QBE Insurance Australia has been a strong supporter of the New Colombo Plan since the beginning of the program, with the company offering seven internship placements across the Indo-Pacific to date.
QBE’s regional office in Hong Kong welcomed its first NCP intern, La Trobe University’s Jake Schatz, in 2015. Jake worked across different functions in regional and Hong Kong operations, where he gained valuable new skills and confirmed his desire to pursue a career in the insurance industry.
“My five-month internship with QBE has unlocked career opportunities that I never even knew existed. I’ve enjoyed unparalleled access to senior leaders and been able to solicit support for my ideas, and I’ve been exposed to an incredibly exciting industry that I previously knew very little about. What’s more, I now have a wide-reaching business network across Hong Kong and the broader Indo-Pacific. For an ex-miner from Bendigo who only got his passport in 2013, this all feels pretty special," Jake said.
QBE Emerging Markets Chief Executive Officer David Fried is one of 10 Business Champions for the NCP, and believes the program offers a positive opportunity for collaboration between business, government and the academic community.
“For participating organisations like QBE, the NCP offers an opportunity to do our part to nurture young globally minded talent, develop a new generation of leaders and identify potential future employees," said Mr Fried.
David and QBE’s contribution to the NCP was acknowledged at a recent event in Hong Kong hosted by Australian Ambassador to China Jan Adams.
Since Jake’s internship, six more NCP scholars studying commerce, finance, business and law have interned with QBE in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore. In 2017, QBE will partner with the The Australian National University to offer a further eight internships to NCP mobility students in Hong Kong and Singapore following semester-length study experiences.
Internships like these provide a win-win opportunity. In addition to all the benefits NCP already offers, NCP students also gain a range of work-based skills and support for career preparedness, and QBE support a new generation of young Australians and connect with a pool of talent for possible future employment.
Since returning to Australia, Jake has been connected with QBE’s Australian headquarters where he is now putting his newly-found skills to work.
Other potential internship providers in the Indo-Pacific region are invited to visit ncpbusiness.dfat.gov.au to register interest in offering opportunities to NCP scholars studying in the region.