Ottie Collins – HR Assistant

In the next instalment of our Guiding Growth series, we caught up with Ottie Collins, HR Assistant in our People and Culture team. Read more about Ottie’s career development since joining SRG, her recent career level promotion, and what she’s getting up to in her role as HR Assistant

When did you join Specialist Risk Group (SRG) and how has your role developed since?

I joined SRG in 2019 as a Personal Assistant (PA) to two of the C-suite Executives, working alongside the Executive Assistant (EA), Emma Mashhadi, until 2022 when an opportunity arose to join the People and Culture team. I had always admired the work the People and Culture team did and had voiced this to SRG’s People and Culture Director, Joanne, so she knew I was interested in that area of the business.

Since becoming HR Assistant, I work closely with everyone in the People and Culture team, from supporting with the strategic goals of the business, to working closely with Holly, our HR Business Partner. I now have a broad range of responsibilities, from onboarding new starters and supporting colleagues with career development, to ensuring our values such as diversity and inclusion can be seen in the policies we implement.

Can you tell us a little more about your recent Career Level promotion?

SRG’s Career Level Framework was introduced by the People and Culture team to identify levels of seniority across the Group and create consistency across teams and departments. They also support all colleagues in respect of performance, behaviours, expectations, development, and goals.

I was really proud to be promoted to Specialist Career Level at this stage of my career and I’m excited to make the most of the new opportunities and responsibilities which come with this step up.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

As I am still fairly early on in my career within People and Culture, I am learning new things all the time which is so refreshing! I feel that I’ve been able to develop quickly through my studies and working closely with the team. The move to this role feels like a very natural fit for my personality and I’m so happy I got the chance to do so.

What spiked your passion for pursuing a career in HR?

My passion stemmed from seeing the approach that the People and Culture team shared with the business. It appeared to be a modern and inclusive approach to HR which really interested me. After university, my jobs were all PA roles and as I grew up, I learnt what my strengths were, and People and Culture felt like a space I would feel confident in, so I made the move.

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“Don’t be nervous to change career paths”

Have you been involved in any exciting People and Culture projects?

SRG has partnered with Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB), a social mobility charity that prepares and supports bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into meaningful roles with major firms, supporting them with talks and training programmes. Recently, I have worked with several colleagues on SRG’s High Potential (HiPo) programme with the aim of setting up a work experience programme with LTSB. This scheme will endeavour to support young people in their first experience of the corporate world and the insurance industry.

Who do you look up to for inspiration?

My team! It’s really inspiring to work with a team of impressive women, who support me when I am struggling but also remind me to be proud of myself when I have done something well. They all have such different strengths which makes the team what it is.

What do you do to grow professionally?

I previously completed my Level 3 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification and I am now working on Level 5, which is equivalent to a degree. As part of this, there are seven modules ranging from employment law to strategic planning. It covers a wide range of topics, so it has been really helpful in developing my technical knowledge and has made me feel more confident in my role.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone gave you at the beginning of your career?

A role is definitely what you make it – when you first begin your career, you only know what you know! Ask questions and find out more about other teams and different roles. If you see your strengths laying elsewhere, don’t be nervous to change career paths, a worthwhile company will support you in this to help you achieve the best for your development.

What three words would you use to describe working at SRG?

Interesting, supportive, and exciting.


Interested in finding out more about life at SRG? Click here.

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