Univ Dates: 2003-2007
Degree: MEng Engineering
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Occupation: Political Risk Broker
Biography: Jon was a Royal Navy Sponsored Undergraduate whilst at Univ, before completing his Initial Officer Training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He served in the Royal Navy as an Air Engineer Officer in the Fleet Air Arm for six years, enjoying a varied and thoroughly rewarding short career, deploying across the world, including Afghanistan in 2010.
He is now an Associate Divisional Director in the Political Risk Team at RFIB Group Ltd. In this role he negotiates the placement of political risk Insurance in the Lloyd’s, London and International markets. Political risk Insurance is a product to protect international trade and investments, predominantly in Emerging Market economies. He has been fortunate to work on some fascinating developmental projects in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, focusing specifically on the Energy and infrastructure sectors.
He is currently undertaking an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School in the Shard, London, and aims to graduate in late 2017.
Why did you choose Univ?
My school was quite good in that they arranged visits to both Oxford and Cambridge to look around different colleges. We naturally had some ties to colleges at Oxford and Cambridge because of where our teachers had studied, so that was a good way to get a feel of the place, to meet students and recent graduates and talk about their experiences.
I got a very good feeling about Univ from talking to people and coming here on an open day. It was a warm and friendly place and that was really important to me – I wanted more than an academic experience, I wanted something that would enrich me and give me that broader education.
Were you involved in anything extracurricular at College?
I managed to avoid rowing for four years, which I view as a personal achievement. But I played a lot of sport when I was at Univ – I captained the College hockey team and represented the University at Hockey too. I was involved with skiing, rugby, cricket, all sorts of different things – rowing was probably one of the only sports I didn’t do.
Prior to that I was in the Royal Navy; I was actually a sponsored undergraduate throughout university and then had an automatic place at Dartmouth, which is the officer training college, when I left Univ.
How did Univ inspire or influence you?
I had a close relationship in my tutor group with Dr Steve Collins, who was my main engineering tutor at the time, and he had a very good pastoral style of teaching and took a very close interest in what people were doing outside of their subject. I felt that was a great thing to have.
Also, just people around College in general. I had a close relationship with the Head Porter at the time, and everyone felt they had a good relationship with the Master; Lord Butler was very approachable. That all added to the general feel around College; there was always a great network of people around the place to help you through your studies and that certainly prepares people to do as well as they can and then move forward to whatever they were going to do after university.
Tell us about what you are doing now…
I work as a political risk insurance broker for a company called Robert Flemings. I arrange insurance protection programmes for investors, banks and traders in emerging markets in high-risk countries. It means I have to keep a finger on the pulse as to what’s going on across the world, which keeps me very busy, but it’s a very enjoyable job.
How does a project like this help?
I see this as a great initiative and I’m always keen to talk to recent graduates to see how they feel about things. In terms of outreach to people outside of College who are looking at Univ, it may seem a little too far off on the horizon, but I think it’s a nice thing to already have in the back of the mind, that you don’t feel that after college you are thrown out into the professional world on your own.