Q&A with a Trainee Actuary
What do you like about your job as a trainee actuary?
Contrary to the stereotypical view of an actuary in movies such as “Along Came Polly” or “About Schmidt“, life as an actuary is never boring! I have worked in a product development role for a number of years and I really enjoy working towards a common goal with a great team of highly intelligent and driven individuals. I also enjoy being exposed to and able to understand the insurance business from different angles as I interact with many different colleagues across the business. As a natural problem solver, I thrive on pulling together relevant data and using many of my actuarial skills to come up with the most viable solution given the various business constraints.
Is there anything you dislike about being a trainee actuary?
I think there is no perfect job. There will always be some mundane, trivial paperwork in most jobs these days. Thankfully, the mundane aspect is relatively minor in my current actuarial role.
What do you think makes for a successful trainee actuary?
Given the ever-changing world we live in, I believe that adaptability is increasingly important. Actuaries these days are expected to be able to transition across many different roles and to have a very wide skillset to thrive or even to just survive. Communication is a must for all actuaries in my opinion. You may not always have to present to a board, but you are going to have to, at the very least, communicate with your colleagues in a professional and competent manner in order to carry out much of your job as an actuary. As they say, no man is an island!
Do you have any general advice for new actuaries?
Yes, never stop learning! As mentioned above, we are living in very different times to the past, so it is critical that actuaries remain informed of the latest technologies, developments in the field and generally becoming a better professional over time. The actuarial exams are of course important, but they are just the beginning and should not be viewed as the end. One of the great things about being an actuary is that there is always room to grow and develop.