PRAJ Basu is reaping the rewards of 10 years of study – across two continents.
The Hartlepool 32-year-old has spent the last decade learning the skills she needed to follow her father into the world of insurance.
It ended with a top qualification and a career in the North-East.
The underwriter now works at BiB Insurance, in Darlington, and has just become an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Insurance, one of the highest qualifications in the industry.
“My dad was in insurance and it is in my blood,” said Praj, who lives in Hartlepool and whose family comes from Kolkata, in West Bengal, India.
Describing her decision to work in the insurance trade, she said: “I have grown up in that environment. I started studying in 2001 in India and continued when I came to the UK with my husband, who is a gastro registrar at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
“It has been a lot of hard work securing the ACII. BiB has been great and very supportive by providing me with a dedicated tutor.
“It is well worth the effort as it provides clients with the best expertise in a very complex and technical field.”
Praj is now responsible for assessing risk and estimating loss. She conducts site visits in a variety of arenas, including some of the region’s best known country estates and tourist spots.
“You must know the law and understand the market,” she said. “It is very interesting looking at potential risks closely – and I can’t help myself.
“When my husband and I go for a drive in the country, he enjoys the views and I spot potential hazards.”
Praj hopes to continue her studies and aims to take an MBA at Teesside University.
“The ACII gives me the technical expertise while the MBA will give me a broader view of issues such as people and management. I really enjoy studying,” she said.