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  • Name: Gemma Walker
  • Job Title: Actuarial Trainee
  • Location: Guildford
  • University: Bath
  • Degree: BSc (Hons) Mathematics

I started my graduate career at Punter Southall shortly after completing a six week Summer Internship at the Guildford office. I was keen to be able to use my Mathematics degree, but also wanted a career that could provide me with varied and interesting work, and so far this has been the case!
In the Guildford office, the actuarial teams are made up of 7-10 people each with varying levels of experience. As a new graduate there is certainly a steep learning curve, but I receive plenty of support from the team as they have all been there before, and there is always someone to answer your questions. A new graduate has recently joined our team and I have also been able to provide support to them and to pass on the knowledge and skills that I have developed. One of the benefits of the team structure is it encourages each person to take on more responsibility, as new graduates join, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for progression.
Punter Southall provide an internal training programme, which means there are plenty of opportunities to learn more in addition to the day to day work. I was responsible for running several training courses for the summer students last year and the new graduates this year. This proved to be excellent experience for improving my presentation skills, and also for realising how much I have actually learnt so far in my career.
A key part of an actuarial career is studying for the exams. Whilst this can seem daunting at times, Punter Southall provide generous study support and I have my own study mentor to help me progress through the exams. My team are also very supportive throughout exam periods and the hard work pays off as there are usually plenty of celebrations when exams are passed and for those who qualify.
The atmosphere in the Guildford office is very friendly and sociable. There are plenty of events happening both within the office as a whole and also within our individual teams. From the annual Christmas party and summer event to team meals and office quiz nights, there is something for everyone to get involved with. The Guildford office itself is also in a great location, close to lots of restaurants, bars and shops and all within walking distance, perfect for socialising after work!

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