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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Name of internship: Risk Research (Group Strategy) and Group Asset Management Intern, Investment Strategy team

What initially brought you to the Centre?

After the end of my studies I was searching for a job until I came across the advertisement on Swiss Re career page. The position really caught my attention because of its high research orientation and it perfectly matched with my interests and academic background.


What business are you working on?

I am working in the Investment Strategy team as well as at the Risk Research team at Swiss Re's Centre for Global Dialogue as this is a joined internship of these two teams. My task has been conducting a study on the contribution of long term investors to the economic growth and financial stability and evaluate their benefit in different macroeconomic and regulatory environments. I focused the attention on the advanced economies, as their economic and demographic trends represents a big challenge. My results suggest a positive impact of long term investing activity on economic growth.

Will we be able to see the results of your work?

The results of my study will be visible in the forthcoming publication "Growth Inclusion: Ending Short-termism", which every member of the Investment strategy team has been working at.

How have you found your time working at the Centre?

It has been a privilege to be part of the Risk Research team as I had the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and with different attitude to the work environment. I enjoyed an enriching experience both from a professional and personal perspective, and I found the team extremely supportive and collaborative, an aspect that is crucial for recent graduates who approach a hugely international business environment for the first time. In addition, I could experience how heterogeneous the pool of partnerships and research projects in which the Centre is involved is, and have a comprehensive vision of the topics and future fields of action for Swiss Re.

What are the next steps for you?

I have been offered a new opportunity at Swiss Re, in CorSo Actuarial services, where I will be working on a research project concerning the impact of the macroeconomic environment on insurers' loss.

Would you recommend a similar internship?

I definitely recommend this internship as it offers the perfect chance to apply the academic knowledge to the work environment, but it also provides a hugely steep learning curve. Indeed, during these six months I really learned how to manage my own project, to adapt my academic approach to audiences other than university and to convey the key messages from my research. Furthermore, Swiss Re is the ideal place where to start a career and due to its people-oriented culture you can build your professional network, which is one of the biggest rewards.



How can such an internship prepare you for the future?

This internship highlighted my strengths and prepared me successfully for the next challenge in CorSo, consolidating my self-confidence and ability to adapt to new contexts, as well as my awareness of which business environment I fit the most.

Academic background: Master in Specialized Economic Analysis, with a major in Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets at Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. Previously, master's degree in International and Development Economics and Bachelor's degree in European Economics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Professional experience: I worked as intern in a small consultancy in Brussels, as part of the Erasmus Placement Program.

Personal interests: Reading, playing volleyball and watching movies. I also enjoy my free time visiting new cities and art museums with friends and colleagues and meeting new people from all over the world.<[if gte mso 9]> <[if gte mso 10]> <[endif] -->