About Hannah Traylen: Hannah Traylen studied for a MSc Mathematical Biology at Exeter University. Following that, she joined the actuarial graduate programme at XPS Pensions Group, a company specialising in consulting pension schemes. She is now almost three years into the programme.
What is it like on an actuarial summer internship at XPS Pensions Group? Hannah Traylen tells us about her time there and offers her advice to those wanting to pursue an actuarial internship.
Why did you choose to do an actuarial internship?
Whilst studying mathematics at university, I was keen to find a career that would utilise my mathematics degree and the problem solving skills that come with it.
A summer internship is a great opportunity to get a taste of your potential future career, with the added bonus of the possibility of securing a graduate job at the end of the internship.
What skills did you acquire or improve during your internship?
Much of the day to day work involved Excel, such as using and setting up spreadsheets and models. I was also involved in drafting reports and performing hand calculations.
Learning to manage and prioritise your time is an important skill that is tested and developed. Throughout the internship we were tasked with a team project that involved research (using both online resources and questioning members of the actuarial team) producing a report and then presenting our work to a selection of senior staff. Presenting work clearly and concisely is an important skill in the actuarial profession.
What did you learn?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll encounter lots of technical jargon so no question is a stupid one! It will also show that you are keen to learn and develop during the internship, and the people at XPS Pensions were always happy to help.
By the end of the internship I gained a better understanding of the pensions industry and the day-to-day work of a pension’s actuary.
Why XPS Pensions?
The people that you are working with are a hugely important aspect of your work-life.
During my summer internship there were ample opportunities to participate in various social events, including evening social, lunches out and sport events.
This is a great opportunity to get a feel of the company and becomes an important factor when choosing whether this is the right place of work for you.
Advice for applying
In preparation for your interview, think about examples where you have demonstrated skills such as problem solving, team work and effective time management. In addition, make sure that you have researched the role and company that you are applying to.