Sophiya’s Experience – Insurance Professional Level 4

    • Passionate and supportive coaches who are always interested & encouraging

    • Winner of the UNA Newcomer in Insurance 2019

    • Apprenticeships help people to earn whilst working

I have worked with 2 coaches, both passionate, supportive and they are always interested, encouraging and really enthusiastic. They both understand that I want a Distinction and help and push me to get there.

Overview

Sophiya Adam is an Insurance Advisor at TL Dallas, currently working towards her Insurance Professional Level 4 and has been Winner of the UNA Newcomer in Insurance 2019 and nominated for the Women in Insurance Awards 2020. In this interview she talks to Carolyn Blunt, Director at Davies Learning Solutions about her career experience and the importance of attracting diverse and young talent into insurance.

How did you start in insurance?

I graduated in law, but I didn’t want to become a solicitor, so I began working in insurance as a retention specialist. I progressed to TL Dallas and there was an opportunity to move to the commercial department. I thought that the apprentice role was the best route for myself, I love learning, I only have my life and I want to live it to the fullest and have as much knowledge as I possibly can.

What is next in store for you?

I will hopefully be moving onto the Senior Insurance Professional Level 6 programme after I have completed my Level 4. The more I can do as a broker and the more I can offer a client, the better. I like problems and I like to resolve them, so risk management is something that I would definitely be interested in.

Have you benefited from a mentoring scheme?

TL Dallas allow younger employees to buddy up with experienced employees, I have been mentored by my colleague, Sue. She has supported me, explained things in detail and always made time for me. This has most definitely had a positive impact – being someone who is younger and less experienced – we are very lucky here that we have a mentor that can support and answer questions, especially as I started my apprenticeship in January – right before lockdown for COVID! My mentor has always been at the end of the phone to support me, as I have had to do a lot of the work on my own. I don’t know how people do it without a mentor, and also without the support from Davies Learning Solutions!

Tell us about your experience with Davies Learning Solutions?

I have worked with 2 coaches, both passionate, supportive and they are always interested, encouraging and really enthusiastic. They both understand that I want a Distinction and help and push me to get there.

How have you coped with learning in lockdown?

I do a lot of block revision, so have this for my CII and my apprenticeship work, I allocate my jobs and make sure that I stick to the schedule otherwise I will continue to look at other jobs and the time that I would’ve allocated to myself would’ve passed! Every email that I have received whilst being in lockdown, my mentor also receives this, so when I am studying, my mentor can pick them up. Which has made my time learning during lockdown a lot easier and manageable.

How can we encourage more women into insurance?

TL Dallas do this well! Our female MD is supportive, she has an open-door policy and she is always there for you. She is good at gauging peoples’ aspirations and she adapts to different personalities and shows lots of positive enthusiasm. My mentor and our Head of People are both strong women, and they also have good empathy for their colleagues and clients. The Insurance industry can be male dominated, but we don’t have that here at TL Dallas, we have a balanced structure and being who you are is encouraged.

I am also working with the Bradford Insurance Institute, my role there is a careers officer; and when we are back up and running, I will be going into schools and will be planting the seeds of insurance, young people have the type of knowledge now that Insurance needs! I do feel that Bradford is a deprived area, there is such a diverse range of people here and so bringing them into the Insurance industry, is a definite benefit. The circle of poverty needs to break, apprenticeships can help that, across all industries. Apprenticeships help people to earn whilst working towards their future career and help social mobility.

Why should young people choose insurance as a career?

Insurance is not as boring as people think! We need younger people and we need a different range of traits and specialities; I will help to show them how useful this is!

Insurance for a reason is a stable career to get into but also varied as there are so many avenues. There is also a lot of flexibility for women to balance both home and work life. If you want to progress, there is nothing to stop to how far you can go in insurance if you are willing to study and put the work in.

If I could have 3 hours with school leavers, I know that 30% of them would consider entering the world of Insurance. It is such a huge industry and really does cater for everyone!

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