My Interview advice: Inform yourself about the complicated structure of Allianz Group and be aware for which operational entity you are applying for – the hiring manager will be impressed!
How it all began…
Back at the beginning of 2013 I was almost done with my Bachelor’s studies in international business administration and decided that after studying in Germany, the USA and Argentina and some minor internships, it’s about time for a ‘real’ six months internship in a really big company to gain valuable experience and fancy up my resume, before starting my Masters studies. At that time I didn’t realize that this decision was going to be the starting point of my career at Allianz.
So I applied to several ‘big companies’ in Germany and got invited to interviews by most of them, including Allianz SE. I have to admit that at that point, Allianz was not number one of companies I wanted to work for. I imagined it full of old people, boring topics, lame insurance products and something like that. Thankfully, I was proven the exact opposite. The recruiting process was by far the quickest compared to the other companies. Also, in the interview itself I became more and more convinced that it is actually a pretty cool place to work at with innovative projects, modern, young (and fashionable) people and a global headquarters in the heart of Munich. I decided to give it a try and started my internship in the area of Global Employer Branding and eRecruiting (exactly, my job was to convince the outside world of the fact that Allianz is actually a pretty awesome place to work at – who could do that better than a person who just got convinced by herself ;-).
So those six months of internship went by extremely fast. I was given a lot of freedom and support regarding the projects I was doing from the very first day. My main tasks were taking care about the Allianz careers website and setting up a careers blog – the one you are reading right now. Also Social Media and Candidate Management were big parts of my duties. By the end of my internship, my boss told me that he wished I could stay and honestly, I wasn’t averse to do so as I really started to like my job, the people and the entire company.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to give up on my plans of doing my Master’s studies. After some research I found that the School of International Business & Entrepreneurship (part of Steinbeis University Berlin) is offering dual Master programs in exactly the field I wanted to study at: International Management. After convincing my boss of this idea and applying to the University, I started to work as a Junior Manager in the field of Global Employer Branding & eRecruiting and at the same time studied for my Master’s in a 2-year program.
Dual Master’s studies
The program is very tough as it requires full time working and studying mostly at the weekends and after work. The courses mainly took place in Stuttgart and Berlin with a class of about 30 people all working in companies around Germany. This allows to share the experiences made with writing papers, studying for exams and working at the same time with persons who are going through exactly the same. Moreover, you learn how things get handled in other companies. Every student has its own 2-year project in his company, about which six big papers have to be written and presented in front of the class.
The best part of the studies was definitely the fact that it was not only a dual Master but I also had the option to decide for a double degree, which I did. Part of the double degree program was to travel to Brazil in order to obtain a MBA from the Brazilian partner university. I was lucky enough to add some vacation days and experience the Brazilian carnival in Rio de Janeiro, its beautiful beaches around Salvador and the Amazonas.
Back in Germany, I had to start to take care of my Master’s thesis which was of course also written in cooperation with Allianz. The topic my entire team is currently working on is the creation of a global Employer Value Proposition for Allianz Group. For this reason, we had to find out how current employees are seeing Allianz as an employer and what preferences our external target groups have. Consequently, a big survey throughout the entire company as well as externally was conducted in order to gain valuable insights. For my thesis, I took a look at the generational differences of the opinions of our target groups with the focus on Millennials. Objective of the thesis was to find the best possible way to attract high potential Millennials to work for Allianz in the future as well as to engage and retain already employed Millennials. My findings are now being used in the creation process of the EVP.
If you also want to write your thesis with Allianz, make sure that you have an actual topic you are interested in. I highly recommend that you first apply for an internship or working student position in the area you would like to write your thesis in. If you perform, your managers will be more than happy to assist you with your thesis.
But back to my story:
Our efforts throughout the years were successful: Allianz SE was awarded the third year in a row as number 1 in Online Talent Communication in Europe and Asia. This means that we were the overall winner in terms of Social Media, Careers Website, Recruiting process and mobile recruiting. The last one leads me to the probably coolest thing I experienced during my Junior Manager position: we implemented a mobile recruiting tool, means an user interface for mobile devices that allows our candidates to have the look and feel of an app when using our application system, giving them the chance to search and apply for jobs as well as check their application status from everywhere – while riding the metro or lying on their couch.
Allianz was one of the first DAX companies to come up with such a solution and therefore got nominated for the Trendence Innovation Award 2014. I was given the chance to travel to Berlin to collect the award and present our tool to the audience which consisted of employer branding experts from all successful companies around Germany. Those are the moments when you realize that all the presentation and rhetorical trainings at university were actually worth it :-).
Another exciting project and moment in the last 2.5 years was the creation of an Employer Branding Video in cooperation with Sponsoring. We did not only prepare the storyline for it but I was also asked to ‘act’ an Allianz employee in the video. It was very exciting to see how camera productions are working and how long it takes to get a short 1.10 minutes video done. So if you are interested in seeing Robben, Schweinsteiger, Lang Lang and myself in one video, feel free to watch it here.
All in all, I was able to meet plenty of interesting people through my job and build a huge network. Moreover, I had not only great colleagues but made also some really good friends at Allianz. If you are having questions about careers at Allianz or the program I accomplished, do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am sure my (former) Branding & Engagement colleagues will answer you within 24 hours! Also, you can ask me directly via LinkedIn.
As for me, I accomplished my Master’s degree successfully and am happy to start my new role as an Executive Assistant within the Allianz Family.
Last but not least, I am also taking this opportunity to thank my team for all the support and guidance throughout the years.
written by Lucija Tomsic