Build the future: Lauren Haeger-Smith's apprenticeship story

08 February 2021

Markel International, London

Tell us about your role as an apprentice in the Portfolio Development and Support (PDS) team.

The PDS team works alongside Markel’s underwriting and claims teams to provide support across multiple different workstreams. I am often involved as support for my team on any projects or initiatives that the PDS take ownership of. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The diversity and exposure. I am lucky enough to be involved with lots of underwriting reporting, communications for wholesale, product innovation, claims, governance and even technology processes. No two days are the same!

What attracted you to the insurance industry?

Insurance is something that everyone has to buy, but most know little about. I loved the idea that I would be able to educate people on what insurance really means.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship at Markel?

Be friendly, smiley and enthusiastic. Bring a refreshing, youthful mind set. Always offer support to your team. The key as an apprentice is to listen and ask lots of questions!

Describe your Markel experience in 3 words.

Exciting, interesting and ever-changing.

What is something that’s surprised you about your role? / something that you didn’t expect?

The role of my team itself – there is a perceived idea that insurance is just underwriting. There is so much more to the industry.

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your role?

Like many, starting an entirely new role virtually has been a challenge when it comes to learning. However, the PDS passed these hurdles by offering Webex work shadowing and a question forum!

And all the acronyms…insurance can be like learning a second language.

What is your greatest achievement so far? 

Being able to have a ‘hands on’ role creating the new team protocols whilst we work from home, which are now being utilized within all of Markel Corporation. Also, gradually having more responsibility for producing weekly MI (management information) reports.



About Markel International:

Markel International is a division of Markel Corporation, a US-based holding company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MKL). Markel International writes insurance and reinsurance business through six divisions and through offices across the UK, Europe, Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Markel International’s insuring entities include Syndicate 3000, Markel International Insurance Company Limited, Markel Insurance SE., and Markel Resseguradora do Brasil S.A.

Its UK national markets business also provides legal and professional fees insurance cover as well as legal and tax consultancy services.