Joanna B.
Business Function HRAuto Services

About Joanna

Key Experiences

I studied History at Birmingham and I've now joined DLG's grad scheme!
I loved my degree but towards the end of my third year I was ready for a change and to take on a different type of challenge to academia. I love talking and interacting with other people, and the time I spent in archives in third year showed me I couldn't go into work every day and sit in silence!
I did a fair few job and grad scheme applications in my third year but DLG really grabbed me. They were really considerate, I'd probably spent the equivalent of a week doing online tests for grad jobs by this stage, but the application process was really fast and considerate of my time.
My dramatic story is that I applied to the grad scheme really close to the cut off date. They took me from initial application to an invitation to the assessment centre in about a week! However, I got invited to the assessment centre just when I'd gone on a family holiday!! As I'd applied so late to the grad scheme the recruitment team told me that this was their last assessment centre they were running this year when I phoned to ask if there was any other option. I really wanted to get a place on this graduate scheme so I ended up flying back from Germany for the assessment centre... I was so nervous for the whole flight and during the assessment centre and I was over the moon when I got the phone call giving me an offer onto the graduate scheme. They also told me that the flight back wasn't factored into my application, so it was nice to feel I got the job on my own merits.
I've always been glad I got that flight to go to the assessment centre - but I can definitely recommend planning your holidays around potential assessment centres, and applying before it gets close to the cut off date!

Current Position

I've gone from HR Business Partnering to Claims Transformation!
As I'm on the Graduate Scheme I've been rotating around to different parts of the business. I've finished off my first year with a 12 month rotation and I'm currently doing two 6 month rotations this year.

My first rotation is in Motor Networks Transformation where I work with our network of Auto-Repair centres around the UK. As an insurance provider DLG has to make sure that the claim, which is a moment of truth for the customer, is dealt with in the best way possible for the customer. Our repair centres are crucial in motor claims, as they mean that we can get a car repaired safely and return it to the customer quickly. In my role I'm doing a range of projects to make sure that we're doing the best thing for employees and customers, which has been really interesting and completely different to my previous role so I've been developing in a different way.

After I finish this rotation I'll be doing 6 months front line in Motor Claims Response. This means I'll be answering calls directly from the customer and really understanding what our customers want and expect from us, and it means I'll really get to understand our call centres.

I've finished off a 12 month placement in HR Business Partnering with the Commercial Area of our business. In this role you work between the business and HR to get the best outcome and to represent both HR and the Business. This means that you get to know your business area really well, and you're a good point of call for HR to check whether a proposed change would work in your business area. The HR Business Partners also work to share best practices and to make sure that the people policies are consistent across the business area

Main Motivations

The variety and the ability to make things happen!
The graduate scheme has shown me a lot of variety across different parts of the business!

In my current role I've learnt a lot more about our network of auto-services whereas in my last role I learnt a lot about commercial and HR. Every placement and every day is so different, so I'm always learning. I've also been given projects that can have a real potential impact either on employees or on the customer. I've enjoyed being able to dip in and dip out of different parts of the business which means I understand DLG a lot better as well as being able to take the best parts of each department.

There's a lot of invaluable experiences on the graduate scheme, such as the front-line rotation, which I'll be doing in a few months. I'll be answering phones in Motor Claims Response which gives me a much more complete view of how we interact with our customers and how to put them first.

I enjoy the culture here a lot as well. There's a lot of energy to help DLG reach it's goals and there's a lot of opportunity to shape your career.

As a graduate you also get workshops which help you work on the soft skills that make you well equipped to be a future leader. I had three in my first year which have really made me think differently about how I work, and you get a lot of focus on your development here. I also studied my CII in my first year, which taught me a lot about insurance.

Top Advice

Stay open, always learn, and be yourself
The graduate scheme has a lot of opportunities for you to develop your own career, which will give you a thorough understanding of how different parts of the business can be. You'll need an open mind to learn as much as you can and to embrace all of the opportunities you'll get as a graduate. There's also opportunities to constantly learn from different team and different ways of learning, and you can come out of the grad scheme a really rounded person and employee.

We have six values that we value as a company and people really do care about these. One of them is 'Bring all of yourself to work', which is really important when you start a graduate scheme. I hadn't appreciated this when I joined DLG and I felt more shy, but people do want to get to know you as an individual and to see what you can bring to the company. I'd say 'bring all of yourself' in the application process and don't be afraid to let yourself stand out and shine through the application!

Direct Line Group

Direct Line Group is an organisation with a clear mission: to make insurance much easier and better value for customers. We're one of the leading motor, home and small business insurers in the UK. We’re home to some of the nation’s best-known brands, including Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Green Flag and NIG.

If you share our vision and are ready to take the lead with us, apply now or visit  for more information.

Visit website