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WITH rianet whitehead

-fa news


Q: What were some of your highlights of this year’s Insurance Apprentice 2021? 

A: This year has been interesting as we had to rethink our whole approach. How do we keep the standard in a virtual world? When looking back it is incredible to once again realise that teamwork makes the dream work… not one person alone could have thought of the concept and execute on their own. What has been great, looking back, is the fact that all eight episodes were rich in content, and seven of the eight episodes, have CPD hours attached to them. In my mind, the education element was particularly strong this year, and people inside and outside of the industry could learn quite a lot.

The game show format engaged the audience on a level we have not seen before… and it was interesting to see that half of the social media competition winners are not working in the industry. Note that the answers to the competitions were always towards the end of the episodes, which meant that the people who wanted to take part, had to sit through the whole episode.

We reached our viewership and excelled on our engagement targets. The feedback from industry people on how we managed to come up with the changed virtual format was mind-blowing, and the great things was that we could still create tension, even if it was done virtually.

An interesting fact is that our top three represented, for the very first time, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban respectively, and we had our first Cape Town winner.

The cherry on top is always The Insurance Apprentice 2021 Magazine, and although it’s a digital only publication we know the reach is going to be massive. It’s really a fantastic edition, absolutely worth sharing to interns and anyone starting their career in the industry. If you are keen to share it, it will be great… here’s the link: https://www.theinsuranceapprentice.co.za/2021-magazine/


Q: You’re extremely passionate about the insurance industry and The Insurance Apprentice, where did it all start?

A: It all started with the need to make a difference in an industry we love… and a way to expand our already successful business model.

FAnews, a publication (print and digital) operating in the insurance and financial services industry is the foundation of our business… a business that was started by my late father.  To keep the legacy going and to share the co-owners’ (Rianet Whitehead and Michelle Schreuder-Rankin) passion for the industry and the absolute need to change the perception of the industry, an idea of combining education and entertainment came about… an idea that was embraced by many who share the passion of improving our industry.

There are various reasons why we have started this. We believe we make this industry a better place by growing young (under 35’s) people to be the leaders of tomorrow; the leaders we so desperately need. We are adamant to change perceptions… showing everyone outside of our industry that insurance is not only about call centres and funeral policies; it’s an industry filled with a massive variety of skills. And with all of this, we educate people working in- and outside of our industry… not only do we give the contestants technical tasks, but they are also challenged to think about the environment, about social responsibility, general business principles and more. Learning happens for those taking part, and most certainly also for those watching.

I have no doubt that we are reaching our goals and we are making a bigger impact every year!

Q: The applications for TIA 2022 have opened, what advice or insight would you like to share with the under 35’s who are considering entering?

A: I think first of all it’s good to mention that you will find some fantastic advice from past contestants on why you should enter. It gives you goosebumps reading their posts… the reality is that we are changing these people lives. And it’s not always about a new job the moment you walk out of the competition. You grow on a personal level, you learn a few things about yourself, you get to build your brand and show the world what you are capable of. Another important point to remember is that we are an industry that is built on relationships and you will meet incredible people in your journey, ranging from other contestants, to judges, to people rooting for you and connecting with you on platforms like LinkedIn. And then lastly the added bonus… some great prizes, not only for the winner but the moment you are Top 10 it starts happening.

Happy where you are? Don’t like a bit of pressure? Please don’t enter… it’s only for people with a passion for the industry and people who want to be more than what and where they are.

Ready for a challenge? Ready to grow? Ready to meet amazing industry peers? Apply NOW!

Applications are open … let’s do this!


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