Careers at Complete Cover Group
Apprentice Hirsh Bhalla on changing his career from law to insurance and the Complete Career Apprenticeship.
“It was the best opportunity I never knew I had.”
How did you become an apprentice?
I took an unusual route. After my degree in law, I was going to train to be a lawyer but I didn’t enjoy it. I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t really me. I did some work experience in other areas and I found out that I actually really like sales.
That’s how I fell into insurance. I came across the apprenticeship at Complete Cover Group and applied. As it turned out, it was the best opportunity I never knew I had.
How did you find the apprentice application process?
Really good. After screening it was two rounds of face to face interviews. By round two I really felt it was mine to lose. Then you get a quick verdict. I got “you’re hired” and luckily not “you’re fired” yet!
What are the highlights for you so far?
I was looking for a career and that’s what this offers. I have really enjoyed the training. It is really interesting and like nothing I have been exposed to before.
I love the buzz from hitting targets. That motivates me. I treat it as if it is my business because it is my commission.
You don’t know which cases you’re going to come across and that makes it varied and interesting. You don’t even look at the clock. It’s a sign that you enjoy your job!
I love the culture of the company. We provide a thorough service but the policy is the right quality.
How do you find working and studying at the same time?
The organisation of the course is great. You get a breakdown weekly of what you are doing and the course leaders cater for each individual. For example, I had some holiday booked in, so I had classes booked around those dates so I didn’t miss out. The support is great and you get feedback from course leaders, managers and colleagues.
What are the challenges so far?
We are providing a complicated service to our customers so the training is very thorough.
It is very challenging and you have to manage your time. You can’t afford to stall or fall back. But the rewards at the end are really good. You put a lot in but when you get something out, it’s very nice. It feels good.
Were people surprised when you steered away from practising law?
A few people were surprised. My parents are thrilled now but I’m not sure they were confident it was the right decision in the beginning. When I see friends now I am sure I made the best choice for me.
What are your plans for the future?
In February next year I will take FIT exam (Foundation Insurance Test). After that I would like to do the CII (Certificate In Insurance). I don’t see myself staying in sales forever. I’d like to do some shadow work with underwriters. Underwriting is where I think I would like to progress.
Did you know about underwriting as career before your apprenticeship?
Absolutely not no. I would never have known that was a thing. I talked to my wife about it and she is really happy for me that I am doing something I love and that I have a clear idea ahead for the future.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about their career options now?
I would always speak to anyone exploring what they want to do in the future about apprenticeships because it is something that I was definitely not aware of.
It’s a really great opportunity. If you want to enjoy going to work you should try it because it could be an industry that you enjoy for rest of your life.
I have fallen into insurance but now I’m a huge advocate of it and I would endorse it definitely. Anyone should give it a go.
Training is the best thing. 8 weeks intensive training but when you end up talking to customers you are competent. It is worth it. Invest in your training time wisely and manage your time. You will get the rewards at the end of it.