Frequently Asked Questions
The Wattles Fellowship was founded in 1969 by Walter C. Wattles with the goal of enabling female Vanderbilt graduates to enter an international industry and market hub not otherwise available to them. Since then, the duties of the Fellowship have shifted alongside cultural standards. In early years, Fellows held primarily clerical duties. Today, Fellows learn to broker and underwrite commercial risks as full members of the London insurance market, centered around Lloyd's of London. Learn more on our About page.
The Fellowship today is a year-long experience awarded to three eligible graduates who will live and work together in the London insurance market.
However, the Fellowship is also an active network of over 130 women connected through our unique experience and shared ambitions as Wattles Fellows.
Lloyd’s of London is the global foundation and hub of the commercial insurance industry. Founded over 330 years ago as a coffee shop where merchants shared shipping information, Lloyd's remains an important historical and financial landmark and is respected as the world’s leading marketplace for specialist insurance. For more information, explore www.lloyds.com/about-lloyds.
- You must be a female undergraduate senior graduating from Vanderbilt University in the Fall/Winter or Spring terms immediately preceding the upcoming Fellowship cycle, which initiates in the Summer of each year.
- Applicants to the 2022-23 Fellowship will graduate in Fall/Winter 2021 or Spring 2022, with a start date in Summer 2022.
- You must be eligible and able to travel to the UK for 1 full year beginning in Summer 2022.
- You must have a current passport valid for at least two years from the date of the first interview, or show proof of application for a new or renewal passport at the first interview.
- Students with multiple citizenships are welcome and encouraged to apply.
- If you are an EU or UK citizen, please contact Karlen Garrard at [email protected] for additional details.
- Information regarding applying or renewing a passport may be found here.
- Your passport may take 4-6 weeks to receive so this should be an immediate priority. Application forms may be picked up and presented at the Acklen Post Office in Hillsboro Village. Passport pictures can be made and ordered online or by visiting FedEx or Walgreens.
Each year, we interview a pool of applicants and select three finalists. Beginning the summer after graduation, these Fellows will live and work for a full year in London, UK at three different companies operating within Lloyd's of London, where they will gain invaluable experience transferable to a number of industries.
Recipients receive a Fellowship grant, employer salary, arrangements for housing, and public health insurance provided by National Health Service (NHS).
The skills acquired through Wattles have proven transferable into many industries.
Fellows have gone on to work in a variety of sectors including:
- Finance (insurance, banking, investing)
- Commercial real estate
Many Fellows successfully apply to business, law, or medical school during or following their time in Wattles.
It's easy! Go to the APPLY section of our website and follow the link to the application. Applications this year will open September 2, 2021 and close October 1, 2021.
If you are selected for the final round of interviews, we will ask you to submit one letter of recommendation from a former or current faculty member or employer. The deadline for finalists to submit this letter will be November 1, 2021. Your letter of recommendation will be considered only for the final interview round, regardless of when it is submitted. Please share this letter with your chosen recommender for submission instructions.
- Applications for the 2022-23 cycle will open September 2, 2021 and close October 1, 2021.
- Other important dates:
- Aug. 11, Sept. 8, or Sept. 14 2021 at 5:30pm: Virtual Info Sessions (join via this Zoom link)
- Preliminary Interviews: Oct. 10-12 (specific times will be provided)
- Recommendation Letters due: Nov. 1
- Final Interviews: Nov. 12
In evaluating applicants, the committee considers each applicant's academic performance, student leadership, internship experience, community service, and personal qualifications as demonstrated through the interview process, letter of recommendation, and essay content.
No. The Fellowship Board matches each recipient with their position in coordination with the relevant departments at each of the three companies.
No. We invite students of any academic background to apply. While we evaluate academic performance in the context of each applicant's coursework, we do not favor or select for specific majors/minors over others.
No. You are not expected to have industry-specific knowledge when you apply, and coursework does not determine potential for success as an applicant or as a Fellow. Fellows may be required to take specific insurance exams once employed.
You will not be able to SUMBIT your application unless you have answered every question that has an asterisk ("*") beside it. Once you SUBMIT your application, you should receive an email acknowledging receipt.
If you have any problems, contact Karlen Garrard at [email protected].
All applicants will participate in a brief preliminary interview and, if selected to continue the process, will be asked to attend a cocktail reception (pending) and a final interview. Three recipients and one alternate will be chosen following the final interview. Decisions of the selection committees are final and are not subject to appeal. No application or interview feedback will be given.
There are three interview events.
In the preliminary interview, you will meet with 2-3 former Fellows and/or a board member for approximately 15 minutes.
If selected to move forward, there will be an evening cocktail reception, where you will mingle with former Fellows and other important stakeholders in a conversational party setting.
In the final interview, you will meet with several panels of 3-5 board members, advisors and former Fellows to discuss your application, qualifications, and intentions.
In accepting an invitation to the reception, you agree to accept the Fellowship if selected. If you would not be able to carry out the Fellowship duties, please withdraw prior to the reception.
All notifications will be sent by email within several days of each round. After the final round, those selected for the Fellowship will be notified first via phone call.
To ensure you receive all information regarding the application process, add [email protected] to your email address book or “safe senders list."
Fellowship recipients will:
- Accept the position offered at one of the firms affiliated with the Fellowship
- Complete the necessary processes to obtain a work permit and UK Visa
- Attend a debriefing meeting in February, a one-night retreat in the Spring, and a graduation celebration the Thursday afternoon before graduation
- Complete the full Fellowship year, barring unplanned exceptions at the Fellowship's discretion
Fellows live in a fully-furnished, 3-bedroom flat secured by the Fellowship.
More details are provided following selection.