Actuarial Science student Rochelle Bally reflects on her Year in Industry at Aviva

Rochelle Bally

Rochelle Bally, BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry student, has just returned from her placement year, which she spent at Aviva.

Read on to find out about Rochelle’s role, the highlights of her placement and her plans for the future:

Why did you choose to study at Kent?
Of all the universities I applied to, Kent offered a pure actuarial course that was accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Additionally, the university was situated in a picturesque area and relatively close to the seaside!

Could you tell us about the support available when looking for a placement?
We were tremendously supported by the SMSAS Placements team, Nikki and Frances. They taught us a lot about CVs, cover letters and assessment days. They put a lot of effort into checking our CVs and sharing placement opportunities with us. They also taught us skills, such as using MS Excel, that they knew we’d use at work.

Where did you spend your placement year, and what was your role?
My placement was at Aviva and my role was just “Actuarial Placement” which was a little funny to me.

What were your main responsibilities/tasks?
I was on the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Production Team. More specifically, I worked on producing the non-profit balance sheet. My most important tasks were done quarterly, which is when we compiled financial results for the last three months. I would work with my team to calculate reserves and produce summaries. I also did monthly tasks like calculating policy counts, compiling market data and assisting with process development.

What was the highlight of your placement?
Meeting my teammates and having a team lunch during the last month of my placement, after a year of working from home, was definitely the best part! My teammates all came to the office to meet me specifically, which made me feel very special.

What are your plans for the future?
Honestly, I am still a little unsure but I am passionate about sustainability so I am looking for a graduate role in sustainable finance. However, if that isn’t possible, I am aiming for an Actuarial Trainee role at a company that would sponsor my actuarial exams to qualify as an actuary under the IFoA.

What advice would you give to students considering taking a placement year?
I believe that having confidence in your assessment centres and interviews is extremely important! When doing applications, ensure that they are of high quality by doing proper research on the company and spending enough time constructing your answers.