Neil Hopkins

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Insurance
Job title: Senior Underwriter
Subject of study: Zoology
Year of graduation: 1983
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Global Aquaculture Insurance Consortium

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I left Exeter in 1983 having completed a zoology degree. I took a Masters degree in Applied Fish Biology at Plymouth Poly (as it then was) and then started work in the insurance industry, arranging stock mortality insurance for fish and shellfish farmers around the world. I have been insuring aquaculture operations ever since.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I had worked in insurance for a year prior to going to Exeter (hated it and vowed never again) and realised that actually there was a big wide world outside academia that offered a more certain and better-remunerated career path. I enjoy travelling the world to see aspects of the fascinating industry that is aquaculture and being a large fish in the very small pond of those able to provide insurance protection to the industry.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Marvellous part of the world to live in, a high academic standard without being too dry and a lot of fun outside the lecture theatre and labs.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Good course, high standard of education and a Ramones concert in the great hall the day before my official visit to look around the university!

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Capability to listen to others and not take yourself too seriously plus a great interest in the marine world fostered by one or two lecturers and membership of Exeter university sub aqua club.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Difficult question as there are very few openings in this limited, specialist class of insurance. I guess the only advice would be to accept that the perfect job doesn’t exist and anything is a blend of some good stuff with some less good stuff so don’t be too choosy in your early years.

What are your plans for the future?

Carry on doing my job and enjoying it until all the regulators, compliance, health and safety and actuarial experts take all the fun out of it, at which time I will retire and be forced to pay my own expenses to travel the world.


Similar Alumni

Pranita Sriprom

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Sam Westcott

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