Tag: Actuarial

How I’m preparing for a career as a modern actuary

Choosing Cass 

I am an MSc Actuarial Science student at Cass Business School. I aspire to pursue a career in the non-traditional actuarial field of business analytics.

Prior to studying at Cass, I studied BSc Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. After graduating from my bachelor’s, I wanted to learn more about actuarial science in insurance, finance and investment. I knew that actuarial studies would be the ideal combination of mathematical and probabilistic techniques and analysis of business and would allow me to combine my greatest passions.

Based in the City of London, Cass is in an ideal location for finding a job post-graduation. In addition, our excellent lecturers have deep industry knowledge and understanding of current affairs and offer us the knowledge we need to learn.

All these factors motivated me to study the MSc in Actuarial Science at Cass.

Actuaries: the future of business analytics

By following the new curriculum of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Cass offers a detailed study of actuarial computer-based applications in R and Python programming and VBA. Given the excellent skill set acquired via these, I am developing my knowledge of analytics methods for business and machine learning, all of which are being adopted across actuarial practice areas.

I like this course structure, not only because it delivers the fundamentals of actuarial science, but also offers computer-based applications and modules on analytics methods for business and machine learning. These tools are very useful for my career path. I want to become a non-traditional actuary equipped with strong technical skills.

Help from the Careers Team

With the support of Cass Careers Team, I have already attended many workshops and I have booked numerous 1:1 appointments to help me apply for jobs in the UK. I feel more confident in answering competency questions and doing video interviews. I really appreciate the careers coaches because they have helped me gain confidence and realise where my personal strengths lie.

Studying at Cass Business School has enriched my understanding of actuarial science and improved my commercial awareness. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Yiqi Chang, MSc Actuarial Science (2020)

 If you’d like to find out more about Yiqi’s experience or have any general questions about studying on a master’s degree at Cass, contact her on our Ask a student platform.

*From September 2020, Cass Business School will be launching the MSc in Actuarial Science with Business Analytics pathway, which prepares students for the non-traditional actuarial field of business analytics.

Heading Out

This year’s induction sessions began on the 17th of September 2018. As a MSc Actuarial Management student, I expected numerous lectures throughout the week involving a lot of mathematical calculations, group assignments and the inevitable long hours at the school library.

For the most part, this is the expected life of an Actuarial student. But Cass Business School provides way more than that for its pupils.

Our weekly timetable includes a module on Professional Development. Again, I expected this to be a typical lecture series which theorised about competition and personal development. However, the course turned out to be a very practical module, drawing upon the wisdom of experts in various fields.

One of the most popular sessions held was titled ‘Networking with Fun, Confidence and Professionalism’, hosted by Sue Tonks from The Career Farm. Surprisingly, as mathematically-minded actuarial professionals, networking is not exactly a natural skill for us! It is something we would rather avoid in favour of complicated spreadsheets and data models.

However, with the increasingly global reach of most professions and the requirement to engage with a wider variety of stakeholders, it is something we must all do at some point.

The session was led humorously by Sue, who also provided many key insights into the following matters:

  • How to prepare effectively for a networking session: this involves everything from logistics to emotional and physical preparation;
  • How to break the ice when meeting new people: acceptable topics include asking where the other person is from, how do they know the host, what brought them to the event, and the weather (always a safe topic in London);
  • How to discuss business matters: enquire into people’s current interests and plans and generate a conversation from this;
  • How to work the room: engaging people with courtesy and politeness and, importantly, how to join and leave groups;
  • How to maintain contact after the event: keeping in touch by exchanging business cards or contact information.

As the module is available for all Cass students, I highly recommend attending, even for just one key insight. Other useful professional development sessions included: ‘How to Effectively use LinkedIn’, ‘Write Effective Cover Letters and CVs’ and ‘Building Industry Awareness’.

Heading to Middle Earth

As hinted above, weather in London can be dreary and cold for most international students. I recommend taking a day trip outside London; that will cure some of those weather blues! Me and a few classmates visited both Warwick and Oxford one weekend in October. Here are some highlights:

  •  Our visit to The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick: Originally founded in 1123, the church is a treasure of Gothic architecture. Nearby, J.R.R. Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for all the non-middle earth fans) married Edith Bratt at another Warwick church, St Mary Immaculate, in March 1916.
  • Visiting Oxford: Exploring some of the locations from the Harry Potter films is a must, and so we paid a visit to the famous Oxford University colleges. Most famous of all is Christ Church College, that inspired the design of the Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies. At Christ Church, both muggles and non-muggles are welcome to visit!

Joan Wanja Mungai, MSc Actuarial Management (2019)

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