Punter Southall offered me a great chance to do a summer internship before my final year at university. Whilst I considered becoming an actuary to be an option available to me, it was useful to confirm this by going on the internship, and experiencing first-hand what was involved. After this, I was offered a permanent position following the completion of my degree.
I joined the graduate scheme in 2012, and immediately got involved with lots of numerical calculations, both using Excel and more specialist software. This was a great way to start my progression, as I was able to contribute usefully straight away, yet there were many things that I could learn and pick up from the models and methods we use. The difficulty of the maths that I use on a daily basis is not too advanced, but using mathematical techniques to problem-solve and model the scenario which you require can be very rewarding.
Over the years, my role has expanded, bringing in varied challenges and added responsibilities. As Punter Southall is a consultancy firm, I am mainly involved in the drafting of advice in reports and presentations, as well as reviewing the calculations of more junior members of staff. This offers a nice mix of numerical and presentational challenges. There are many different aspects to pensions consultancy, and naturally I have developed certain areas on which I have more knowledge. Joining the technical team that deals with certain topics has helped me to extend my knowledge further, researching the latest news and guidance to help develop my skills.
I work with a large number of different actuaries, lots of whom are of a similar age to myself. This means that there are many others who are going through the same experiences as me, which is a great support network, especially when going through the stresses of actuarial exams.
Arguably more importantly, the dynamic of having young actuarial teams means that there are plenty of opportunities for social events. From our work-organised summer party, to unofficial events and our casual cricket and softball teams, there is always something in the diary.View Punter Southall's Website