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In their own words

Published on: 4 Oct 2016

“My course was a Bachelor of Mathematics at Swansea University and I have to admit, like lots of maths students, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do for a career. I did know that it had to be a job that involved numbers, thinking logically and that there was a new challenge every day.

I applied to an actuarial pensions and employee benefit consultancy. At the assessment we were given unusual problems to solve by working as a team. I really enjoyed the tasks and it was such a friendly team that I was hooked.

I’m in a supportive environment, tackling interesting work. I couldn’t be happier with where I am.”

Nicola Duncan | Xafinity

“In 2011 I undertook a year long Masters degree at Cass Business School in actuarial science. Principally to get a real feel for whether an actuarial career was for me but an added bonus was that I gained 6 exemptions which eased the pressure on me when I was settling in to my career.

The knowledge I gained through the year definitely helped me when I was applying for graduate programmes. I was just a little more confident about the subject matter. I joined Hymans Robertson as an actuarial trainee and the hands-on experience I’ve gained in meeting clients and solving real problems has been immense. My tip is to ask as many questions as you can. When you’re surrounded by professionals who want you to do well it’s a real bonus.”

Nick Grover | Hymans Robertson

“I studied computer science at university and on graduating worked in IT at Lehmen Brothers before moving to Zurich Insurance.

 I was working with the actuarial team helping with incident and change management and software development and when I saw actuarial work in action I was hooked. My employer supported me through the IFoA’s core technical exams which I passed with ease and the CAA qualification was the natural next step.

I realised that employers don’t need a fully qualified actuary to manage their actuarial IT systems but having a good understanding of actuarial work and the CAA qualification means I can really stand out. The CAA qualification means that I can now also “speak actuary” to my colleagues and support them in their roles.”

Halima Michelle Sadiq | Zurich Insurance

“I didn’t have my career mapped out from the start in quite the same way as some of my colleagues. At university I read maths with philosophy because they were subjects I knew I’d enjoy and I thought I’d do well at. But as I didn’t have an actuarial academic background it meant that I didn’t earn any exemptions so had fifteen challenging exams ahead of me at the same time as pursuing a full time career.

I passed the exams which was really satisfying and I don’t regret my approach. My non actuarial academic background gives me a different perspective on my approach to work. Who knew philosophy would come in so handy! And I think I’ve built some skills, beyond the actuarial requirement, which are proving useful in my career. It was definitely the route that worked for me.”

Tom Levi | Towers Watson

Careers Guide 2017 [square] To read more from the official guide to actuarial careers please click here.