Loise Uugwanga

Swiss Re, Communication, Finance Reinsurance, CFO Office
Bachelor student in Journalism & Media Technology, Namibia University of Science & Technology
1. August - 31. Oktober 2018

Im Moment nur in Englisch verfügbar.

At work

Coming to Switzerland has been the biggest highlight of my life so far, but getting an opportunity to work in one of the biggest companies in the world like Swiss Re is a bonus.

Yes, Swiss Re has beautiful office buildings with an amazing canteen, but that’s not all what Swiss Re is about. For the three months I have worked with Swiss Re I found the company with such an amazing working environment, filled with tons of friendly people.

With my internship I was based in the Finance Reinsurance CFO office, shadowing the Senior Manager of Communication Mackenzie Clavin. Mackenzie mentored me throughout my internship, ensuring that I was learning and growing. She is absolutely amazing!

My first task was to network with as many people as possible. And like any other first experience I was so shy and nervous to approach or email people to set up coffee or lunch dates and this was a Swiss tradition I learned. After finally doing so I met so many people that inspired me in so many ways and got so many great career advice. Everyone I met is in a really great place in his or her career, but one thing most of them pointed out was that it was not a smooth ride to get to where they are today.

Two examples of the work I did at Swiss Re that I enjoyed the most is blogging and the video production plan that I worked on. Since my first week with Swiss Re I did a weekly post on my experiences throughout the previous week, both work related and general topics like my weekend travels. I also did a few interviews to blog about. The blog post did not only give me a platform to share my experiences, but also got me engaging with colleagues that comment, like or rate. And again at the same time practicing my writing skills.

With the video production plan, it was quite exciting to put into practice what I have learned in school. Like drawing up a call sheet, setting up interviews and preparing for the interviews to get good shoots and answers.

I now feel that my network has really grown, and to keep in touch I made it an effort to add everyone I met on LinkedIn which I also got to know about during my internship.

My Swiss host family

At the beginning I wasn`t quite sure what to expect living with a different family for the very first time ever. But because at the same time I was so curious I opened up to the idea. As part of the B360 project I lived with a host family, a good family that opened the doors of their home to a stranger, me! One thing I really appreciated the most is having people to talk to and to have warm meals together, to either start the day or after a long day. Throughout my stay I actually got to stay with three different families which also gave me a chance to experience and compare families which I found quite interesting. All families were so lovely and caring, I couldn`t ask for a better experience.

Highlights and challenges in Switzerland

For me, every day in Switzerland was a highlight of my life. This is because every day I saw and/or tasted something new, met new people or travelled to a new place. But maybe to point out a few, one of the things I will miss most about Switzerland is the public transportation. With my GA ticket I had access to all public transport systems within Switzerland, including boat rides. With this I was able to go everywhere and be on time, punctuality is another Swiss culture.

I also love how accessible most if not all countries are in Europe. During my three months stay I was able to visit two other countries. Germany in Konstanz and Europa Park, as well as France in Paris. This I either did by train or Flixbus which is quite affordable.

I will be forever grateful.

My future plans

They say if your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough.

Well, for me, I certainly do not plan on letting all the knowledge and experience I have gained during my internship go to waste. Not only do I feel more capable and experienced, but more encouraged to take every opportunity I get by the horns and make the most of it.

One thing I learned is always to go out of your comfort zone and try it, because that’s how you find opportunities.

Personal message

Looking back I missed out on a lot of opportunities because I was afraid to fail. But not anymore. I have learned: failure is a first attempt in learning. It`s either you win or you learn, so why not.