Helena
University: Imperial College London
Degree: MSc Physics
Current job title: Senior Analyst
Why did you decide to join Aon?

I knew that I wanted to make the most of the analytical skills I had developed at university by putting these to practical use and qualifying as an Actuary. I wanted the breadth of experience and client contact that a consultancy offered, before having to decide on a specialisation in a particular field.

Aon stood out from other companies. The project work is incredibly varied and client focused. Since starting I’ve worked on projects ranging from the ‘bread and butter’ of general insurance actuarial work (reserving and pricing) to more specialist solvency capital projects. This means I’ve had experience across the spectrum of general insurance actuarial work, something I could not expect elsewhere.

The team I joined was also a key factor in choosing Aon. Everyone was sociable with very varied international backgrounds, and a great mix of actuarial, banking or supervisory experience. The friendly and open atmosphere is important too, as it helps get a good job done, means I learn a lot and makes the working week much more enjoyable.

What have you learnt from your time at Aon?

Since joining Aon, I’ve learned a lot. Coming from a non-financial and non-actuarial background, as a Physics graduate, I knew the learning curve would be steep. The invaluable support from my team, as well as the Graduate Programme, has been so important in building the foundations for my career. Not only have I developed my technical skills over the last few years, but I’ve also learnt how these fit in with the global insurance picture, keeping our work in context.

My job involves both day-to-day client work and study towards progressing through my actuarial exams. By working at Aon, I‘ve been able to put the theoretical knowledge gained from my studies to practical use for a variety of clients and projects, bolstering my understanding of the key actuarial concepts. Aon also offers comprehensive study support, with study days and materials. This has meant that I’ve managed to progress well through the exams.

Our team has a strong focus on technical development, supported by regular formal training sessions and coaching during project delivery. So all this, plus the hands-on project experience, has helped grow my understanding of the work an Actuarial Consultant does. I continue to develop the softer skills that make a good consultant, together with the confidence to present and defend my analysis to senior colleagues and clients. The key skill of being able to explain analysis to clients and manage their expectations is vital to being a good Actuarial Consultant.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken on more responsibility to manage projects, as well as small teams, in order to address clients’ needs while delivering results on time and within budget. Aon’s ethos of building unmatched teams and developing internal talent gives me a real opportunity to learn and progress my career. By trusting me to take the lead on certain aspects of a project, as well as being the primary client contact, I have been able to build relationships with both clients and colleagues in other areas of the business too.

Anna
University: ENSIMAG - French Grande Ēcole
Degree: Financial Engineering
Current job title: Analyst
Why did you decide to join Aon?

As part of my university degree, I needed to complete a six-month Internship in a corporate environment. I was looking for a position that would enable me to put my analytical skills into practice and provide the opportunity for client contact.

While researching the different opportunities and organisations, I discovered that Aon would be a great place to join for my first professional experience. The A&A Team delivers projects in a wide variety of areas, such as reserving, pricing, capital modelling and Solvency Capital Requirement. Moreover, being a consultancy, every project is unique. Therefore, the need to adapt quickly is paramount in order to meet the client’s needs effectively and efficiently. As such, you are able to develop skills that extend beyond the technical boundaries of the role.

In June 2013, I joined Aon and by the end of the Internship I was able to further enhance the skills I acquired at university and develop a vast number of new ones, both technical and otherwise. Through the time I spent with the team, I came to realise that they were friendly and sociable and each individual team member was happy to give me advice and answer any questions I had.

The unique ethos at Aon, matched my own and as a result of my experience on the Internship, I decided to join the Graduate Programme.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day typically starts around 9am and finishes at 6pm but this may vary depending on workload. I utilise both my technical and softer business skills on a daily basis. For example, not only do we have to deal with mathematical issues, but we are also required to present this to the client in a clear and simple manner.

In addition to my day-to-day role, I am currently studying towards my professional actuarial qualification. This means that I have to manage my time effectively to ensure that I strike the right balance between completing my daily tasks and preparing for the exams. A number of my colleagues are also in the process of gaining their actuarial qualifications which creates an excellent support network for everyone within the team. This is further enhanced by the support that Aon provides in terms of allocated study days as well as financial support towards the exams.