- What do you look for in a Graduate Development Program (GDP) candidate?
If you are in your last year of undergraduate degree study, our full-time Graduate Development Program just might be a perfect fit. We are looking for bright, accomplished, highly-motivated candidates with outstanding communication skills and a true passion for business. Specifically, we look for candidates with the following attributes:
- Bachelor’s degree – all majors/degrees considered
- May/June 2016 Graduates preferred
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (US); 2:1 or above (UK)
- Industry and customer focused
- Agile learner
- Ability to work in teams and cultivate relationships
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Authorized to work in the country to which you are applying on a permanent full-time basis
- Training and professional development
What training and development is available to GDP colleagues?
At the outset, all GDP hires globally participate in a two-week orientation program in which they will have the opportunity to meet and network with senior leaders, learn the business and participate in group exercises to promote support and camaraderie across the class, regardless of geography.
How are rotational assignments determined?
While there is no specific formula to how rotations are assigned, one of the drivers is class size. While we strive for equal distribution of Graduates across business practices at any given time, the ultimate driver both on and off program is the needs of the business.
After two years on program, what options are available to GDP colleagues?
We believe that post GDP opportunities provide an outstanding starting point for a long-term relationship with Willis. At Willis, we are committed to supporting you in a career path that is mutually beneficial to you and the firm. The focus beyond the program will be on continued career development to promote leadership potential.
- How does the Willis graduate interview process work?
The interview is a two-way process so we can find out more about you and vice versa. Our key goal is to learn more about you, your background, your experiences, interests and potential fit for Willis and the Graduate Development Program. We recommend that you do your homework and learn as much as you can about the insurance industry and Willis before your interview. If we recruit on-campus at your school/university, visit our booth at the career fair or attend our information session, where you will have the opportunity to meet with Willis representatives as well as former Graduate hires.
What is the best way to submit an application?
All candidates are required to apply online. If you attend a school in the US and we visit your campus, you must also apply via your school’s career services posting.
When is the deadline for submitting an application?
For full-time GDP opportunities, the deadline is November 6, 2015.
For summer internship opportunities, the deadline is February 19, 2016.
If I apply for the summer internship program and am not selected, can I still apply for a full-time GDP position with Willis?
The selection process for our full-time and summer internship program is very competitive and many times we have more qualified candidates than slots. If you are not selected for a summer internship, you can apply for our full-time GDP opportunity provided you meet the qualifications for the program.
How is the interview process structured?
The interview process is a two-step approach. First round interviews take place on campus and are facilitated by the career centers at our core schools/universities. Upon successful completion of on-campus interviews, candidates are invited to participate in on-site final round interviews at Willis locations with officer-level colleagues from various business units. Offers are typically extended within five business days.
We're often asked, "How much do I actually have to know about insurance during an interview?” We do expect you to have some knowledge, but we don't assume you are an expert. You will be expected to have an understanding about the position for which you are applying and the industry in general, which means you do need to do your research. The best place to do this is undoubtedly our recruitment events, where you'll have the opportunity to talk to employees and see what it's like "from the inside." Come to the events with key questions to make the most of the conversations you have, such as:
- What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
- What do you think are the key skills you need to do your job?
- What attracted you to the insurance industry and why?
We conduct what we call "competency-based interviews." This means we structure our questions in order to gather information about how you behave against specific job-related competencies.
We'll ask you lots of open questions (e.g., "Tell me about a time when..."), and hope you can give us examples from your own experience. It's worth preparing in advance by considering situations and projects you've done that demonstrate your skills well.
- Other useful tips
Research, Research, Research
Look on the Willis website and familiarize yourself with what we do. We do not expect you to be an expert in insurance brokerage but you should have a general understanding of our industry, what we do and how we do it.
Think about yourself
We want to know what unique skills you can bring to the role. Think through your work experience and the skills and interests you’ve developed at university and how these relate to the job and area of work. Why are you interested in the GDP? Why do you think you are a good fit for the program?
We will expect you to demonstrate a strong interest in Willis and the program. Utilize the research you’ve already done to think of at least three questions to ask about Willis as an employer, and three questions about the program itself. You can write these down to take into the interview as a reminder.
If you still have access to your university's careers service, see if you can book a mock interview or what might be part of the interview day
Plan your day
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Plan for your interview day in fine detail. It will help you relax and shows employers that you are organized and committed. Dress appropriately; you can’t go wrong with a traditional business suit. Plan how to get to the location where the interview will take place. Be on time. Print out a fresh copy of your resume/CV and take it with you.
Be in control of yourself in the interview
It’s natural to be nervous in an interview. When you are in the interview, remember that it’s fine to pause before responding to questions to gather your thoughts, and if you’re unsure about a question it’s also fine to ask for clarification.
Stay professional to the end
Although it can be tempting to run screaming from a bad interview or skip joyously from a good one, recruiters will expect to you to be professional throughout the time you're meeting with them, including after you’ve left the interview room itself.
If you’re shown around the office or have the chance to chat with former graduates, remember that their feedback may count towards the organization’s overall evaluation of you, so don’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t in a formal interview situation
Be yourself. We want to get to know the real you.