jessica melville

jessica melville
MEET KaranRai

Senior Associate, Retirement

Team Retirement

Segment  Human Capital and Benefits

Location Reigate, United Kingdom

Year hired 2013

University/Degree Bristol University, BSc Mathematics

Personal skills or interests:

Knitting, crafting, sewing, cooking and anything else to do with channeling my inner crafter. I live in London and love going out to restaurants and bars.

Can you tell us about your history with Willis Towers Watson?

I was hired after university as part of a graduate intake. I have worked with a large variety of clients and taken on various different roles during my time at Willis Towers Watson. Currently the majority of my work involves acting as a consultant, advising trustees of a wide range of defined benefit pension schemes. I also do a small amount of corporate work and I have also taken on a managerial role in the team.

Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities of your job?

In my role as a people manager, I need to keep in touch with my direct reports daily, allocate work to the appropriate colleagues within my team and help with wider long-term resourcing of projects. Being a manager provides unique challenges different from my consulting role, and no two days are the same.

For my consulting role, I need to make sure I work collaboratively with my client teams in order to complete work efficiently and in line with the required timescales. This can vary between simply providing a quick response to a client with some ad-hoc advice, to delivering a large project that takes place over a number of months.

What are the key challenges of your role? How have you overcome them?

Having lots of things on the go at once can be difficult, but this role has taught me the importance of being organised and prioritising or delegating my work when needed.

What’s been one of your most exciting projects to date?

I worked as a Project Manager on a major project for one of our largest Reigate clients. This involved over 30 people and months of work. My role was to co-ordinate the different sub-teams and keep everything on track. Sending out the final reports to the client after months of effort by the entire team was probably one of the most satisfying and exciting moments of my career. Knowing that the team has produced something that will impact so many people can be daunting, but the level of care taken with deliverables in Willis Towers Watson can give you confidence and pride in the end product.

What is your proudest achievement since joining Willis Towers Watson?

The project described in the previous question was probably my proudest achievement and earned me a Circle Award from our CEO. However, I personally feel that the best sense of pride comes from how we work as a team and help each other. For me, the sense of “team victory” is always when I feel proudest of being a part of Willis Towers Watson.

What training and development opportunities have you enjoyed as a result of your role at Willis Towers Watson?

I completed the graduate training programme during my first two years at the company which was invaluable. This programme provides the vital base of knowledge which underlies the work that we do. More informally, a huge amount of training and development comes from working on the job day-to-day and, in particular, from working closely with senior colleagues and learning from their experience. Being in such a large company enables me to work with a wide variety of people and therefore learn new things from each of them. I am still learning new things each day.

How would you describe the culture at Willis Towers Watson?

Like the rest of the world, 2020 has been an odd year for us. I think that the collaborative culture at Willis Towers Watson was highlighted during that period. People are so supportive, take time to check on their colleagues and always have time for each other.
Unlike many other companies, to shine here you just need to complete work to a high quality and people will notice and appreciate it. The culture lends itself to this way of working.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

Willis Towers Watson provides so many opportunities and a wide variety of clients and projects to work on. But for me personally, the people are the best part about working here without a doubt. I’ve learnt so much from the people around me and will continue to do so. I can’t remember a day where someone didn’t teach me something, or a day where I didn’t laugh working here. I’ve made lifelong friends at Willis Towers Watson and for that I am very grateful – my graduate year intake still all go away together every year!

Was there anything that surprised you about your role or the company?

For such a large company, there is still a small team feel where everyone knows everyone. We have so many people who are experts in their field, and you will inevitably end up working with many of them at some stage in your career.

What is your hope for your career in the future?

I am looking forward to exploring the various opportunities that are available to me at Willis Towers Watson and hope that in the future I will have a breadth of knowledge and experience in a wide range of work. I hope that in years to come I am still learning and doing new things.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

Do it!