future, for example.
From Munich to London
I had such an experience again and again as a trainee – it broadens your horizon immensely to really sink your teeth into something. Even something supposedly dry or dull becomes complex and exciting. And the range of topics you can dive into at Munich Re is enormous: from mining to space travel and energy to climate change, they cover everything. That is one of the reasons why I decided to join the EXPLORE trainee programme – and embark on a two-year adventure.
Before I started out as an EXPLORER, I would never have dreamed that I would soon be working in jeans and T-shirt in a London office with start-up founders.
At the end of the journey, I decided to join Digital Partners in London, a subsidiary of Munich Re that identifies possible partnerships with European start-ups in the insurance sector, so-called insuretechs. During the three months I spent there as a trainee, I was impressed with the high level of innovation. As a partner manager, I support several start-ups, accompanying both their product development and sales, and tending to issues such as compliance.
Declining number of ties
The image that most people have of insurance companies is shaped by their experiences as insurees, by extensive and pretty dull documents. That is where I think the cliché of the boring industry comes from. Many people are also unaware of two aspects: in reinsurance in particular, many circumstances are examined with scientific depth, and innovation plays a very decisive role.
In any case, before I started out as an EXPLORER, I would never have dreamed that I would soon be working in jeans and T-shirt in a London office with start-up founders. Because I, too, had the cliché in my head. But even in the ‘classic’ areas of Munich Re, the dress code has become much more casual. Insurance is an exciting business and not nearly as formal and tie-heavy as many believe!