• Name: Samantha
  • Job Title: Pensions Actuarial Associate
  • Location: Birmingham
  • University: Warwick
  • Degree: MMath Mathematics
  • Fields of Work: Consultancy

How did you get your job at PwC?

I did an Actuarial internship at a different organisation after my final year at university, then straight after that joined the Assurance graduate programme at PwC. I quickly realised that the role wasn’t suited to me, and was lucky enough to be offered the chance to move internally to the Pensions Actuarial team in April 2011.

Why did you choose a job in this profession?

I chose PwC partly because of the people – everyone is friendly and welcoming, and I immediately felt like part of the team – and also because of the nature of the work. The actuarial work we do is all corporate based, so working on the company side rather than for the trustees of a pension scheme. This means that the work is always different, as it’s project based and every project can be so varied.

What are your main duties/roles?

My main role in the team is currently checking work and helping to manage specific areas of a project. I’m currently working on a range of projects, from accounting advice on both UK and overseas schemes, to assisting a company with their long-term pensions strategy. The work is very varied, and that means no two days are the same. I also coordinate the training for the Midlands region for our team, so I’ll arrange everything from graduate training to build the basic knowledge needed to train the whole team on key topics like professionalism, or new areas in the market.

What skills are useful in this profession?

The skills that are useful in the actuarial profession include mathematical skills (the work, and exams, can be very technical), good business awareness (to help understand the needs of the client), excellent communication, and the ability to work well in a team. As you progress, strong project management and problem solving skills are vital.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I have three exams remaining, and so in the near future I’m hoping to qualify – on average this takes four to six years, and it will be a great feeling of accomplishment when I finish!

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to work in Actuarial?

My advice for anyone wanting to work at PwC would be to do an internship first. It gives you the chance to try the role, meet the people and a great opportunity to learn what it’s really like to be an actuary – and you may even get a graduate job offer. If it’s too late for an internship, try and contact someone in the area you wish to work to understand more about the role and what it’s like working at PwC – I did this and it really helped when I came to apply for the job.

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