I was working in the life & pensions department. My main tasks included working on actuarial models using a specialist actuarial software. It involved working with VB and C++ code. The risk management side consisted of performing various sensitivity analyses. Other miscellaneous tasks involved working mainly on Excel and Word.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the work on modelling and risk management, but after a point I ran out of work and my team did not have anything to give me, so I ended up doing menial tasks.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team appreciated the long hours and the hard work that I would put in, when required. I was seen as a motivated person, always willing to help. My line manager really appreciated me, but after a point ( from my 8th month onwards) the lack of substantial work made me feel slightly less valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was excellent! I was given plenty of support and good explanations to my questions, whenever I got stuck. I was helped a lot whenever I struggled. All in all, a great experience with my manager!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the first 6 months of my placement, I was extremely busy and I really enjoyed it. However, in the last 6 months, my workload kept decreasing and towards the end I would get extremely bored due to lack of work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Working with models is somewhat a challenging task, so I always had to consult my manager about it. However, I learnt a lot from the work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My excel and VB skills have developed a lot , from last year for which I am very grateful to my team and this placement. I got an excellent opportunity to learn about an in-house actuarial software, so in that sense the purpose of my placement has been achieved. I have learnt valuable skills, which will help me in my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was extremely dull,with nobody talking much. This could be because the work was quite intensive and mentally challenging, so the team members had to really focus and concentrate on what they were doing, which is understandable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The fact that I started running out of work on a regular basis after my first 6 months proves to me that it was not a very well organised placement. Nevertheless, I have managed to improve my technical skills a lot and have gained an exposure to a professional environment.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Hardly. We were given tutorial sheets which we were asked to go through ourselves. However, I received a lot of help from my manager while I was doing the tasks.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The people are quite friendly, and the work is fairly relaxed. Therefore, it is a good company to work for, so that you get more time to relax and study for the actuarial exams. A good place to work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Everyone used to go to the local pub every Friday. People are generally friendly,nice and helpful. No trouble blending in.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The restaurants in the area are quite expensive, and not worth the cost.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was hardly any nightlife. The company is a bit far from the city centre.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?