And like that 4 years! Gone. (In a good way obvs) Last Saturday marked Connor's 4 years working at Arma Karma! And how did we celebrate? Well, we made him sit down for over an hour to answer these questions on working with us! We promise we'll get you a cake next year Connor - 5 years is more monumental anyway...

How did you start at Arma Karma?

After graduating from university I received an email from the careers team offering a unique opportunity for a 6-month internship at a new ethical insurance start-up. The job role was vague but the company mission was clear which convinced me to take a risk and apply. After a successful interview process where I was asked challenging questions such as "who would win in a fight, a bear or a shark?" I eagerly accepted the temporary position and I've stayed ever since!

What does a typical day at AK look like for you?

One word that currently defines my life, mood, and overall sense of being is the word busy. Nothing at Arma Karma ever stays still and I don't think there's ever been a period where there isn't something to be working on or improving. It's really built into the DNA of the business so I don't expect this to change anytime soon. My 'normal' day often starts by catching up with the team to outline my plans for the day/week ahead followed by dealing with any urgent tech fixes and prioritising customer requests.

Once the urgent work has been taken care of and all bugs are squashed I can then turn my attention to getting status updates from our technology leads about current projects making sure there are no hurdles and everything is on track. In between meetings I also try to squeeze in a cup of coffee and a game or two of table football to keep my mind sharp. If all projects are up to date I usually schedule in time to look through customer feedback with product performance data as this helps shape any future plans. I'll start some preliminary sketches for early design ideas which I can then take to the rest of the team or, if it's particularly busy, I'll jump into some QA work to make sure our feature releases go as smoothly as possible. I round off the day by answering my emails and preparing for any upcoming meetings, presentations, or events.

What's been your best achievement since working at AK?

On a personal level, I'm super proud of all of the infrastructure that I've helped to develop here at Arma Karma and I feel a great sense of achievement for every award that we've won over the last few years; especially the Innovative Product Award from the National Insurance Awards in 2023. The best non-award-based achievement has to be my performance in a viral TikTok video which amassed over 200k views. It was something I'd never thought was possible but I can now add ✨influencer✨ to my social bios.

Can you believe it's been 4 years?

No, with every day being different and always having new projects to be working on the time has flown by. There are definitely signs though as there are now some grey hairs starting to show.

What's been the most useful skill you've gained since working here?

Definitely problem-solving. As a graduate I was new to the insurance and tech industries and over the last 4 years I've certainly encountered my fair share of operational hurdles. Being able to think outside of the box and produce a range of clever solutions and innovations has helped us to navigate each new obstacle and I would say that it has been one of the main strengths in our success so far. The whole purpose of Arma Karma was to solve a problem in the insurance industry so I'd say we're certainly living up to that as a team.

Would you recommend AK for someone to work at? If so why?

Absolutely! I think that a role at Arma Karma (and start-ups in general) presents a great opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds. From my own experience being surrounded by the start-up culture allows you to learn and try a diverse range of roles across a business with your work having a direct impact on business decisions; something you wouldn't get in your typical graduate scheme. By taking this pathway I feel that I have grown personally and professionally far quicker than I would have done had I taken a more corporate role.

And lastly, what advice would you give to a new postgraduate looking for a job?

It might sound very cliche but get your applications in early, some employers will close job listings early once they've achieved a certain number of applicants so it's always best to be prepared and not to put off applying. With that being said my top tip would be to connect with hiring managers, recruiters and current employees within the company or industry you're looking at and ask them for advice on how to apply for certain roles. They often have a great idea of the skills they're looking for in a successful candidate and so can help shape your cover letter to make it stand out even more. They might also suggest other available roles that you may not have previously considered. Finally - don't get too disheartened with rejection, in fact, get comfortable with it. Use rejections as an opportunity to collect feedback and try to improve in your next application or interview; you never know if the next job might be the one to say yes. I applied for around a hundred roles after graduating and Arma Karma was my only interview!