Scott W smallScott Woodward is an Australian representative in rowing, as well as International Programs – Sales Specialist in Zurich Australia’s Global Corporate team. He shares his insurance journey.

While at university I was selected into a ‘Professional Cadetship’ program, in which eight firms across the financial services sector participated. I was shortlisted for two companies, one in banking and one in insurance, Zurich. I opted for Zurich based on the positive vibe I picked up on during the interview process. They offered a four-year formalised rotation plan throughout my studies. It was too good an opportunity to miss.

Although I made an active choice to join Zurich, at the age of 19 my understanding of what insurance was all about was limited to travel insurance (which I was forced to purchase when travelling abroad rowing) and also the expensive car insurance I had to pay, being a male under the age of 25. Once I was involved, though, I soon realised the scope of the industry, and the variety of career pathways. It’s all there if you want it.

Insurance, for me, represents the undiscovered gem of the financial services Industry. Too often university graduates limit themselves to banking and finance. In my opinion insurance is just as rewarding an industry to operate within – if not more so.

Insurance, for me, represents the undiscovered gem of the financial services industry.

The best part of the job, for me, is being able to apply creative license to almost every facet of my role. Given that I’m responsible for the development of strategic direction, and also the maintenance of trading relationships, no two days are the same. I’m lucky that I never get bogged down in repetitive work and I have to find ways to be creative to differentiate myself from my competitors.

Because I still compete for Australia in rowing, balancing all my commitments is a challenge. Everyone always refers to it as the ‘work/life balance’. For me, it’s more of a ‘work/life/professional sport balance’.

However, with an understanding and flexible workplace, and efficient time management it is possible to do it all. Unfortunately I missed out on selection for the Australian 2016 Rio Olympics team, but I certainly won’t be giving up on my ultimate goal of winning an Olympic medal at Tokyo in 2020.

I’m often asked how satisfying a career in insurance is when set against being a professional sportsman. If you’re a competitive person at heart, any type of victory puts fuel in the fire. Personal satisfaction is important to me. I always pride myself on my performance, whether that’s in the workplace or on the rowing course.

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