Jennifer joined AXA Insurance, Ipswich, in August 2015 as part of the Global Actuarial Graduate Programme; which is a 3-5 year graduate programme. At the end of the programme she will be a fully qualified actuary.
What attracted you to apply to this graduate programme?
After my second year of university I completed an internship with AXA Insurance, across both Ipswich and London. The internship lasted for a few weeks during the summer and I had the opportunity to spend time with various underwriting and pricing teams, shadowing actuaries and analysts and helping out where I could. After getting the chance to see the insurance industry first-hand and understanding what an actuary does, I was set on getting into insurance after completing university.
What does the graduate programme entail?
I’m currently sitting within Pricing, in a team that acts as a review/audit function. My day is spent reviewing decisions made by underwriters/analysts and ensuring that pricing is fair across the business, as well as making sure it’s implemented correctly. I’ll usually work on one particular project for 3-4 weeks before moving on to the next one.
Being an actuarial graduate allows opportunities to complete placements within different actuarial teams (including the Risk Pricing Team, Market Pricing Team, Innovation Team, and Reserving). I’m still learning the basics so I haven’t completed a placement yet, but I’m hoping I will have the opportunity to experience a different team by the end of the year.
What’s your favourite aspect of the graduate programme?
I really enjoy the variety of my role and the fact that I’m involved in work on a day to day basis that actually has a big impact on the business. I’m currently working on a ‘reconciliation of live rates’ project, which I enjoy as it gives me the opportunity to work with a lot of different people across the business.
My role is to ensure that AXA’s partners, who are selling AXA products under a different brand, are charging customers at the rate which AXA expects. I’ve been liaising with various stakeholders, underwriting teams, and different contacts outside of my direct team, which has been good exposure and a great networking opportunity.
Does a career as an actuary offer many international opportunities?
I love the fact that AXA is such a big company, and that means that the opportunities are endless! There is so much scope to move around and see the world. Other people have done secondments to other countries and I’m really hoping this is something I’ll get the opportunity to do in the future.
What is the social life like as an actuary?
There are five or six other graduate actuaries and we’re well integrated into the actuarial community. There are three actuarial community events during the year, with the opportunity to meet Senior Actuarial Analysts as well as other senior people across the business. These social events are held in different AXA Insurance locations across the UK, including London and Ipswich, and the next one is in Tunbridge Wells, which I’ll be attending. The event usually lasts the whole day and there are various talks about what different teams are up to across the business followed by a social event at the end.
I was also lucky enough to go to Paris in November, to AXA’s Global Graduate Camp at head office. It was a three day event which 150 AXA graduates from across the world attended. It was a fantastic opportunity to network with other graduates from different countries and there were various talks from head office, networking events, social events and workshops. We have a social hub on the AXA intranet which allows all the graduates to stay connected so we can share work and projects, which is really inspiring, it’s really interesting to see what different graduates from around the world are up to!