As a Risk Manager, Ciska calculates, based on economic parameters, how much money we need to keep in cash to meet our obligations. She is also a board member of Young!
The nice thing is that you can constantly broaden yourself. If you show that you want to, you get the chance to do new things and take on other projects all the time.
‘Insurance is not a sexy topic at birthday parties'
After her internship at Athora Netherlands, Ciska Morhs had the opportunity to combine a part-time job in the Actuarial Reporting department with a three-year Master's degree in Business Analytics. "This combination allowed me to plan my working hours around my lectures and to make use of real data research during my studies."
Although she had always told her brother Sander - who also works at Athora - that she really didn't want to do the same as him, Ciska (27) ended up in the insurance profession via an internship after all. "Once I was in, the work proved interesting and varied. Moreover, I ended up in a nice team where we also did fun things together after work. Talking about insurance is not a sexy topic at birthday parties. You just can't captivate most people with stories about figures and calculations. That's why I didn't want to work for an insurance company, but now I've been there for five years.
Her internship turned out to be more fun than expected and when Ciska then got the opportunity to work part-time at the Actuarial Reporting department of the Life Service Business in addition to her Master in Business Analytics, she grabbed it with both hands. "This combination of work and study was very pleasant. I could plan my working hours around my lectures and I got credits for the work I did here. For example, during my master's I learned to work with RStudio, software for making statistical calculations, and I was able to apply this at work in data research."
Nowadays, simply said Ciska calculates how much money we as an insurer have to keep in our coffers based on the standards set by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) with the corresponding risk margins. "Every quarter, we recalculate this, based on the latest economic parameters. Why do we do that? These days I often use corona as an example to explain it. Suppose you suddenly have higher mortality rates, then as a life insurer you must be able to pay out your policyholders. In simple terms, that is what I am responsible for."
Network of young professionals
Besides her regular activities, Ciska has also become a board member of Young!, the club of young professionals within Athora up to the age of 36. To connect the young colleagues within Athora with each other, Young! regularly organises network meetings and events. "In terms of activities, we always look for a balance between informative and fun. For example, we visited DNB and I went on a study trip to the Athora Group head office in Ireland. Because of the corona measures, our activities have been mainly online recently, but fortunately that is temporary."
Against her own expectations, Ciska has been working for a 'boring' insurer for five years now. "The nice thing is that you can constantly broaden your horizons. If you show that you want to, you get the chance to do new things all the time and to take on other projects. I am still growing in my current role and have just been assigned a new project. So it's nice and busy and never boring."
Ciska was also nominated by her manager as a female talent and invited to a two-day 'Woman in Leadership' training course at the Rotterdam School of Management of Erasmus University. "It was about diversity in the workplace and encouraging female leadership. It is good to reflect on the unconscious bias you have as a human being."
But perhaps the most important thing is that you can just enjoy your work. "The atmosphere at Athora is very positive. Because of the flexible workplaces you quickly make contact with many different colleagues. Everyone is very approachable, even the managers. In general, the atmosphere here is very informal. Especially for a corporate."