What's your job about?
Working at Australia’s largest independent actuarial and analytical consulting firm has allowed me to explore opportunities in both the actuarial and management consulting fields. My projects are ever-changing and fast paced, with our clients looking for us to provide not only regulatory support, but efficient and creative strategies to help them run their businesses better.
I’m very fortunate that Finity allows flexibility, so I generally start my day around 7.30am when few people are in the office – it’s always my most productive hour! The morning is when I get onto my most pressing tasks, especially those which require more technical detail. Once the other people in my team arrive at the office, we will catch up on what is outstanding on our project to-do list, and how best to allocate that work. The rest of my day is generally split between technical models, report writing and meetings, with a break for the cryptic crossword club at lunchtime as well as regular coffee catch-ups.
Client meetings are always a highlight, whether they are in our office, or offsite at one of our varied client locations. Being able to combine data analytics with the experience of our team to present a set of results to a client is a great feeling, especially when those results can help the client to make important decisions regarding the activities or structure of their business. As an Analyst, I thought I would need to wait several years before I could be in client-facing situations, but at Finity I was able to follow my passion for client relationships by attending and presenting at client meetings within months.
What's your background?
Growing up in rural New Zealand made for a great childhood having no worries about tests and all my focus on getting outside and running around. The majority of my childhood was spent on the hockey field which led to more than a decade of umpiring national field hockey.
Being strong in Maths, Business Studies and English, I always thought I would go into either law or commerce. I was unaware of the actuarial profession until mid-way through high school when a family friend told me it was a career I might enjoy. After a fair bit of googling, the promise of a challenging yet rewarding career while maintaining work-life balance attracted me to studying actuarial. I hit a roadblock when I realised that was not going to be easily achievable in New Zealand, so committed to moving across the ditch to Sydney.
When I moved, I was very grateful to be awarded a Co-op scholarship at UNSW, majoring in Actuarial and Business Strategy and Economic Management. The degree, combined with the personal skills I developed from my hockey experience as well as Co-op placements at Guy Carpenter, PwC and APRA, held me in good stead for graduate job applications. Finity offered me an analyst position and I haven’t looked back since! I have now worked as an analyst for 18 months and have learnt more than I could have imagined.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
For traditional actuarial projects, there are definitely some strong technical requirements which are learned throughout the degree. At Finity however, we recruit people from lots of different backgrounds including actuaries, data scientists, lawyers and everything in between. As an actuary, software skills including excel and coding are highly beneficial, a lot of which is learnt on the job when you start. I believe it is more important to come into the job with a willingness to learn and an open mind. Problem solving and an ability to communicate complex results in an easy to understand way are also crucial to career progression.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is being able to help clients understand data and implement strategies to make their business better. The majority of people do not have the skills and/or resources to manipulate data sets which is an area where actuaries excel in.
What are the limitations of your job?
Consulting has very up and down resourcing requirements – during our busiest periods such as after the end of financial year, we are sometimes required to work late, but we can then offset this by taking what is known at Finity as ‘Donut Days’. These are effectively paid leave days which we can use however we want when we’ve been working longer hours, and are actively promoted within the company.
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