What does a typical day look like in your role?
A lot of my time is often spent working with spreadsheets, usually pension liability calculations or creating standard calculation models for other team members to use. As everyone at Quantum is approachable and friendly, I’m happy to take time to assist other staff with their queries, however trivial they are as I know that it will be appreciated.
Aside from spreadsheets, work includes drafting reports for actuaries and preparing meeting packs for client meetings. As I’ve progressed in the role, I now attend these meetings and help clients run their pension schemes. There are additional challenges as you work on many different schemes, each with their own rules and nuances. However, it means there’s more variety in the work that you undertake which, in turn, assists your own learning on the job.
What three skills have you found useful in your role?
- Creativity – being able to adapt to the exact needs of the client and bring about solutions to their often unique issues.
- Communication and presentation – explaining very technical work to clients in a way that’s easier for them to understand.
- Mathematical – the ability to tackle increasingly complex technical work, plus the added benefit that it prepares me for my exams!
Have you found the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification useful?
Quantum offers the CAA to its actuarial students before they progress to the mainstream actuarial exams. I’ve found my CAA qualification has given me a significant head start especially with the earlier actuarial exams, given the similarity in content. Along with the paid time off from work to study and additional support offered by colleagues, I’ve found the jump from university to the actuarial exams to be much more straightforward than it otherwise would have been.
Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years?
I’m aiming to have qualified as an actuary within the next few years. With no more studying for exams, I would have more time to be involved in more technical project work and see myself attending more client meetings, undertaking a greater role.
Any tips for people applying for actuarial roles?
- The path to qualifying can be long and difficult, so research what you’re committing yourself to and check if it’s for you. Make sure that you have the perseverance to finish the exams and that you can demonstrate this to your prospective employer. Prepare an example of when you’ve found something tough but eventually overcome it as you might be asked at the interview.
- Read up about your prospective employer and show the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the role. For example, read the case studies on the company’s website and prepare one or two engaging questions that you may ask at the end of the interview.