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Inside Story: Sara Daly, Mercer, Glasgow

Published on: 1 Sep 2021

Sara DalyWhen did you first consider an actuarial career and why?

When I was at school my maths teacher suggested that it might be a career I would be interested in, and then I heard more about it at a university careers event. I knew it would be a career where I would be able to use mathematics and apply it to real-life situations.  

What subject(s) did you study at university?

Mathematics and statistics.

What has been most challenging throughout your work/study life to date?

Like most actuarial students, it is probably knowing when to stop working at the end of the day and start studying, when you know you’re really busy at work but need to switch your focus to exams.

What do you enjoy most about being an actuary?

I enjoy the technical and calculations side of things.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

I’m interested in developing further in technical areas, as well as attaining signatory status, so I hope to have progressed along these routes.

What is your most actuarial habit?

Using Excel at every opportunity, both at work and in my personal life.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

When I first graduated, I joined Mercer in Belfast as I was offered a great opportunity, but I hoped to eventually be able to relocate home to Glasgow. It all worked out, as working in Belfast was amazing and then Mercer offered me a position based in Glasgow.

Who is your role model – in life or in business?

I wouldn’t say I have a specific role model, but I love seeing people succeed and doing well in life – that inspires me.

Give one piece of advice to the next generation of students entering the profession?

I would suggest studying hard and getting the exams ticked off before you lose momentum and other life events get in the way.

How do you relax in your spare time?

I enjoy going to the gym and spending time with my dog, Bella. Currently I’m also planning my wedding for 2022.

Name one skill (aside from technical) that is an important quality for an actuary.

Having good commercial awareness.

Now that you have qualified… what next?

Professionally, I’m looking forward to getting involved in more opportunities at work and within the industry. Personally, I’m looking forward to enjoying weekends without having to study!

Sara Daly, Mercer, Glasgow