• Role: Actuarial Trainee
  • Location: Edinburgh
  • University: Heriot-Watt
  • Degree: BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science
  • Organisation: Hymans Robertson

Claire Singer

We’re The Professionals…

So you’re considering a career as an actuarial consultant…

When you first came across it you may have screamed with delight simply at the fact that there exists a career that actually rewards you for your mathematic genius! But I’ve learned that there’s so much more it can offer you.

Learning to become an actuarial consultant is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The exam process is tough; tenacity is undoubtedly the most important quality you should possess, and you have to ensure that you can balance the technicalities with common sense.

Choosing an actuarial career

Pursuing an actuarial career for me was a natural step from my university degree, but so too was the choice to enter into the consulting world. Although I really enjoyed the mathematical and technical aspects of my course, I also loved working with people, especially communicating the technical aspects and breaking them down in a straightforward way.

Joining the working world

I joined Hymans Robertson in August 2010 as an actuarial student in the new Edinburgh office. We are an employee benefits consultancy providing a wide range of services including actuarial, investment, benefit consulting, third party administration, longevity risk consulting and enterprise risk management. We are a forward looking, innovative company, and specialise in tailored solutions to meet our clients’ needs.

The sorts of things I do

Even in the short time that I’ve been here, the opportunities and experiences I’ve had really has reflected Hymans Robertson’s wide range of services. For example, my work has varied from the more traditional work of calculating transfer values (the value in today’s money of pension payments that will be made in the future), to more modern risk analysis work, using our internal models to carry out scenario testing on a pension scheme for quantifying future uncertainties.

A lot of my work also involves drafting reports and emails to clients who don’t necessarily have an actuarial background, which requires a different skill set. Having a more numerical mindset, I find this really pushes me to become a more well-rounded person.

The studying…

There’s no getting away from the exams! The work/life balance may sometimes tip too far in the direction of study, but most employers will give you study days to lighten the burden and the work you put in will definitely pay off in the end. Working alongside studying can be rewarding in itself, as you can see the concepts you’re learning from the textbooks being applied in real life.

I love my role!

What I really enjoy about working in a consultancy is seeing the process of how a real life practical problem can be solved, communicated and implemented to the benefit of everyone involved. It’s through this process that I’ve realised what being a professional really is all about and why an actuarial consultant is so well respected. To be able to balance both an understanding of complex real life problems, often involving long-term outlooks with many uncertainties, and apply professional judgement to the situation at hand takes a certain type of individual. It’s for this reason that the examination process to become a qualified actuary is so demanding, but the rewards are endless.

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