Ravi Bakrania

Pensions Consultant Intern

  • Masters in Maths, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics (MMORSE)
  • Reading, University of
  • Internship (1-4 Months)
  • Willis Towers Watson

Why Towers Watson?

As a market leader in actuarial consulting and other areas, it seemed like the obvious choice to apply to Towers Watson, simply because of the size and future prospects. As time progressed, I learnt more about the company and it's history as being the oldest Actuarial firm in the world, giving the company and it's associates the most experience in the field compared to any other firm. This meant that I could learn from the best and the brightest. Given the friendly nature of the associates I met at careers events, I felt that an internship would be a great opportunity for me to learn get a better insight about the profession as I wanted.

“The learning curve was fairly steep, but everyone was incredibly supportive yet pushed me to achieve my best.”

My intern experience...

When I first started, every letter/number/email I wrote I would write very slowly to ensure it was perfect. Only a few hours into my first day, someone spotted my first mistake. Moments later, my colleague explained that this is why we have a "do, check, review" process to ensure all work has at least 3 people looking at the work before it is sent off to clients, which gave me some reassurance, but I was still nervous about making another mistake. Shortly after, my colleague gave me a "corrected" version, within which I found a mistake, thus proving that everyone in the firm makes some mistakes from time to time!

As my internship progressed, I learnt how to pick up speed and accuracy with the work I did. My entire office was very friendly and memories have been built on great experiences, including fantastic socials and even the odd office banter. Work was given to me gradually so I could get used to things, and by the second / third week, I felt like an integral part of the team. I also felt that my work was actually making a difference to the company.

Of course, my experience at Towers Watson hasn’t just taught me how to do the work and get on with people, but also valuable lessons about time management and how to organise myself.. As part of the internship, we were given intern projects that lasted throughout the six weeks. This meant that we would have to manage our time to work on our projects, as well as organise ourselves within the project team, who, to add an extra challenge, were based in different offices. The learning curve was fairly steep, but everyone was incredibly supportive yet pushed me to achieve my best.

My work...

I was involved in a number of projects, often juggling all at the same time. I used software such as Excel and our own in-house software, to calculate members’ pensions, a company's pension liabilities and to produce/interpret balance sheets and reports. I also had my intern project which was to produce videos for the graduate recruitment website.

Pensions Consultant Intern

My degree...

My degree in MMORSE has meant that I have learnt most of the principles and core understanding of the day to day work I carried out during my internship. Plus it’s a bonus that I have received exemptions from some of the actuarial exams! However, it is also the general time management, communication and social skills I developed at university, which gave me the opportunity to make the most of my internship.

My internship & graduate roles...

The internship gave me a huge insight into Towers Watson and the work I would be doing if I stayed on. I have been lucky enough to be offered a position on their graduate programme! Other graduates who have done internships have told me that they have seamlessly slipped back into work mode and have been given challenging and exciting work compared to their peers who did not do an internship. I think what will be particularly useful will be my knowledge of the company, and when people use terminology such as "do, check, review", I know what it means.

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