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Yvette Essen profile - building brand and thought leadership for CyberCube

Yvette Essen, Head of Content and Communications, gives an insight into her role at CyberCube and how she has juggled it with two young kids during lockdown. She gives advice for those looking to enter the insurtech space and outlines some of the characteristics needed to succeed in this field.

  • 3 Minute Read

At CyberCube, we have experts across a range of domains. People at CyberCube come from backgrounds as diverse as software engineering, cyber security, economics, data science, actuarial science, insurance underwriting and even former journalists. We wanted to profile some of our team members to provide more insight into life at CyberCube, the opportunities and challenges we face, and to answer the eternal question of how to juggle home-schooling with the demands of the role! Here we profile Yvette Essen, Head of Content and Communications. 

Tell us about your role at CyberCube

I’m responsible for overseeing all the thought-leadership research produced under the CyberCube brand. This is really varied including reports, client briefings, Q&A documents for prospects and clients, blogs and videos.

I also head up the communications strategy for the company, creating campaigns to publicise our research, and help build our global media presence. We are frequently quoted in the press and writing articles in a variety of publications around the globe.

Give us some more detail about your professional background

Prior to CyberCube, I headed up communications and research at insurance rating agency AM Best for 10 years. It was great building up their content and media presence. 

I joined AM Best from the Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspaper where I spent seven years working on the business desk. I was Editor of the Stock Market Report, Deputy Editor of the share tipping column Questor, and also the Insurance & Pensions correspondent. I also spent 18 months at Insurance Times as the Senior London Market Reporter.

What excites and challenges you about the role?

I love how innovative the job is. You’ll suggest creating video content for an event, and a couple of weeks later you’ll be in front of a camera creating it. All ideas are welcome at CyberCube, and you’ll work as a team to realise them.

The challenge is that the company is very fast-paced, so you need to be organised to keep up-to-date with work loads and constantly prioritise to meet the company’s high expectations. However, it’s very exciting and the days fly by. 

You have young children - how do you balance your work and home responsibilities?

Even prior to Coronavirus, CyberCube had a flexible working policy for all staff. This meant that most staff spent at least one day working from home, saving lots of time on travel. I’m also fortunate to have a good support network in the form of a nanny, who is invaluable when I have to travel for work or attend networking events.

How would you describe the work ethic at CyberCube?

You’ll need to be a real team player, working hard to achieve “stretch” goals. As you collaborate with colleagues across all offices to reach those targets, there are plenty of opportunities to learn different skills. CyberCube also offers lots of fun events to build team spirit, ranging from cheese and wine tasting events to cooking or painting classes.

CyberCube is an insurtech - a company with its roots in the tech industry, serving the insurance community. What advice do you have for someone looking to get into the tech space?

I hadn’t worked for a tech company prior to joining CyberCube, so a lot of the tech terminology was new to me. However, there is a wealth of knowledge at the company, with people really being specialists in their field. You can’t be an expert in every sector, so do some basic research and don’t be afraid to ask the experts for a greater understanding. In return, be willing and open to share your knowledge with others.

What characteristics are most important to succeed in the insurance industry?

Knowledge is key, as there is a lot of specific terminology relating to the insurance sector. The industry is also very small - people tend to know each other, so building and maintaining relationships is fundamental.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

When I’m not looking after the kids I’m taking part in exercise, such as running or going to the gym. I love unwinding by reading books and magazines and am currently undergoing a major house renovation project so looking at interior decorating ideas.

Check out Yvette talking about life at CyberCube here.

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