Team Willis Re
Segment Investment Risk and Reinsurance
Programme duration 18 months
Location Ipswich, U.K.
Program Level Three Apprenticeship programme (Professional Development programme)
Lisa Rampley recently completed our Level Three Apprenticeship programme (Professional Development programme) which is designed for experienced professionals who are looking to change their career and develop skills that can help them grow as a professional at Willis Towers Watson. As well as completing this programme, Lisa came second in the ‘Level Three’ category of the BPP Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2020. Discover her insights here:
Tell us a bit about why you decided to join our Professional Development programme. What made you take this next step and change the course of your career?
I joined Willis Towers Watson’s Professional Development programme because I wanted to acquire new knowledge and skills in order to grow as a leader within the company. Also, it really helped that the application process was seamless and quick to complete.
What can you say you learnt from the programme’s participants and vice versa?
My fellow apprentices came from diverse professional backgrounds; some were teachers and others worked in the retail industry or the financial sector just like me. It was very rewarding to learn from such a varied array of Willis Towers Watson professionals.
During the programme we would always bounce ideas off of each other. This helped us obtain different perspectives on each topic. Also, Willis Towers Watson’s Professional Development programme is designed in a way that easily accommodates the professional experience of all participants so that everyone can learn something new and interesting regardless of their background.
What training and development opportunities have you enjoyed as a result of the Professional Development programme?
After completing the programme, I was involved on the Willis Re Mentoring Initiative and I was also selected to collaborate in the Operations Learning & Development project taskforce in order to identify operational training needs.
What were the highlights of your Professional Development programme experience? Do you have a favourite memory that you wish to share?
The highlight for me was being awarded a Distinction Award at the end of the programme and being nominated for the BPP Apprentice of the Year award where I came in second place out of 600 nominations.
Has anything surprised you about your experience on the Professional Development programme?
I was pleasantly surprised by the additional activities made available on Willis Towers Watson’s Virtual Learning Environment platform that aims to aid self-study. It helped to cement the learnings I had obtained from the online tutorials and offered a way to complete the training hours required from all apprentices in the U.K..
How has your experience been of Willis Towers Watson’s values and culture? Tell us about a moment where you were able to live by our values or when you saw a colleague do so
I am a strong advocate for Willis Towers Watson’s values. My team thrives on teamwork, and with that comes integrity and respect in taking a collaborative approach by helping colleagues develop and progress within their roles. There is no better time than now to uphold our core value of teamwork and our supportive and welcoming culture; whether that be virtual coffee catch-ups or more structured team calls. Everyone has and continues to support each other as we continue to navigate through the global pandemic and work from home.
Willis Towers Watson has an unwavering commitment to Inclusion and Diversity (I&D). Were you able to participate in our different I&D colleague-led initiatives?
I was involved in the Willis Re Mentoring initiative during 2020. In addition, I was chosen as one of the members of the Wills Re Global Sponsorship 2020 initiative which is part of the Willis Re Global I&D platform aimed at strengthening senior leadership diversity. This is a long-term commitment which I am very excited about!
How did you feel when you came second in the level three category of the BPP Apprentice of the Year Awards 2020?
I was overwhelmed as I did not expect to achieve this. At the same time, I was very pleased as I had put in a significant amount of my own time during evenings and weekends in order to deliver quality work.
You were part of the Team Leader programme for Wills Re, is there a specific challenge in this area that you wish to tell us about? How did the Professional Development programme help you overcome this challenge?
One of the challenges I found was balancing the time needed to fully focus on the programme’s learning activities and assessments while continuing to perform my role, as well as bringing up two children as a single parent. However, the programme was instrumental in teaching me new skills and tools that help me balance my trainings, work and being a parent.
What would your advice be to someone considering the Professional Development programme who has not come straight from school and is worried that ‘apprenticeships’ are only for ‘young professionals’?
I would say look past this mindset. Apprenticeships (or Professional Development programmes) are not just for school leavers and young people. If you are thinking of changing your career path or moving into a new role that requires you to take on new responsibilities and develop new skills, I would recommend embarking on a programme like this.
Willis Towers Watson’s Professional Development programme has opened new opportunities for me and it has greatly assisted my progression to the next career level within the company.