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Be flexible and gain a wider perspective
Published on Thursday, 13 Oct 2011
Shunsuke Yamanaka
Photo: David Wong

After working for three years at MSIG in Japan, Shunsuke Yamanaka applied for an overseas training programme and was assigned to Hong Kong. Now an assistant business development manager at MSIG, Yamanaka came with the hope of learning about the overseas insurance market and business collaboration between Hong Kong and his native Japan. He talks to Wong Yat-hei

What is your academic background?

I graduated from Waseda University in 2008 with majors in politics and economics.

How do you start your day?

I attend meetings, visit clients and receive coaching from colleagues.

What does your job entail?

I have rotated around a few departments to learn the daily operations of the company. I have been exposed to marketing, underwriting and claims. Training in these departments has been a valuable experience.

 

What are the major challenges you've encountered so far? 

An insurance company serves various industries and we have to understand the operations of our clients to provide them with suitable services. This can be quite challenging at times. In Hong Kong, quite a lot of people buy personal insurance products through the internet. Becoming familiar with MSIG's e-platform has been a challenge as well.

What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?  

Working overseas has been really interesting. Cultural differences appear not only in business but also in daily life. We have to understand and respect the way other people think. The training I have received has helped me adapt to working abroad in a surprisingly short period of time. 

Any advice for potential interns? 

Be open minded and try to see things from a wider perspective. Also, English proficiency is really important.