The Centre experience: Alessia Barachetti
23 Jun 2016
Alessia Barachetti's internship at the Centre was the springboard for her new career as a Swiss Re Graduate.
Read Alessia's blog about her field research experience
Name of internship: Market Analysis Latin America – Joint internship with Risk Research (Group Strategy), Cat Perils and Latin America Reinsurance Hub.
What initially brought you to the Centre?
I came across the internship while looking for publications on Latin America for my Master thesis. I found that Swiss Re had published some interesting pieces about the region and thought that it would be very stimulating to work in a research team on such publications. So I checked the career website to see if there were any interesting open vacancies. As soon as I saw the job posting for this internship, I thought it would be the perfect match for me, as it combined my interests, previous experiences and academic background.
What areas of the business are you working on?
I have been working on a publication on flood risk in Argentina together with the Risk Research team of the Centre for Global Dialogue, Cat Perils and the Latin America Hub. Floods are a serious problem in Argentina: one in three Argentinians live in flood prone areas and economic losses caused by inundations are significant. In the publication we analyse the social and economic impact of floods and highlight the challenges and opportunities related to the creation of a sustainable flood insurance market in the country.
Will we be able to see the results of your work?
The study will become an official Swiss Re publication later this year.
How have you found your time working at the Centre?
I was extremely impressed by the work people are doing at the Centre. I really felt like being in a "workshop" of ideas and I enjoyed the fact that people are always looking ahead, hunting for new opportunities and discussing rising challenges. I think this is crucial in a company like Swiss Re, where staying at the cutting edge of new developments is essential. This was a particularly enriching and inspiring part of my internship experience. Moreover, my team and the other colleagues at the Centre, were very supportive of my project and willing to discuss it, hear my ideas and offer inputs and suggestions. I found the working environment very stimulating.
What have you most enjoyed during this internship?
During my internship, I really enjoyed being exposed to different stakeholders both within Swiss Re and outside the company. I had the chance to be in touch with multiple business units (risk research, underwriting, client management, communications, economic research, etc.) and this really helped me understand how the company is organised internally and how the different units cooperate. It was also a great opportunity to build a professional network within Swiss Re.
As part of the internship, I also had the opportunity to accompany some colleagues during a business trip to Buenos Aires. During my week there, I attended meetings with current and prospective clients. I also conducted face-to-face interviews with shop owners in Buenos Aires to collect their views and perceptions about flood. This allowed me to better understand how we approach and engage with external stakeholders and to get deeper into what are the needs and challenges faced by Argentinian insurance buyers, what are their necessities and what they value the most.
What are the next steps for you?
In September I will come back to Swiss Re as a Graduate in the Business Development EMEA team.
Would you recommend a similar internship?
Definitely! I think it is a very rewarding experience and the perfect way to kick-off your career.
How can such an internship prepare you for the future?
First of all, it is a great opportunity to get a good understanding of how the reinsurance business works. Moreover, an internship like this allows you to be in the lead of your own project. This strengthens your project management, communication as well as technical skills, which are nowadays extremely appreciated on the workplace. Finally, the projects are often very interdisciplinary and involve teams from different locations around the globe. This is a great chance to broaden your horizon and experience different cultural environments. It is also an excellent opportunity to start building a professional network.
Academic background: Master in Economics and International Politics at the University of Lugano and UCSC in Milan; Bachelor in Languages and Intercultural Communication at the University of Milan.
Professional experience: I worked as a Development and Education Associate at the World Federation of United Nations Associations, focusing on the implementation of the organization's development plan and organizing training programmes for partner organizations and universities. I also did an internship in the European Union office at CERN.
Personal interests: I love hiking and doing sports. I am also a food lover, so I enjoy trying out new restaurants with friends, family and colleagues. To relax, I love reading, experimenting in the kitchen (not always successfully) and doing yoga.
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