1. How long have you been with Aon and what has your journey in the business looked like?
I have been with Aon for nearly 8 years. I started in Wendy Ford’s team as a Claims Consultant, specialising in PI claims for a broad range of Affinity schemes including Real Estate Agents and Allied Health Professionals. I moved into the newly-formed CSS (now ACS), supporting Richard Nunny and Ritesh Singh with the Origin Energy account, then relocated to a regional branch and managed a book of Commercial clients. Most recently, I joined the Technical Team in order to utilise my legal and broking background while developing skills in policy wording comparison, contract reviews and product development.
2. When exiting the armed forces, what was the most challenging aspect to adapting to corporate life?
Working out what to wear. Seriously, after spending years in uniform, with strict policies on all aspects of personal appearance – from how to wear my hair to how to lace my boots – it was a huge learning curve to understand what is acceptable in the different facets of corporate life.
3. If you were to re-live that period of time, what would you now do differently?
If I could do one thing differently, it would be to appreciate the skills I learned in the military more. At the time, I couldn’t fully appreciate the breadth of life and business skills I had developed. I found it hard to articulate my strengths as I couldn’t really understand how military life made me an attractive candidate for corporate roles. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see how many of the experiences I had in the military helped make me the person I am today.
4. Looking back, what skill(s) from your military career have you found transferable and most valuable?
The ability to ‘just get on with it’ is invaluable. When you have been sent on exercise or operation in the military, often with very little notice, you really do have to hit the ground running and just get on with the job. That has definitely helped me in the corporate world, and I don’t think I would have had the confidence to move into the broad range of roles I’ve had at Aon without this experience. It has meant I have relocated (a number of times) and been able to get started straight away with minimal supervision. I learned to be independent and resilient, and that definitely benefits me every day.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to someone about how to make a successful transition, what would it be?
To appreciate that your experiences in the military are going to be VERY different from your new colleagues – and that’s a good thing. Draw from those experiences to understand your own strengths, and your areas for development. Don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance – nobody expects you to know everything and Aon is a big organisation with people who are happy to assist you whenever they can.