The End of the Beginning: Final Reflection

Arriving in London I was not sure what to anticipate. I had done research regarding the merge and both companies within it. I had completed all the paperwork that I had to before arriving. I had just moved into my apartment alone, which in itself was just as daunting as the internship itself. However, a part of me felt as though I hadn’t done everything to prepare. This may come with the nature of an internship in a foreign place in itself. The first day marked the time in which the nerves were subsided as I was given a job to complete. The routine aspect and goal of having a direct job in which to correctly finish gave not only a direction to the internship but a sense of being useful. This was especially prominent in feeling comfortable due to being in the company during a merge.

The merge brought upon a new seating plan, each sector moving between two buildings but most importantly it arose a new type of leadership. JLT differed from Marsh mainly because of the fact that Marsh is an extremely large company of many different sectors, JLT is much smaller. This showed to affect leadership styles as it showed that leadership is much more personal on a smaller scale, possibly because the hierarchy itself is not as broad and you can report or have seen those who are in charge of you rather than having to email or schedule a meeting and additionally because you work alongside them. With leadership being more personal I saw at the beginning, before the merge came into full swing, that people felt more comfortable admitting their mistakes thus grew the capability of growing from such. I saw this directly when I witnessed someone who had accidentally sent through an email when it wasn’t finished – although a minor deal there was no anger it was merely an instruction on how to retract said email and deal with it from there. A situation I believe if he didn’t have direct access to his supervisor would have been slightly more difficult – although on a very small scale.

That being said, the different styles of leadership and various difficulties that come when attempting to merge two companies, I did not come into direct contact with the effects of the merge as I was merely a witness to the changing atmosphere. For something as small as a seat plan could drastically cause an uproar. The town hall meeting was an instance where I was able to witness the two companies attempting to merge and how they directly had a diagram, similar to that of the Leary circle which was spoken about in Professor Goethals class, upon the board. The directors put up leadership goals and how they are going to attempt to reach them themselves. Situations like this reminded me of how Jepson introduces its students and allows them to become acquainted with real-life instances before being thrown out unto the real world which are scenarios I am incredibly grateful for after having experienced this internship. Although I did not meet all the goals I had set for myself, through interactions via phone and email I was able to bolster my communication skills followed by a direct usage every day of Excel which was additionally accelerated. Thus although I may not have used the phone as much as anticipated, that is incomparable to the skills which I believe I did accomplish.

To begin with the bad only seems like the normal approach. My goals, as stated prior, were not fully accomplished. One of my large goals was to be able to confidently pick up the phone and speak eloquently without the normal nerves that stem from the initial thought of a phone call. Although the prospect of being able to pick up the phone naturally and speak like a normal functioning human being sounds as if it should come with complete ease, the task was rather daunting. The reason was that I did not have too many chances to speak on the phone unless it was to direct the line to another colleague or take a message. Both of these tasks are not exactly responsibility loaded but rather become a routine script, which was far from useless however it did not challenge as much as I had hoped.

This directly opposes what did challenge me more than I had anticipated which was the Excel usage. The excel usage had elements of bad within it due to the initial way to approach such a large sum of data. Meeting with the data analyzer one on one was rather daunting but it was the tests that I had to complete just to ensure that everything was making sense. Unfortunately the first two tests I did not quite grasp the fact that location, as discussed in one of my blog posts, was the most important determining factor for what the rate should be. Thus although I had understood which vessels were similar and how the gross tonnage and deadweight additionally plays a large role I had not taken into regards the most important factor. It wasn’t until the third try where my estimated rate based upon prior vessels that I had compiled data on was actually utilized and presented to one of the underwriters, which is an instance I found incredibly exciting.

To end on a good note would be to acknowledge the ways I not only successfully completed the task and goals within it but additionally how even the bad led to elements of the good. Obviously the most prominent was that I finished having completed an interactive Excel document that was able to hyperlink to different sheets and different Pivot Tables. This meant that when people were searching for a vessel, and they wanted to search based upon Gross Tonnage or the Year it was built they could do such and narrow down their previous voyages which immediately eliminates a large sum of time it previously took. If they wanted to search for vessels with regards to the distance or destination they could also do the same. All in all it summarized a large sum of data that I had to previously collect and with the help of the data analyzer and manager he is going to take the Excel document I made and enable it to create a PDF document to print out and hand to the underwriters in Lloyds.

The beginning of my work started incredibly good as collecting the data was a simple task but rather tedious. The reason was that at first it appeared that all of their old rates and previous vessels seemed to appear all upon the same software. The software that JLT used was called Fusion and was relatively easy to navigate after having a tutorial. The problem, which was easily solvable just rather daunting, was that the majority of the vessels then began to appear on saved files in different folders or upon a different folder that I at first didn’t have access to. This meant that I just had to become proficient at emailing my two supervisors in order to ask questions and to do so quickly. One of my goals I set was to become better at emailing and to do so in a formal manner, I like to think that this was completed after my six-week period because it was something that I did so frequently it became relatively second nature.

My second goal which was easily completed not due to the ease of the software itself but rather because of the consistent usage that enabled me to discover quicker ways to use Excel. I realized how daunting Excel was halfway through my internship due to the fact that at first I only had to filter and input data, which did not take a lot of knowledge just attention to make sure the data was inputted correctly. Not only did I learn the ins and outs of Pivot Tables, which took me a while to master, but I was able to learn how to hyperlink to different sheets and organize data in a readable way. This is because at first the large amount of data on a spreadsheet, although useful to have within one place, was incredibly long with a copious amount of columns and rows. Thus although you could filter based on the information it was easier to utilize a pivot table to click rather than go down and scroll. With regards to creating a Pivot Table I had to create bandwidths, which took some thought, as I had to make sure they were not too large for each different column.

All in all, I was incredibly grateful for my time at JLT now JLT Marsh and looking back there is only one part of such I would change. That being the nerves that set in when I was too nervous to approach my supervisor which after the confidence I gained at the end of the six weeks seems relatively ludicrous looking back on such emotions. This nerve transpired over to whether or not people were looking at my screen, as additionally discussed in my blog post, which should not have been a concern when I was looking at Excel tutorials. JLT Marsh was a great site in which to intern at, and the opportunities to visit Lloyds and communicate directly with underwriters was something I cherish as it directly helped with the work I was doing for the company. That alongside sitting near my supervisor helped dramatically because it enabled me to communicate with and get the full experience of what working in marine insurance is.