I worked as an intern for 6 weeks in the PwC Actuarial Services department in the More London office.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have found that this internship has been such a valuable experience. I would recommend it to anybody considering an actuarial job in the future. As the department is large, I was given the opportunity to work in and learn about the different lines of work for actuaries - from general and life insurance to business modelling. I have enjoyed the technical skill involved with the work here and feel that I have been able to make a meaningful contribution with what I have done.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From my first day I have noticed how friendly the department is and how happy everyone is to speak to you about their work if you have questions.
Throughout my project, I have really felt that the people I have worked with have taken my thoughts and comments on board. In one scenario, this enabled us to work out the reason behind an issue I had found in my testing.
In my final week, I presented the findings from my work to a partner. I have also written documentation that will be sent off to a client. The fact I was given these opportunities really made me feel valued by my colleagues and that I was a member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers and supervisors have always been happy to put in time with me to discuss my work and answer any questions I might have. If they were ever not free that day they would always point me towards someone who I could speak with instead, enabling me to get to know more of the department also.
I was always encouraged to build a relationship with the managers of my project, and appreciated this opportunity a lot.
Finally, the buddy system at PwC meant that from the first day there was someone in the office that I knew and could go to for help and advice.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was lucky to be put on a very busy project during my internship. Within that I worked on two separate teams, allowing me to gain two different perspectives of the work done by us for the client. This meant that I always had a lot to do each day.
When I ever felt I had too much on my plate, my supervisors were always happy to talk with me. I was often given the responsibility of setting my own deadlines and arranging my own review slots with managers, which enabled me to both push myself but work at a sensible pace.
I also found that there was always the opportunity to ask for more work or to help the other people in my team if I had any time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Initially, I was tasked to read various model documentation and to learn more about the work PwC does as part of the banking team I was working on. At this stage I was encouraged to have regular catch-ups with my team members to talk through any questions I may have.
However, as I got to grips with the new methodology I found that I was quickly given more responsibility, and was tasked with performing model testing and writing a document for the client. I mostly worked independently on this, but knew that my team members would be happy to meet with me if I needed help or had any issues.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Whilst I study a mathematics degree, I specialise in pure maths so my new actuarial knowledge will not immediately be useful in this sense. However, my improved knowledge of Excel and different coding languages will assist me in my future degree studies.
I have also found that my internship has allowed me to gain more confidence in presenting and taught me skills to manage my time better.
As I hope to work as an actuary in the future, this experience and training has been invaluable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I found that everyone in the office has been so friendly and the different social team structure meant that it was easy to get to know people in your team very well. Everyone I met was so passionate and happy to meet with me to talk about their work.
I did find that my internship being late in the summer meant that lots of the graduate employees were out of the office in order to revise. This meant that it could be quite empty on some days.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I have found that the internship has been very well organised, with there being a project for me to work on immediately the day that I joined. I was assigned supervisors for each piece of work who I could contact with any of my questions.
We were each assigned a career coach to further talk us through the internship process which was very helpful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
When the internship began, we had a three day residential placement where we were given training for our roles. Each area in the actuarial department was explained and we were given an Excel tutorial to work through to give us a sense of the work we would be carrying out over our internship.
Once in the office I felt that this support from the firm did not stop. There would be regular 'Lunch and Learn' sessions arranged to learn more about the department. I was also given access to some tutorials on the SAS coding software.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I find that future employment prospects within the organisation are very appealing. As a result of my work done throughout my internship, I have been offered a job for the next year. I am looking forward to joining in the future!
Throughout my time here, I was offered the opportunity to speak to many different people in the department and was given a good sense of the career progression offered by the firm.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?