And the winner of The Insurance Apprentice 2016 is…
Andre Brooks, winner of The Insurance Apprentice 2016, shared his Apprentice journey, the experiences he has encountered and the lessons he has learned along the way.
Like most people, I did not choose a career in insurance; insurance chose me.
I was still busy finishing my third year B.Com Law degree but needed to start earning some money. An opportunity as a Marine Claims Handler for an insurer opened up and I decided to try my hand at this and finish my degree part-time.
I soon discovered that the insurance industry is a very niche market and young talent within the industry is scarce. Over time, I grew a love for what I was doing and the industry at large and this is when I realised that insurance had become my career choice.
Strategic positioning: a winning chance
From the outset of The Insurance Apprentice my strategy was to excel in a team environment. As the tasks were team based I believed it was important that the needs of the team be foremost so that whichever team I found myself in, I stood a good chance of winning on any given day.
We were a diverse group of individuals and to me it was important that we played to each other’s strengths in order to be successful. That would give me the edge over my competitors as there could only be one winner.
A common thread amongst all the tasks was the requirement for innovative thinking. I think this was apt as innovation is certainly the buzz word in most industries at the moment.
The part I enjoyed the most of The Insurance Apprentice was the interaction with my peers. The show teaches you that adaptability is of utmost importance and I think we formed friendships despite the fact that we competed against each other for a title that only one of us could win.
A journey like no other
When I was crowned as the winner of The Insurance Apprentice 2016 it was an absolute surreal experience. I was extremely humbled and overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I received from friends, family and peers after the announcement was made. I was, and still am, truly chuffed that I achieved my goal despite being up against very stiff competition.
Knowing what I know now, I do not think that I would do things much differently. I believe that my strategy of putting the team’s needs in the various tasks ahead of my own, was a winning formula. I would however, try to improve on my individual camera sessions as I stumbled my way through most of them.
The lessons that I will carry with me in the future are that teamwork makes the dream work, a degree of adaptability in every situation is paramount to success and resilience is a defining attribute as we are not judged by our failures, but rather by how we deal with those failures.
Dare to dream
As the winner of The Insurance Apprentice 2016 I have won a trip of a lifetime to Lloyds of London, sponsored by Lloyds of London and a bursary, sponsored by Inseta, to study the course of my choice. I feel privileged.
I will be spending a jam packed week, in October/November, at Lloyds of London in which I will experience a sense of history and a timeline of insurance while I network and mingle with brokers and underwriters.
A valuable lesson
In closing, the most valuable lesson that I can take from this experience is that instead of trying to be better than someone else, we are better served by trying to be better than we were yesterday.