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  • Name: Max Palfreman
  • Job Title: Actuarial Analyst
  • Location: Cheltenham
  • University: York
  • Degree: Mathematics and Economics
  • Fields of Work: Pensions

Why did you choose a job in this profession?

Having studied Mathematics and Economics at university, I wanted a career which was highly mathematical but would also allow me to continue to learn and develop. Whilst my current role as an Actuarial Analyst clearly requires strong mathematical ability, it also requires a good level of IT competence. When I first joined, I was not particularly confident with my IT skills but throughout my time at Capita I have been encouraged to develop these skills. I have been given opportunities to improve my coding through internal training courses as well as gaining experience using packages such as Microsoft Office and various Actuarial modelling software such as Prophet.

Alongside the practical on-the-job learning, the Actuarial exams give the theoretical background. Whilst it is difficult balancing full-time work with study, I have found the content interesting which makes studying much more manageable. I feel that the content of the Actuarial exams has developed my understanding of the Actuarial profession and has supplemented my overall development.

What does Capita Life and Pensions do?

I am currently working in the Cheltenham Capita Actuarial team. Capita Life and Pensions is an outsourcer and as such there are multiple books of business that are being worked on, as well as several ad-hoc areas of work. Within the Cheltenham team, there are two main types of Actuarial work: Corporate Reporting and Actuarial Services. I have been able to spend time working on both. Corporate Reporting involves performing regular Actuarial Valuations as well as maintaining and making any necessary regulatory changes to the systems.

The Actuarial Services branch of the team is where I am currently based. Our main roles are answering complex policyholder requests and maintaining and improving the systems that are used to administer the policies.

The Capita Life and Pensions team is a team of around 80 people. The working environment is very friendly, with everyone happy to help when an issue arises.

What was the application process like?

The application process was relatively straightforward. After applying via the online application form, I was invited to take part in a 45-minute telephone interview with two of the managers. Having completed the interview, the next step was an assessment day held in the Cheltenham office. The assessment day consisted of a briefing on the type of work that was carried out in the team at Capita, followed by an interview, various other assessments and a chance to meet the most recent batch of graduates to talk through their experience during their first year at Capita.

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