Why did I choose APR?
I applied to APR having finished a Masters in Physics. Although not set on a particular career, I knew I wanted it to be something numerical, technical, and with the potential for good progression – actuarial work fitted the bill.
APR stood out due to its focus on training. As someone with no experience in insurance whatsoever, I was attracted by the promise of a firm which takes on bright graduates (including me, apparently!), and teaches them all they need to know to be fully-fledged actuarial professionals.
This impression stuck throughout the refreshingly short application process, involving a couple of interesting online tests and interviews, focusing on applicants’ problem-solving / communication skills rather than deep knowledge of everything actuarial (though be warned – don’t go in entirely unprepared!).
Working at APR
What sets APR apart from other employers is the variety of work and early responsibility. Having joined less than two years ago, I’ve already worked on three client placements, each presenting different technical challenges, and have spent time as the sole APR representative on each.
The first consisted of data analysis at an investment research firm, providing a great initial learning platform. I then moved into a small pension buyout firm, followed by a placement in the insurance division of a large bank. Both of these placements involved new, exciting business development work, and spanned the areas of code testing, code development, and data migration.
Aside from client work, I have undertaken extensive in-house training in topics ranging from software to industry-specific knowledge. APR invests a lot of time developing graduates, and the dedicated training days serve as both an excellent opportunity to learn useful skills, and a break from day-to-day work. I’ve also created new training material based on my experience, and have really appreciated the chance to contribute to the development of APR’s resources.
Fast track development
This variety of work has enabled me to gain far broader exposure than I would have in a more traditional actuarial role. Working on a wide range of projects leads you to not only develop strong technical knowledge, but also to experience the varying styles of work in different companies – I’d say that working with new people is the part of my job I enjoy most.
Of course, there is pressure that comes with representing APR while on a client site, and I’ve found that good communication and organisation skills are just as important as technical skills when it comes to project work.