Why did you choose to do an internship?
From the outset at university I wanted to gain experience in an area of work that excited me. I read about LCP from a careers website and once I had read the job role and researched the company I knew this was a position I wanted to explore. I also knew it would increase my understanding of the actuarial profession and improve my chances of getting onto a graduate scheme after university.
Insurance seemed like a really interesting department to apply for. From the background reading I had done, it was clear that through all the regulatory change taking place, the demand for actuaries was increasing significantly. After my internship ended, I was offered a role on the graduate scheme at LCP. This gave me huge peace of mind and meant I could focus on my studies and other aspects of university life in my final year.
How did the internship tie in with your long-term career plans?
At university I was unsure of my career plans and wanted to find a career that genuinely interested me and would challenge me. I applied for a range of different internships in non-actuarial fields as well, but I decided to accept the LCP internship. This decision was based on the clear career progression the firm had and most importantly the exciting projects that LCP get involved in. At LCP you are not directed down a specific route, instead, you have the freedom to get involved across many areas of insurance e.g. reserving, capital modelling and risk. It is this flexibility that made LCP such a great place to start my career and learn.
What was the application process like – any advice for other students?
The application process was refreshingly simple. The process involved an online form followed by an assessment day. On the assessment day I had two interviews, one focused on soft skills and the other was more orientated around technical ability. The interviewers were very friendly and seemed like the kind of people I would get on with and enjoy working with. I was initially daunted by the technical interview given that I had no experience within the insurance industry, however it was actually a good opportunity to learn about the industry and the work LCP does. I was able to ask questions about the new regulatory regime that was being adopted, Solvency II, and learn more about the different clients that LCP advised. There was also a group exercise that was interactive and a great way to meet the other candidates, some of whom I ended up doing my internship with.
My recommendation would be to do lots of background reading to demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm in the industry area you are applying to. Whilst you won’t know or understand everything it really helps you stand out from the crowd.
What were your main duties?
At the time I joined the firm, LCP was in the middle of validating a number of London Market insurers’ capital models and the documentation around them. This was a great opportunity to get involved from the outset and review the testing insurers performed on their capital models. It was great to see the different ways insurers test their models and in the process, make recommendations on how the testing performed could be improved. Although some of the work was quite technical I was always able to ask the client team questions and learned a huge amount in the process. I also assisted in the data processing for a number of our reserving clients. This involved performing checks on the data and reconciling it with previous analyses.
A valuable aspect of my internship was seeing a large variety of work across a number of clients. For some clients I would get involved in the reporting of our results, this meant communicating our advice in a clear and understandable way. For other clients, the work was more technical. For example, I would apply statistical reserving methods and techniques I had learned from the training sessions. This was a real positive for me as I was keen for an internship to involve a practical application of what I had learned.
The opportunity to give a presentation to the team at the end of the internship was a good test of how much I had learned over the six weeks. It also tested my ability to present to a senior audience and deal with answering technical questions! Each intern was given a topic to present and had a mentor to help provide some guidance and act as a sounding board. Although initially a daunting experience, I really enjoyed the challenge. It gave me a real insight of what it would be like to present to clients and therefore the life of an actuarial consultant!
What were the most important things you learned from the internship?
One of the most important skills I learned was how to manage my time effectively. In a consultancy you may be required to work on multiple different client projects at once. As a result, you need to communicate well with your team members and manage your workload effectively to ensure client projects are delivered in a timely manner. You also have to be good at managing people’s expectations; both your clients and colleagues.
Another key skill I learned whilst on my internship was presenting to a group. This was especially beneficial given I had little prior experience of this in university life. The thought of presenting to a fairly large audience does not seem as daunting now. In fact, my internship experience means I relish these opportunities now!