This might seem counter-intuitive given that our primary purpose this year is, essentially, to learn. However, unlearning in our course underpins our study practices, presentation methods and even our exam techniques. Most of us here have already done Core Technical actuarial exams that require a certain level of mathematical and analytical ability. While this is still important as it gives us a necessary foundation for this course, there are no numbers now. Lectures, instead, are discussion-based and require a lot of idea-generation and creative thinking (within reason, of course). This has required us to utilise a completely different skillset than the one we used before. That has taken a lot of re-training, both of our minds and habits, while preparing for exams and for life after Cass.
2. Learning to take failure graciously
Of course, the transition mentioned above has not been seamless, but the worst thing you can let failure do to you is make you afraid to keep trying. Case in point: Professional Communications. The only thing I will say about this module is that if (i.e. when) you don’t succeed the first time, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Just keep trying.
3. Embracing diversity
Actuarial Science is a global career in every sense. Our class is filled with people from all over the world. This is exciting in that our course is a melting pot of different ages, cultures, perspectives and personalities. This, when handled with respect, is a perfect recipe for success.
4. Networking and refining your soft-skills
Networking and socialising have been essential parts of my experience at Cass. During induction, we were given the chance to meet our fellow classmates in a relaxed environment at the Magic Roundabout, which was a great way to start the term. There have also been more professional workshops with industry professionals like the Actuarial Panel Event. These events – organised by the Careers Team – have given us access to the actuarial market in London, which has proved invaluable.
5. AIR-Q Society
The newly-refurbished Actuarial, Insurance, Risk and Quants Society is another way we’ve been able to interact and share ideas. There are also events in the future to look forward to that involve industry-players’ participation that provide another insight into life post-MSc.
6. Self-imposed down-time
This course requires you to start making decisions right from the start; what Specialist Technical exams to sit for, when to sit for these exams to maximise the probability of success, whether to take your chances with Professional Communications, how to structure your day to maximise studying time, whether to take your second nap of the day… The list is endless. It is very easy to get overwhelmed. I’ve found that taking time for things like dance classes at City, going to concerts, going to food markets and even simply going for walks makes life seem less daunting.
7. If you need the nap, take the nap…
Actuarial management (2019)