Actuarial analysis of insurance policies and data, such as complying with solvency regulations in Europe (Solvency II)
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my internship for a number of reasons. I felt the team made an effort to make the interns welcome by inviting them to drinks, and the recruitment team as a whole did a good job of letting interns get to know each other across departments. My team also made an effort to give me interesting and non standard work to complete.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues always included the interns in staff events such as welcome drinks and exam celebrations. I also felt that I was given challenging work, which my colleagues guided me through while still trusting me to be able to figure some things out for myself. I didn't feel micromanaged but I also knew I could ask for help if I needed it. I was also included in several meetings that involved the work I had produced.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was always given enough support and guidance by management and supervisors to complete the tasks that had been assigned to me. However, I prefer it when I'm not given all the answers and have to figure out some things by myself, only asking for help when I need it, which I got during the internship. This made the process of learning more enjoyable.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On the first few days of the internship I was not that busy and only had compliance tasks and onboarding activities to complete. However, following this, I had a steady stream of work to complete and was never left without anything to do. In addition to this, I was never overwhelmed with work and was always able to make deadlines.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Given that I was learning a lot on the job, I was given a reasonable amount of responsibility. I was often allowed to figure things out on my own, which allowed me to learn faster and get more satisfaction with my work. I was not able to have much interaction with clients however client work often spans many months and I was only at the internship for 9 weeks so this may not have been realistic.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I am taking a degree in an unrelated field (Chemical Engineering) so the internship will not help me in completing the rest of my degree studies. With that being said, I think the internship will help when I come to take the actuarial exams in order to qualify, since the internship taught me core concepts that will surely be on a lot of the exams.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was relaxed which I liked. People were always approachable if I wanted to ask questions. the dress code was not overly strict and ties weren't required. There was a quiz on Fridays that went round by email, which I enjoyed completing each week, and everyone had lunch together. There was a kitchen with tea, coffee and hot chocolate for taking breaks if needed
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was reasonably organised. There was a corporate social responsibility project that we were briefed on early on in the internship which we worked on when we had a spare moment from our team's work. However, at the start of the internship I really had a shortage of work, and was completing compliance work to pass time (although my work in the team soon picked up). It would be better if the team had tasks lined up for interns from day one.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The organisation seems to be doing well with a good amount of starting positions within the company. There also seems to be a good system of advancement within the team, with promotions being given for good work within the team, and also advancements and pay raises given following successes in the actuarial exams. There is a tangible goal of qualifying as an actuary by completing the exams.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Within my team, several drinks events were held including one at the start of the internship and a celebration of results for actuarial exams. These were well attended and enjoyable. There were also events run by the recruitment team for all the interns that were equally as enjoyable, such as a pub quiz and an event after our end of internship presentation. It was also easy for interns to meet up after work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home because it would be too expensive to live in London
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
While there were ample social activities outside work, there wasn't as much else on as I would have liked. For example, there was talk of a 5 a side football tournament outside work but that didn't exist within my team. While going for drinks was definitely fun, there was a lack of opportunity for taking part in sport or other activities with colleagues outside of work in an organised way.