Tell us more about what you do here. What does your day-to-day look like?
On top of that, I also assist with managing certain client needs such as configuring their insurance models and upload them to Product Factory, building new algorithms on Excel to fit the requested output criteria, and document them every step of the way.
When I am not working, you’ll find me indulging in conversations about random world news, giving lots of love to my dogs or playing basketball with the team! ?
Why are you interested in insurtech?
When I was looking for a job, my goal was to join a team of open-minded individuals who are solving problems for a global audience. Instead of restricting my search to MNCs or firms who offer the highest job benefits, my horizon extended to every industry that is hell-bent on innovating new concepts for every generation.
Insurance is known to be an industry that has highly sustainable careers, and with technology added, it really became an appealing career path for me to pursue. When I was still in school, I didn’t fully understand the ins and outs of insurance. A year into the company and my understanding and opinions have taken a U-turn, all thanks to my team manager and other colleagues who happily answer my annoying questions.
How did you find yourself at Coherent? What drew you to this job?
I’ll be honest, before joining Coherent I didn’t have much knowledge about insurance. I met John, our CEO, at a career fair and unlike other firms questioning me about my past experiences, he was inclined towards helping me learn more about the industry before diving into how I am suited for it. I found that extremely helpful and comforting. Starting a career in a highly competitive city like Hong Kong can be intimidating, especially for an international student.
All the senior executives I then spoke with, at Coherent, made sure they helped me throughout and answered any questions I had during the interview process. The managers were willing to align the company’s goals with mine and they were open to me learning on the job. Bearing in mind my end goal as a fresh graduate was to become more competent and discover new visions, it was without a doubt that this job was right for me.
What has been the most unexpected thing you’ve experienced at Coherent?
Considering the corporate backgrounds of Coherent’s senior management, I expected a very rigid organisational structure. However, it was interesting to see a flat hierarchy with everyone taking part in the decision-making process. There is a lot more open communication and conversations with other teams. I didn’t expect my name on client presentations or to have a chance to develop and own the ideas I proposed to the team. All the team members at Coherent are given equal importance and everyone’s involvement is valued. Above all, I really did not anticipate meeting so many people from such diverse backgrounds. It’s amazing how such a mixed pool of individuals can come together and build such mind-blowing products!
If you were to give advice to graduates who want to get into the industry, what advice would you give them?
Keep an open mind. Lot of graduates can feel extremely lost while looking for jobs and end up filtering out many exciting opportunities because their search is too narrow. If you’ve made up your mind to join insurance, widen your search to business models that are vertically integrated to it as well. For example, an MNC does not operate on its own. The product they release is a result of multiple vendors coming together and it’s these organisations who might provide interesting career opportunities.
I graduated with a first-class honour’s degree in Economics. Instead of working for a large bank or think-tank, I decided to join a start-up that is working towards a more inclusive future for insurance. I had no intention of entering the insurtech industry, but I’m so happy I did. As tough as looking for a first job can be, it gets easier when you are open minded.