This page has been archived

  • Role: Graduate Actuarial Associate
  • Location: London
  • University: Warwick
  • Degree: BSc Physics

Joseph Barnett

View APR's Website

What’s it like working at APR?
APR is very different from most of the other companies I applied to. We provide interim actuarial support to companies (mostly insurance companies). As an employee of APR, that means working on-site at our clients’ offices which might well involve working away from your London or Edinburgh location base during the week. If that’s the case, the company is keen to accommodate your travel and accommodation preferences.

I really like the business model of the company. We all teach and learn from each other, and it has a measurable effect on the whole company when somebody has a good idea or picks up new skills or experience. You interface directly with the partners on a regular basis, and they tend to include us in their executive decisions as well, which is nice.

APR’s students have a high pass rate in the actuarial exams and this fosters a culture of friendly competition in which we’re all keen to progress quickly. I was lucky enough to pick up three CTs in my first exam sitting in April.

My career so far
I’ve been on three projects since I started here a little under a year ago, and I’ve spent a couple of months in-house as well. I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of work, and I feel I’ve accrued experience much quicker than I would have done in other actuarial companies.

I’ve been involved in back-office asset management processes in Edinburgh, which involved heavy use of my Excel and VBA development skills; developed a VB application to process fund management data for a Dublin client; and I’m currently assisting in the day to day business of a product illustrations team in Southampton.

My most recent role has been the most varied in terms of what I actually do. I’ve been involved in building and testing new models, tracking down and rectifying problems with old models, and providing technical support to financial advisers.

What are the most important skills to have?
Assuming you have the basics for an actuarial career (like good maths), I would say the most important thing to get really good is communicating clearly. Productivity and development opportunities are severely reduced if you can’t get your questions answered or answer someone else’s. This also applies to written communication – for example, I’ve had to produce detailed technical documentation of my models.

It’s also very useful to have advanced Excel and an aptitude for coding and software – such skills go a long way to impressing people and making your job easier. Developing these skills during initial APR training gave me a significant confidence boost when going off to work on client sites.

If you are the kind of person who independently learns new things and can apply them to your work, you will be worth a lot of money to whoever hires you.

View APR's Website
Back to Top