Employee Insights

A career in insurance wasn’t on my bucket list, specially not in Sales

by Daniela Scheuchenpflug - March 7th, 2017

Are you reading testimonial stories before applying? Obviously, and so do I. It is a good way to get a feeling of the company and more insights how career journeys look like. That was enough motivation for me to tell my story and I hope I inspire you to click the send- or apply-button.

In almost seven years from an internship to a permanent position, from HR to Sales and from Vienna over Malaysia to Munich. So here I am, in Munich, Germany where our headquarter is located. And I am pretty sure that is not the end of my journey, because there is still so much to explore in the Allianz world. But let’s start from the beginning: Who am I?!

Hello, it’s me… Allianz was looking for

I am Daniela from Austria, working in the headquarter of Allianz Austria in the Sales Department in Vienna (oh yes, beautiful city). I studied international Business Administration at WU Vienna and applied seven years ago for an internship during summer at Allianz Austria. Honestly, it was the topic “Social Media in HR” and not the insurance sector that caught my attention. Guess I am not surprising you now, but I was taken and my career at Allianz started, definitely in a different way I was expecting it. Watch in the video how I applied:

Human Resources

So I started my internship at the HR department of Allianz Austria, doing Recruiting and Employer Branding. Exciting topic and I got a lot of room to develop not only myself but also our presence as an employer. Social Media was quite new back then, so we had a lot to try.  We celebrated our success stories (for example we were voted for the best Social Media presence in the Austrian market 2012) and learned from our failures. I gained more and more experience in Recruiting, as well, and I’m still proud when I see colleagues I have recruited. In total, I stayed four and a half years, with a break in Malaysia. I got offered a permanent position when I returned and there was no question about it.

From Vienna to Malaysia

My biggest adventure so far started with the question of my manager if I want to see any other OE as an intern. I had graduated already, but unfortunately there was no permanent position in HR available. So as disappointed as I was it turned out that this was a blessing in disguise.  I was open to gain international experience and so I applied for an internship of three months in Malaysia and you guess it, was taken. So the last months of 2011 I worked for Allianz Malaysia in the HR department as well. I made so many experiences, developed, learned and ate superspicy food. There I felt the internationality of Allianz but our German roots as well. We were celebrating Octoberfest-Parties, so I was happy I had my Dirndl with me and could dress up properly. Watch the video to hear more about my time:

From HR to Sales

As time was passing by I wondered how the insurance business is really working. Of course I was doing Recruiting and Employer Branding for an insurance company, nevertheless I had no touch points with our products (just when I got them for myself) or our Sales team and all the management that lies behind it. So the possibility to do a job rotation with a colleague from Sales management turned up at the right time and I took the chance. Job rotation means I was working three days a week in the Sales department and two days doing my normal tasks. A good occasion to get insights without changing position. I just saw it as nice opportunity to broaden my horizon and get to know what it means to work in Sales and get fully back to HR after four months. But as so often life happens when you are making plans, I got a job offer and accepted. So next stop: Sales management.

From Sales to Munich (and back to HR)

So I started in Sales and had to learn a lot. Actually I felt lost for at least half a year. Everything was new and so different, from the people I was working with in the headquarter (hadn’t any touch points with Underwriting, Actuary or product development in Marketing)  all our Sales employees who are out there to service our customers and of course all the topics I had to cover:

  • Supervision, management and training of regional sales experts in the private sector
  • Product coordination & development for life & health products
  • Ensuring Life Check, a holistic advisory approach for our customers
  • Coordination of Austrian wide trainings for sales manager

I felt lost, but had a great manager and team colleagues who supported me and after a few months I could build up a comfort zone again. So two years went by and I somehow had the feeling I need  a change of scenery again. And there it was, this offer in an internal HR Job Newsletter that caught my attention. Six weeks assignment in Munich in our headquarter and the topic: “Global Employer Branding”. I suddenly had the feeling that this was made for me, so I applied and got it – luckily. It was a great opportunity to refresh my know-how I had gained the years before, get to know how working in our headquarter feels and to change my scenery as I had to move to Munich.

So here I am, almost at the end of my assignment and couldn’t be happier. I made a lot of new connections and was working in my “old” field where I have started but in a global context. The internationality here was really inspiring, people from everywhere are working together with different Allianz backgrounds and views. The switch between German and English is nothing special anymore. 😉 And my colleagues were so welcoming and supporting that, again, I am a very proud #teamAllianz member!

What’s up next

When I’m back in Austria I’m taking over a new role, I will be a project manager of digital projects in Sales. Again hopping out of my comfort zone and learning something new.

Some friends asked me whether I am not bored or want to see something different then the Allianz world. But seriously, if your company offers you this wide range of possibilities and a home to grow, I see no reason to change. So I found my home where I can dare to get out of my comfort zone, explore new things and  develop my skills and experiences since 2010.

If you have any questions, I’m happy if you get in touch with me via Mail or LinkedIn or with our global Recruiting Team, otherwise just click the apply-button, never forget: your dream job may be just one click away! I never thought that I will end up in an insurance company either, but I have no regrets! 😉

Daniela Scheuchenpflug works for Allianz Austria and is currently on an assignment in our headquarter in Munich. She has experience in Employer Branding, Recruiting and Sales.

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