Please tell us about yourself
Devan was curious about what an actuarial career may hold as a mathematics student, but wasn’t 100% sure what the industry actually entailed. A couple of years later, he has completed a summer internship in actuarial consulting within pensions with top actuarial firm Aon, and has now moved into their graduate scheme. So what did he gain from his summer internship?
What did you study?
Devan did his Bachelor of Science (BSc) ( Mathematics and Statistics ) from University College London, U. of London and Master of Science (MS) ( Actuarial Finance) from Imperial College London
Could you explain what it is a pensions actuary does?
Pensions actuaries provide a range of advice to their clients, be it trustees or companies, on how to better manage their Pension Schemes, with the long-term aim of having sufficient funds to provide the benefits when members come to retire. This advice can range from performing Scheme valuations, i.e. putting a figure on the value of the benefits to be provided, to calculating the benefits themselves.
Why did you choose to do an actuarial internship with Aon?
I chose to do an actuarial internship because owing to my mathematical background I had been considering a career as an actuary, but was not completely sure what they actually did on a daily basis.
When visiting a careers fair, Aon’s internship programme stood out the most as it offered the opportunity to get heavily involved in ongoing client work whilst allowing me to network with senior actuaries.
Could you tell us a bit about the summer internship programme?
The programme itself lasted nine weeks and enabled me to build my network with Aon employees – many of whom I work with today. I was given a wide range of experience of actuarial work with a number of clients.
In addition I gained some important communication and team working skills which is essential for any career.
What kind of projects did you work on at Aon on the summer internship? What were your tasks?
During my internship I was given a range of tasks, from everyday actuarial calculations to report preparation. The reports I helped to prepare were later sent to the client.
We were also given summer intern charity projects and put into teams of eight interns – all from different locations. The aim of the project was for us to meet the objectives the charity had set us, but essentially replicated the role Aon employees play with their clients on a day-to-day basis. As an intern I was given access to the tools and connections Aon has at its disposal and genuinely felt part of a much larger team of Aon employees.
What was it like to work with the actuarial team at Aon?
Working as part of an actuarial team was challenging and I was initially faced with a steep learning curve. However getting to know my fellow colleagues enabled me to build professional relationships and establish mentors within client teams who could assist me with any questions I had. In my opinion, this made the entire internship a fantastic development opportunity.
What did you enjoy most about the experience?
I particularly enjoyed getting to know like-minded individuals with a similar mathematics background to mine and seeing how they had taken the skills they had obtained from their degree and applied it to a career as an actuary.
Is it important to get internship experience in this field?
In my opinion, experience through an internship in this field is very useful and I would highly recommend it. It’s always helpful to have a rough idea of the career you are considering before the choice needs to be made – especially if, like me, you aren’t exactly sure what that role might entail..
Did this summer internship experience help prepare you for your graduate role at Aon?
My internship definitely made it much easier for me to pick up jobs in my graduate role that were already familiar to me and allowed me to build on a network I had already formed during my internship.
How can students considering an actuarial internship make the most out of their experience?
The best way you can really make the most out of your internship is really to be proactive. During my time at Aon I found that the tools I needed to have a successful internship were available to me if I chose to make use of them. By building your network and getting to know your colleagues from the beginning, you can open up doors to more varied types of jobs and learn from the most experienced actuaries Aon employs.