It was really interesting to learn about what the department does during a normal working day. People I talked to saw I was disabled, accepted this, and then made nothing more of it. This left a really positive impression.
One Day at Allianz
Allianz SE’s job shadowing day for students with disabilities took place on May 7. A friend and I, Lisa Pichler, applied to spend this day touring the various departments at Allianz SE, and seeing how individual departments contribute to Allianz’ success as a globally active company.
Together with 8 other students participating this program, we received a very warm welcome when we arrived. In the Auditorium, the people who were to show us round the different departments introduced themselves. In my case, this started with Dr. Isabell Nehmeyer-Srocke, who then introduced me to Ms. Karin Beutlhauser. Isabell and Karin, as well as everyone I met over the course of the day, were really friendly towards me. Karin gave me a brief overview of the H5 business division which is responsible for Western and Southern Europe as well as for Africa.
We then headed into the department, where I was able to talk to a range of people about their areas of responsibility. Since the department deals with insurance in five European countries and in Africa, and every employee in the team is responsible for a different country, the team started by explaining the overarching procedure to me first before we looked at how it was applied within the context of individual countries. It was really interesting to learn about what the department does during a normal working day. Everyone was open and friendly when I talked to them. Everyone asked me to call them by their first name, which surprised me, but also made me feel welcome and relaxed.
What really struck me was that the people I talked to saw I was disabled, accepted this, and then made nothing more of it. This left a really positive impression; it’s not something that happens often.
The subtitle “It is what you CAN do that matters!” is really put into practice. This was also emphasized at the end of the day, when the company highlighted the range of job opportunities available. From my perspective, the aims of the day, namely shadowing a real working day, as well as networking, were met. Even though I spent the day in a department which does not exactly fit to my degree, my CV was passed on to a department to which I am more suited.
All in all, I was extremely impressed. I gained an insight into a company with progressive attitudes and a very pleasant working environment. One Day at Allianz was a refreshing, informative and inspiring experience for me, and one which will also benefit my degree. After I finish my degree, I hope to return to Allianz and play my part in contributing to its success.
Written by Lisa Pichler, a student of Media and Communications at the University of Mannheim.