As part of the Actuarial Careers series of Employer Q&As, leading actuarial  consultancy Xafinity will be answering questions submitted by you.

About Xafinity

Xafinity is one of the UK’s leading specialists in pensions and employee benefits. Our expertise addresses the needs of both trustees and companies in pensions and actuarial services, flexible benefits, healthcare and training.
Xafinity has been providing professional services for almost 40 years, and strives to be the provider of choice in pensions and employee benefit services. We are committed to providing a professional and proportionate service, tailored to our clients’ needs and delivered cost effectively.
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The questions

What support do you offer successful candidates?
What areas of work will I be involved in?
What kind of skills and experience do you look for in candidates? 
What is it like to work for Xafinity? 
I graduated a number of years ago; can I apply if I’m not a recent graduate? 
Can I get international experience? 
When is your graduate intake; do you have one per year? 
Do you have any tips for graduates thinking of applying? 
What level of education do you look for? Do you accept Master and PhD students?
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The answers

What support do you offer successful candidates?
Xafinity offers an excellent study package to support employees as they study to become qualified actuaries. The package is flexible to meet individual requirements and includes:

  • Full payment of exam fees, study materials, tutorials, mock exams and all administration costs
  • Study leave of one day per week to work towards the exams
  • Office study area and supportive colleagues including an exam mentoring program.

As well as the study package on joining Xafinity, a senior member of the team will be assigned as a work-based skills mentor to offer support and guidance whenever they need it. New employees will also be assigned a buddy who will help them to settle in to their new job and keep an eye on how they are getting on. They will be the first point of contact if an individual does have any difficulties.

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What areas of work will I be involved in?
Right from the start of their actuarial career students are involved in a variety of work, from calculating the value of individual member’s pensions to valuations of whole pension schemes. With a mixture of on-the-job training from colleagues and in-house training sessions, our students develop their knowledge quickly and get involved in all aspects of advice surrounding pension schemes, from accounting work to risk management exercises.

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What kind of skills and experience do you look for in candidates?
Xafinity looks for candidates that have strong numerical and analytical skills who ideally have a degree in a maths, science or economics based subject.  Ideally this degree will be an upper second class (2:1), however we will always consider exceptional applications from candidates with a lower second (2:2).
It is also really important that the candidate works well with others as part of a team. Working together is something we pride ourselves on at Xafinity, the office has an atmosphere where everyone is willing to help and offer their advice and support.
All of the relevant skills are thoroughly tested at our assessment centre via various individual and group exercises. It is a challenging but rewarding process where candidates leave with a good understanding of what working for Xafinity would be like.

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What is it like to work for Xafinity?
The best thing about working for Xafinity is the people, there is always someone there to support you and answer your questions.
Being a medium sized company there is a lot of opportunity for the actuarial students to get involved in more of a variety of work and more exciting projects than may be possible at some of the larger companies.

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I graduated a number of years ago; can I apply if I’m not a recent graduate? 
Yes certainly, we have a number of actuaries that joined Xafinity after spending some years after university in the workplace or in further education.

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Can I get international experience? 
No, we only have UK based offices.

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When is your graduate intake; do you have one per year?
Our annual graduate intake begins with an online application form which usually has a deadline in October/ November. We then undertake telephone interviews, with successful candidates being invited to a two-day assessment centre. The assessment centre will thoroughly test a candidate’s full range of skills & abilities in order for us to decide who to offer positions to. If the successful candidate is still at university the role will usually starts the following September, alternatively if the candidate is ready to begin work right away then an immediate place can be offered.

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Do you have any tips for graduates thinking of applying?
Be yourself! Don’t try to second-guess what an interviewer or assessment centre task is assessing as it may not always be obvious. The best approach is to relax and be yourself, it is then that your best qualities will shine through.

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What level of education do you look for? Do you accept Master and PhD students?
Xafinity looks for candidates that have strong numerical and analytical skills who ideally have a degree in a maths, science or economics based subject. Ideally this degree will be an upper second class (2:1), however we will always consider exceptional applications from candidates with a lower second (2:2).
We also accept Masters and PhD students.

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If you want to find out more about what its like to work for Xafinity check out the profiles of some of their employees:
Actuarial Assistant – Laura Hibbert
Actuarial Assistant – Rachel Trickett
Xafinity Case Study

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