00:00:02 My name’s Angela B and I’m Syndicate Actuary. It’s a job based on maths and statistics, and I work for Chaucer Insurance company, and we basically project forward the claims and the premiums for the company to make sure that we have enough money set aside in the future to cover our liabilities.
00:00:21 I think the general kind of ethos in our team is that when you’re at work you work hard, but if you’ve finished your work and you’ve worked hard during the day, then please feel free to go home a half past five. So it’s a really nice environment in the office, which is really nice and something that I really value, because I think in a lot of jobs, in other actuarial jobs as well, that wouldn’t be the case, so I think I’m quite lucky in that respect.
00:00:44 We have an Annual Actuarial Conference every year, and we had this James Bond Casino night at the Conference last year, where they gave everybody fifty fake dollars basically, and there was a prize for whoever could make the most. So I chucked it all on the roulette table on black and I just – I kept winning, it was amazing, it just kept doubling up, and doubling up. I took it off, and then black lost. I put it back on, and it won. It was just – it was the luckiest streak in my life, and unfortunately it was with fake money. So I got this lovely trophy. But I also got a £250 Red Letter Day, which I used to go sky-diving with, which was fantastic. So it actually did get me something, I thought I was only getting this, but I actually got a good prize too.
00:01:28 In Scotland we do things called Highers, where you chose – where you have to choose five – four or five subjects you do, which would be kind of the equivalent of … and others. And I had Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics. So it was always quite clear where my strengths were. I decided that I was going to do Maths – a Maths degree at University. And I also applied to this one University in Edinburgh to do an Actuarial Maths and Statistics degree, which is a kind of more specialised Maths degree, which is aimed at the actuarial profession. So I got accepted to that course, and some maths courses as well, and I decided to go for the Actuarial route.
00:02:07 I absolutely loved University. I think it’s true what they say, it’s the best years of your life, yeah. When I was there I actually got the opportunity to go to Melbourne University for a year as part of an exchange programme. So that was a really nice addition, because it wasn’t in place when I started University it was – it was an opportunity that arose kind of out the blue so – I was only an hour from home but I ended up as far away as I could get in the end for a while so – it was great.
00:02:34 I did go straight into work with the actuarial profession. I knew by then I was definitely looking for an actuarial job, applied for all sorts of jobs before University finished. And had my job lined up before I graduated so – this consultancy had decided to recruit three people for their Brussels office as well. So I went out for a visit out there, and really thought long and hard about it because I – it wasn’t really what I wanted to do, it wasn’t what I’d thought of doing. But in the end I just thought this is – this is a good opportunity, why not?
00:03:15 Yeah, after a year in Brussels I asked for a transfer back to London, so I got a job in the London offices of the same company. So that’s when I first moved here. It was quite a new, scary experience – I’d never been to London before I moved here, I found it quite daunting as a country girl from Scotland. I think I will stay in London for a while longer. I bought a flat last year, so I’ve put some roots down. So I think I’ll probably be here for at least a few more years. I want to stay until the 2012 Olympics now, that’s my plan. I want to be here to enjoy the party!
Angela B is a Syndicate Actuary for Chaucer Insurance. She was good at maths and science at school and knew she wanted to work in that area, so she went to university to study actuarial maths and statistics. Her studies took her to Melbourne for a year on an exchange programme, and after graduating she spent a year working in Brussels. Now she is based in London and loves the work hard/play hard ethos of her team.
More information about Actuaries, economists and statisticians
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Assesses the objectives and requirements of the organisation seeking advice;
- Uses a variety of techniques and theoretical principles to establish probability and risk in respect of e.g. life insurance or pensions;
- Uses appropriate techniques and theoretical principles to determine an appropriate method of data collection and research methodology, analyse and interpret information gained and formulate recommendations on issues such as future trends, improved efficiency;
- Designs and manages surveys and uses statistical techniques in order to analyse and interpret the quantitative data collected;
- Provides economic or statistical advice to governments, commercial enterprises, organisations and other clients in light of research findings;
- Addresses seminars, conferences and the media to present results of research activity or to express professional views.
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