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Youth

Insurance assistant: from high school to a career

Straight to university after graduating from high school? There is another way to enter the world of work, as Helvetia employee Ann-Sophie Rosenfelder demonstrates. She chose to train as an insurance assistant – and spent 18 exciting months doing so. In this article the 20-year-old explains how she entered the world of insurance.

12 April 2017, text: Ann-Sophie Rosenfelder, photos: Katrin Meier

Helvetia employee Ann-Sophie Rosenfelder at her desk in the Helvetia head office in St. Gallen.
A career after high-school graduation: Ann-Sophie Rosenfelder chose to train as an insurance assistant at Helvetia.

“Huge congratulations on passing your training course as an insurance assistant, and we’re delighted that you’ll be staying at Helvetia!” Passing the training course? Where has the time gone? I find myself standing alongside eight other insurance assistants with whom I have spent the last year and a half not only studying, but also socialising quite a lot, and now I have a certificate to show for it. It feels really good and I’m even a little bit proud of myself.

Not keen on university

Many people know early on what they want to do after graduating from high school. I had no idea! All I knew was that I didn’t want to go to university, so I looked around for other possibilities and came across the condensed training course for high-school leavers at insurance companies. The cool thing about it is that 100 percent of your work is in the company and you attend college two days per month on average, where you gain a lot of knowledge about insurance. The overall training course as an insurance assistant lasts just a year and a half – after that you get a vocational qualification and can earn your own money. Finally – my own money!

So I soon sent off my application, and I quickly received a personal invitation for an interview. A few days later I was standing in front of the Helvetia head office in St. Gallen. The atmosphere in the interview was very pleasant – I had thought a little in advance about whom I would meet, what questions they would ask me and whether I could meet all the requirements. After the interview I was invited to a morning taster session in my future department, which gave me a chance to meet the people who would later be my colleagues.

A bunch of stiffs? Not here!

The positive impressions from my introductory interview were confirmed time and again. At Helvetia people are generally very friendly with one another – right from the beginning I really felt at home. I found the mood among my colleagues to be relaxed, which made it quick and easy for me to find my feet in the “insurance world”.

Trust put into practice

The training itself was very varied and diverse. Hence, for example, I had the opportunity to gain experience in the motor vehicle department and was also allowed to get involved in tests for new product modules before they were launched in the market. Even during the training course I was given responsibility for my own area – I never expected so much trust to be placed in me. The contact with customers, in particular, and the support from agencies were things I really enjoyed.

Alongside the practical work within the company, regular study units were also part of the course plan. Occasionally it could be quite a challenge for me to balance the work in the office with college and exams. By way of preparation for the exams, Helvetia offered a three-day study camp for all the budding insurance assistants – here we not only grew stronger as a group, but we were also able to mutually support each other in our learning.

My conclusion: I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

I can absolutely recommend this training course and studying with Helvetia. This is perfectly proven by the fact that my brother will start the training course as an insurance assistant at Helvetia this summer. Like me, he is open to learning lots of new things in a short time and is not afraid to work long hours at the computer. He also likes dealing with people. I would say these are the most important conditions if you’re thinking about pursuing a training course in this field.

For me too, the future lies with Helvetia: directly after finishing my training course I was offered a permanent contract and will work as an underwriter in the area of non-life insurance. There I will be dealing with vehicle fleets – just as I did in my training, but this time with even more responsibility, a higher salary and a training qualification in the bag.

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