With an interest in pursuing a career that made use of the skills I’d developed at University, following a vast amount of research, I came to the conclusion that a career as an Actuary was for me.
You might be wondering ‘What is an Actuary?’ Well, in brief, an Actuary compiles, then analyses statistics to measure and manage risk/uncertainty, mainly insurance risks and premiums.
For anybody thinking of entering the profession, although it is extremely interesting, be prepared to be intellectually challenged regularly and be open to a constant learning curve.
During my first month at PwC Isle of Man, I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in London with PwC for actuarial specific training, this was a great start to my time at the firm. These three weeks were divided up into two parts, the first week revolved around soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership and communication, skills that are key to making the most out of being at PwC. The following two weeks were primarily technical training, preparing us new graduates for the frequent day to day challenges in the office.
The first week also gave us a chance to get to know all our fellow incoming Actuary Graduates based in the UK and further afield, along with two Senior Associates, James and Rachel, who were to oversee us for the next three weeks. We were presented with several icebreakers, varying from name association games to imitating an animal of your choice, all a helping hand to become comfortable in these new surroundings! Following this, we were taken through compliance, IT Security, exam structure and the PwC Values, all vital aspects of your initial years as an Associate at PwC. There were also opportunities to pick the brains of current PwC staff who were invited to meet us in regular coffee breaks. This provided a real insight to what it’s like on a day to day basis at the firm.
A representative from each area of London’s Actuarial Services practice held a session with us, explaining what it was they did and the purpose of their areas. The main markets within the business covered were Life Insurance, Non-life Insurance, Banking and Corporates/Healthcare. The majority of these talks were led by current experienced PwC employees and were extremely interactive, involving group presentations for us to perform, as well as individual/group activities. However, some of the most intriguing sessions were talks from Partners within the Actuarial Services practice who offered Q&A sessions, an invaluable insight and opportunity into the career and PwC for us new starters.
Additionally, we had Microsoft Office Excel and Google G-Suite training, designed for absolute beginners, an extremely useful session as actuaries spend most days leveraging the capabilities of these applications. Extra sessions looked at specialist areas of the business you could possibly move to when experienced, such as Runoffs & Deals and Risk & Capital.
As well as the timetabled sessions in the training weeks, most nights after work we went to a bar with the other Graduates, Managers, Senior Managers, Directors and Partners. A perfect way to get to know the other new starters better, and a unique opportunity to network with senior actuarial professionals located in other regions of the UK, creating an initial network of up to 50 contacts within the firm with huge potential for future use. As globally there are more than 1,100 actuaries working for PwC in the Actuarial Services practice.
All in all, the three weeks of training helped build a solid base of relationships, together with a well-rounded, high-level knowledge of the key services provided by the Actuarial Services practices within PwC.
I’ve now been with the firm six months and on reflection, whilst the training was intense, it has been essential and an extremely valuable experience. Over the past few months, I have been given the chance to work on various clients and projects. This exposure is definitely unique, and a great advantage of working as an Actuary for PwC Isle of Man.
The first is that I’ve really enjoyed the chance to build my own models within Excel for a few of our client projects. Models allow you to apply a combination of technical knowledge and purely logical thinking, in order to complete various tasks for clients. Along with this, and a not so office related opportunity, I have recently been involved with representing PwC at various student career events. Taking time to talk to other students, who are in the same position as myself 12 months ago, about the potential prospects and opportunities currently available at PwC Isle of Man. Two of the events I most recently had the chance to attend were hosted at Lancaster University and King William’s College. This demonstrates the range of opportunities you can take advantage of to help develop your own potential as an individual and professional, if you are willing.
All in all, I have absolutely no regrets in joining PwC Isle of Man as an Actuarial Associate upon graduation and would recommend that anybody interested in such a career to inquire about a future at the firm.
Adam McAuley, Actuarial Associate.
Over the past few months, I have been given the chance to work on various clients and projects. This exposure is definitely unique, and a great advantage of working as an Actuary for PwC Isle of Man.