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  • Name: Claire Singer
  • Job Title: Actuarial Trainee
  • University: Heriot-Watt
  • Degree: Actuarial Science

So you’re considering a career as an actuarial consultant…

When you first came across it you may have jumped with joy simply at the existence of a career that rewards you for your mathematical genius! But I’ve learned there’s so much more it can offer you and being brilliant at maths is just the start.
Learning to become an actuarial consultant is an amazing challenge. The exam process is tough, so tenacity is a key quality, and you also have to ensure you can balance the technicalities of the job with common sense and pragmatism.

A day in the life of an actuarial consultant

Every day is different at Hymans Robertson, which makes life interesting and really stimulating. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve done technical calculations, data analysis, valuations and risk analysis; produced accounting disclosures; calculated transfer values of individual members’ benefits, and many, many other interesting activities.
The support from fellow trainees has been great, with a real sense of camaraderie, and I’ve worked with all levels of colleagues, right up to senior partners. Everyone’s been really supportive and helpful, offering advice and help with any piece of work. I’ve also had training in lots of different areas, from technical disciplines to developing consultancy skills.

The most enjoyable aspects

The best and most enjoyable thing is that I’m always being challenged. The varied nature of the work means I regularly get to have a go at projects that I’ve never come across before. I need a bit more of a briefing with some of these than with others, and a spot of extra training is also required sometimes, but rising to the challenge is really satisfying. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to take on specialist roles within my team, which are helping me develop my skills while also being useful to my immediate colleagues.

The least enjoyable aspects

There’s no getting away from the exams! The most stressful part of the job is finding time to study for the professional exams and it requires real commitment. On the plus side, Hymans Robertson provides all the materials and tutorials, a study day every week, and a dedicated mentor to guide you. Although stressful, it’s also rewarding to see the concepts you’re learning from the textbooks be applied in real life.

Overall impression

At the moment I can definitely say that this was the ideal career choice as it combines maths and statistics with a career in consulting – the perfect combination for me. I really enjoy the process of working through real-life practical problems, and then communicating and implementing the solution for everyone’s benefit. Everyone at Hymans Robertson has been so friendly and welcoming that I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career.

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