• Name: Ola Bykowska
  • Job Title: Investment Analyst
  • Location: London
  • University: Bristol
  • Degree: PhD in Neural Dynamics
  • Fields of Work: Investment
Hymans Robertson

How did you get your job at Hymans Robertson?

During my time at university, I developed my passion for data analytics and saw an actuarial consulting career as an opportunity to apply these skills in the finance sector. When looking for jobs, Hymans stood out to me because of their focus on digital solutions for their clients. The application process itself was very straightforward – online application followed by a phone interview and an in-person interview. While I did not do an internship at Hymans before, I would definitely encourage any aspiring actuary considering a career in pensions to apply for an internship as it gives you a chance to understand the work we do and also increase your understanding of the industry and opportunities available.

What’s it like working at Hymans Robertson?

Hymans is eager to facilitate people developing in the areas they are interested in rather than being pigeonholed from the start. This has been very important to me as I didn’t have an actuarial/financial educational background, so I wanted some flexibility in my career path. Thanks to this, I have been involved in a range of projects which have helped me to broaden my understanding of the services we provide for clients. All of the colleagues at Hymans are very friendly and helpful and also, importantly, you work with a lot of impressive people which is motivating particularly during the busier periods.

What skills have you found to be particularly useful in this sector/profession?

Of course, it goes without saying, that mathematical and IT skills are essential. Additionally, communication skills are required for a career in actuarial consulting – my presentation skills and being able to clearly explain complex topics in an engaging way (while keeping to time!) come in very useful. What surprised me was how important it is to also be able to clearly communicate in writing, both through advice papers written for clients but also in emails to clients and colleagues. I have usually shied away from writing but since working for Hymans I have become more confident in writing for different target audiences.

I also think that my time management skills play an important role. I am involved in a number of client- and non-client related projects at once with varying timescales so maintaining a good to-do list, knowing exactly what work is required and what to prioritise has been essential.

Advice

  • Try to get an internship in an area that you are considering for your graduate job to understand more about the role.
  • Speak to as many people as possible about their careers, it helps you to understand what career paths are out there.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn to ask for a chat about their job if it interests you – the worst that can happen is someone doesn’t reply!
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