Since Wiser Academy opened up its training and development facilities to the external market place in 2012, hundreds of talented trainees have passed through our doors to gain their professional qualifications. Many have gone on to senior roles within the insurance industry, in the first of a series of interviews, we have asked our Wiser Academy alumni to give us their own personal experiences of their time with Wiser Academy, and how they have fared since.
Our first interviewee is Neil McDonald, who achieved a BA (Hons) Degree in Insurance with the Academy in 2019. Neil is a loss adjuster with Sedgwick International. Neil began his insurance career at insurance broker Be Wiser in 2016, and joined Sedgwick in 2019.
My Wiser Academy Graduate Experience - Neil McDonald
I evaluated my options after completing my A Levels in 2016 and weighed up my career progression in line with my aspirations and financial sustainability over the short to long term. I did not have a clear view of my preferred option, be it University studies, apprenticeships or traveling.
My thought process was truly swung by the opportunity that Wiser Academy presented; the chance to learn valuable financial services and insurance knowledge and also to enhance my career by completing a BA (Hons) degree at the same time. It was the option that made the most sense, as I wanted to pursue a career within financial services but didn’t know where to start.
Wiser Academy was the shaft of light that pushed me in the right direction. Notwithstanding the degree, the academic path was laid out in such a way that my course complemented my degree and enabled me to have the chance to achieve CII qualifications simultaneously. This was a no-brainer for me and a decision that has since opened many doors and opportunities within the industry.
After three years of study I achieved a BA (Hons) degree, graduating debt-free. It provided me with a solid foundation to flourish within the industry without any debts, or student loans to pay off. I’m so grateful to Wiser Academy for providing me with the opportunity to showcase my abilities and grow as an individual.
I now work for Sedgwick International as a loss adjuster. Sedgwick Claims Management Services is a technologically enabled claims and productivity management services provider. They provide professional loss adjusting services to Insurers and clients alike. I have worked in this role for nearly three years, and discovered that the claims sphere is an area in the industry that holds a significant amount of interest for me.
The BA (Hons) degree in Insurance, coupled with the CII qualification have together enabled me to obtain my position as a loss adjuster in a specialist sector. The course subject matter has been a great help in building my understanding of claims and general insurance. In addition to this, the CII has recognised the course within their parameters of ‘Recognition of Prior Learning,’ which provided a fast-track means to achieving ACII status.
I am grateful for the opportunity and career pathway that Wiser Academy helped carve out for me and I would recommend the course to any individual who is looking to pursue a career within the financial services industry.