Nicola Harris

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Insurance
Job title: Head of Energy UK
Subject of study: Arab Studies
Year of graduation: 1993
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


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

Working in the insurance industry, firstly as a broker, more recently as an insurance underwriter. Included in this as been stint as Chief of Staff for the Global Chief Underwriting Officer Spent 15 years as a Reserve Officer in the British Army (Royal Artillery), which included a 8.5 month tour of Iraq.

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

Originally started looking at corporate banking but realised it wasn’t quite what I wanted. Discovered industrial insurance: I enjoy the intellectual challenge of dealing with oil & gas risks, the negotiations that accompany placement and the fact that no two risks are ever the same.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Was involved in the Arab Club of Exeter and Nightline.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I have always enjoyed history, but particularly wanted to study the Middle East as I had lived there for many years.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

My department was based in the Old Library at that time. It was a tight knit community of students and staff – we used to have departmental parties (that evolved in the Arab Club of Exeter).

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It was one of the few universities offering the type of course I was interested in. I had a visited a friend who was in the 1st year at the time, had a great time, liked the campus and decided it was a friendly place to be.

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

The ability to break down a problem into constituent parts that can be resolved or fixed. Adaptable and flexible approach to work, without losing focus on the end goal.

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

Realise that the broader you view your career, the more opportunities arise!

What are your plans for the future?

Keep enjoying my work: move when there are new, exciting opportunities; remember that great colleagues and a nice working environment are as important as a high paying, “successful’ career!


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