Actuarial and Benefits Intern Review

by Hymans Robertson

This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • I worked in the Actuarial and Benefits Practice in Hymans' Glasgow office. I found it to be a fascinating insight in to the work of an actuary within pensions. I found the work I was given to be intellectually stimulating, and I thoroughly enjoyed the social aspects of the job as well.


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • The culture at Hymans Robertson is very friendly and open, and I found that many colleagues made an effort to introduce themselves to me throughout my internship. Further, everyone in the firm, including Partners, were highly approachable and always willing to take the time to give me advice or help me with the work I was doing. I felt at home from day one, and this allowed me to perform to the best of my abilities with the tasks that I was given. Further, there was a close-knit group of student actuaries across practices in the office, who I went out with after work and met up for lunch. I felt very welcomed in to this group and really enjoyed spending time with like-minded people.


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • My Team Leader was always on hand to offer advice when needed, and was also proactive in making sure that I was comfortable with what I was doing. This was essential to me settling in quickly, and I felt valued even as an intern. Additionally, other members of the team were always on hand to offer advice or pass on work if necessary. The open office facilitated this as well; even the highest ranking members of the firm sat amongst everyone else, meaning that advice for my project was available from industry leaders. My project adviser was also always on hand for a quick chat or deeper discussion, and his openness and friendliness was another important factor in making me feel at ease.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • I found the work to be satisfyingly challenging. I was given a number of different tasks throughout the summer, and also worked within two different teams, giving me a deeper appreciation of the day-to-day work involved in the job. Virtually from day one, I did client work and felt that I made a very worthwhile contribution to the Practice. I was also given a project for the summer, building a Scottish Pension Index for public firms based in Scotland. This report was published after I left and received featured coverage in national newspapers. I was immensely proud to have contributed towards the report. The combination of all these different activities kept me stimulated and made the days fly in quickly. Most importantly, the work I undertook was valuable, giving me a strong sense of fulfilment.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • As I mentioned in the previous section, I was given various activities over the internship, the majority being direct client work. I felt trusted and valued by the firm vey early on, and the fact that I was given a range of responsibilities made me feel confident in executing them. It certainly never felt like anyone had to make up work to keep me occupied - there was always valuable work to undertake, allowing me to make a meaningful contribution. I was given a lot of freedom in how I went about my project, and this trust again engendered confidence in my own abilities. That being said, I also never felt overwhelmed by the tasks set, so in this sense it was the perfect balance.


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • Aside from practical experience in the work of an actuary, I gained vital experience in time management and organisation through the variety of tasks I was given. Most importantly, I learnt soft skills in communication and interacting with colleagues and clients. Being able to see first hand how senior members of the firm operated gave me a great insight in to how to present myself and handle relationships. These skills are clearly essential in the world of work. The project experience also gave me the tools to be able to tackle difficult coursework in my final year at university, and I believe I got better grades as a result. The culture at Hymans Robertson has also left a lasting impression on me. It emphasised the importance of fostering a collaborative and open atmosphere when working in teams. People work better when they feel valued and comfortable in their environment, and this is an important lesson to take with me in life.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • As I've mentioned, there was very open and friendly atmosphere in the office, and I felt that I have made lasting relationships with many people I worked with. Obviously there was serious work to be done, but the environment was a good balance between that and making time to get to know workmates and work on tasks together.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • From the beginning to the end, the HR department and my own practice made every effort to ensure that I got the most out of my internship. I touched base with HR at various points throughout the internship, again making me feel highly valued.


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • I learnt a huge amount about various issues affecting the industry while working for Hymans Robertson, and was also given hands-on training in various tasks that were set. Most importanty, colleagues were always on hand to offer assistance.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Flexi Time

    Subsidised Canteen

    Sports and Social Club

    Company Car

    Subsidised/Company Gym

    National Travel

    International Travel

    Financial Bonus

    Company Parties/Events

    Staff Sales/Staff Shop

    Above 25 days holiday

    Working from home

    Healthcare from home


    Travel loan


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • I will be working in the London office this coming September, and I am very much looking forward to getting started.


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • As I mentioned in the previous answer, there was always opportunities to go out after work with workmates and to go out for lunch during the work day as well. There is a real collegiate atmosphere within the firm.


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • A night out in Glasgow is great value for money, and a great time too.


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • Glasgow is a fantastic night out, whether in the city centre or more relaxed West End. There is a real vitality in the city, and so much going on all the time.


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • I took part in a charity 'away day' with the firm, and there were also sports clubs running throughout my time there.


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Internship (1 Month+)


May 2014

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