The Centre experience: Tim Sprissler

08 Aug 2011

Tim Sprissler recently completed a six month internship at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue. In the following short interview, he recounts what attracted him to come and work at the Centre, what he enjoyed about working at the Centre, and what his work ultimately involved.

Click here to learn more about Tim Sprissler
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How did you come to the Centre?

I checked the Centre's website and asked if it would be possible to do an internship within the Risk Research Relations team at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue. Swiss Re is a highly diversified employer with interests that overlap my own. I was particularly interested in working on a project with a Latin American focus.

Why the Latin American focus?
Being a fluent Spanish speaker, I have worked and studied in Spain and Latin America. I've visited Latin America and feel a certain affinity for the region. I also think that after many years of economic underperformance, Latin America now is on an impressive growth path.

What’s your background?
I am currently completing my Master’s thesis at the University of St Gallen in International Affairs and Governance. My thesis is on capital flows between states.

Was this your first internship?
I had completed one previously with Deutsche Bank, also working on research projects for publications. It was also a very rich experience.

What project did you work on at Swiss Re?
I am completing a study on floods in Brazil. The country has a relatively low exposure to natural catastrophes – but floods can be a serious problem, especially in the Southeast of Brazil around the economic strongholds of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

How did you find working within Swiss Re?
The most striking thing for an outsider is how many well qualified people there are. There are a lot of individuals who really are leading experts in their field.

How was it like working with people like that?
Remarkably easy! Everyone has been very open and approachable. The work I am doing – particularly working out of the Centre – covers several departments. But everyone is happy to invest a bit of their time, to answer questions, or to go to lunch.

Do you think that is reflective of the culture within Swiss Re?
Sure. I’ve had some really great support from people while I have been here. It feels open and collaborative. There seems to be no difficulties in working across departments - provided that you really know what you want from them.

What was your opinion of the Centre?
I am very impressed that Swiss Re has such a facility. I attended a few events – again the range of subjects being discussed is wide. I have learned a lot in my time here.

Would you consider a career in reinsurance? Or recommend it to someone else?
Reinsurance does sound a little dry from the outside. But it is a real eye-opener to experience. The breadth of business being undertaken is huge. So the range of skills you need to cover that has to be just as large. And the business underwritten is truly global. It’s an exciting industry to be in.

      Floods in Switzerland PDF Download


Besides his interest in Swiss Re, re/insurance and Brazil, Tim likes hiking in the Swiss mountains, discovering foreign cultures, travelling and sports eg snowboarding and golf.

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