Munich Re

What is going on in the insurance business?

My new company, Munich Re, is one of the biggest reinsurance companies in the world. The reinsurance business is an old industry, so I had my first working day at their castle in Munich. The company is very interested in art. They have a big art collection in each building. The most famous one is the “Walking Man” right in front of the headquarter at Leopoldstrasse in the very center of Munich.

The “Walking Man” right in the very center of Munich.

I am working for the Green Tech Solutions team of the Special Financial Risk Department. We are an international team with colleagues in Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York. Our aim is to provide insurances for manufacturers, developers, owners and investors of renewable energy projects worldwide. We are not doing the classic reinsurance business. Our contracts are associated with the guarantees and warranties of the project's execution, so our department is established in the reinsurance division of Munich Re.

My team is providing insurances for photovoltaic panel manufacturers and solar park owners, for biomass, batteries and LED. My supervisor and me are especially working on insurance solutions for onshore and offshore wind projects as well as for the owners, developers and component manufacturers and suppliers of such big projects. The motivation and the benefit for coverage against serial losses, available and revenue losses is the better financial situation of the project execution, in terms of financing and reliability of the project.

A lot to learn and discover!

The corporate culture here at Munich Re is different to the one I am used to in the north. The company offers free lunch for all employees. Also it’s not common to go to lunch only with the colleagues from your team, as I was used to from previous internships. Rather you’re invited to ask colleagues from all departments to go for a lunch date. The cuisine here is different as well but I got used to it.

My new cuisine is a bit more pretzel- and beer- focused than it was already. Furthermore I discovered many sorts of beer, I did not know before. As seen on the picture, my favorite the “Augustiner”, the oldest beer brand of Munich. In addition I fell in love with the Bavarian cheese the “Obazda”. You eat together with pretzels and beer and is part of a typical Bavarian “Brotzeit”, as well as a good sausage :)

In Munich you will find so many beer gardens which all serve pretzels and obazda. In the Olympia park where I live now, you will find 4 or 5 just in one park. Munich is a great place to live. My Internship is over in a few weeks and then I will return to Hamburg to start with a master’s program. Thanks Munich Re for a short glimpse at the insurance business and the chance to become more familiar with all the German clichés.

The hurricanes blew me from the far North …

With a hurricane on my back, I arrived after 2 days in my car at my new home in Munich. This was the first time I came to Bavaria, except for the few hours job interview three months before. I was very excited to see how Bavarians are, because they represent everything the rest of the world is thinking of Germany - Beer, Sausages & Kraut and Leather trousers. The first days in Munich the weather was very uncertain. I have seen snow falling down, rain, sunshine and everything between.

What do an athlete from Olympia ‘72 and me have in common?

For the period of my internship, I found a small bungalow to live in. So I landed in the so called “Olydorf”. It is the old athletes' village from the Olympics in 1972. Nowadays it is completely restored and a whole village only for students. Here you can find everything you need for your daily life, like grocery stores, bakeries, a laundry, all kind of doctors, restaurants and the “Bierstube”.

The room is a bit small, but on two floors. I had my own bath, a “kitchen” – two plates to cook and a small fridge - and a balcony where the sun is always shining. The view is quite nice …not. They are all standing very close to each other, so you get to know your neighbors quite intense. There is always someone around who will take your packages from the parcel service and if you need milk, eggs, sugar or beer you won’t struggle to find someone to help you out. Furthermore you can nearly get or exchange everything with the village currency: beer.

The bungalow can be painted by the students. Everybody is allowed to paint their own bungalow in the color and pattern they like. Mine will be painted in two weeks, when my good friend Ben is visiting me here in the Olydorf – this was actually Ben's bungalow beforehand.

Meet Julia, the Blind Applying champion of Munich Ref

“You can do whatever you want to do with enough comprehension, endurance and friendliness.”

Julia is using her engineering knowledge to analyse risks in the area of renewable energies.

Given your engineering background, have you ever thought of working in insurance?

No, I never thought of working in the Insurance business. I had some points of contact within this business because of the project work I do. But I was very surprised when I got the invite from Munich Re.

You have been for a semester abroad in China. What has been your most interesting learning from that experience?

That you can do whatever you want to do and you can go wherever you want to go, with enough comprehension, endurance and friendliness.

Favourite book or movie?

My favorite book at the moment is a germen ones. It is “Sowas von da” written by Tino Hanekamp, who is the owner of one of my favorite clubs in Hamburg. I moved to Munich a few days ago and I am missing Hamburg a lot. So it feels a little bit like home when I am reading it.