Two young employees from an Andover based insurance business have helped their company win a prestigious national award.
Sophie Walters, 19 and Lucy Gourlay, 24, both work for Andover based Be Wiser Insurance. It was their presentations to a panel in London that helped the company win the Training Excellence and Impact category of the Insurance Times Awards 2014.
They beat AON, Brokerbility and Pound Gates to win the award.
Other companies in the insurance sector sent their directors and CEO’s to present to the awards panel, however Be Wiser wanted to give Sophie and Lucy the opportunity to help with their overall development objective. The awards recognise the achievements in UK general insurance over the last 12 months.
“The presentations ultimately decided the winner,” said Mark Leeming Sure Start programme manager, who travelled to London with Sophie and Lucy. “They both had to present for seven minutes on two categories each and then answer questions for three minutes. It was a lot of pressure on them as all the other companies had sent their directors or CEO’s who were older and had much more experienced than them. So we are delighted that their hard work paid off and we won this award.”
Sophie, who is on the Be Wiser Sure Start apprentice programme said she was very nervous about presenting but they had both done a lot of preparation.
“I was really excited to have been chosen to go,” said Sophie. “We were the youngest there and that seemed to play in our favour as the other companies were impressed that we had the confidence and knowledge of our product. It was a fantastic experience!”
“Overall it was really good, I was surprised at my confidence with some of the questions that we were asked by the judges and I will definitely remember some of their faces when they found out I was only a college leaver representing a large business for these prestigious awards and the praise I received once it was all finished. It is fantastic that we won an award and I am really proud of what we achieved.”
Lucy, who is on a Kickstart graduate programme agreed that all the hard work paid off. “We practiced and practiced,” she said. “I was really nervous but excited too and the whole experience has given me so much confidence. I am so proud that I had the chance to do this rather than one of our managers. It’s great that everyone at Be Wiser had so much faith in us.”
“The experience has given me confidence to lead and stand up and be heard. I know I can give a presentation to a set of important clients but I can also present myself in a very favourable way for opportunities I come across. And now we have won it’s just an amazing feeling I am so pleased.”
Crescens George, Director of Learning and Development at Be Wiser added,” Winning this national award shows the hard work and new strategies we are implementing are being recognised on a national level.”