Wei looks back on his experience studying BSc Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
Tell us about your degree.
I did an Actuarial Science degree at the University of Kent. Actuaries are specialists in solving business problems using mathematical and statistical skills. It is also a well respected profession with good career prospects. For instance, you can find Actuaries in many industries such as insurance, pension and investment.
I chose to be an Actuary due to my love for mathematics and I have not looked back since.
What attracted you to Kent?
Kent is one of the best universities in the UK for Actuarial Science. It is fully accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) in the UK; therefore offering graduates with exemptions from the IFoA exams. My degree at Kent had smoothed my path to be a fully qualified Actuary.
I was also attracted to the opportunity of doing a placement year as part of my degree. After completed my second year at the university, I managed to secure a one-year work experience at a life insurer in the UK. This experience was invaluable and had certainly increased my chance of getting a job after graduation.
Canterbury, where Kent is based, is also a beautiful city with lot of shops and restaurants. It is only about an hour train journey away from London but with cheaper living cost compared to London.
What do you think of the campus and facilities?
Kent has a very beautiful campus where student accommodation, teaching facilities and leisure activities are all located in close proximity. I liked this “self-contained village” style of campus as I was always surrounded by students; this provided me with a very good environment to focus on my studies.
In addition to studies, I had a lot of fun joining some of the clubs and societies at Kent. I liked Malaysian and Bruneian society the most as I enjoyed eating Malaysian foods during our Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Hari Raya celebrations.
What about the lecturers?
I liked the fact that most of my lecturers are professional Actuaries with practical working experience. Compared to traditional academic lecturers, my lecturers were able to provide additional insight into the working life of an Actuary. I had received plenty of help and advice from the lecturers on both my career and studies. I advise all students to approach the lecturers for this “extra” support in their journeys to be a fully qualified Actuary.
I am still keeping in touch with some of the lecturers for additional guidance on my career even though I have graduated from Kent for almost 10 years.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
I am currently a fully qualified Actuary working in the general insurance industry in the UK. Actuaries tend to work in the Pricing, Reserving and Capital Modelling departments of a general insurer. I have mostly worked in the Pricing function where I built mathematical and statistical models to predict the premiums for an insurance policy.
Most recently, I worked as a Data Scientist for an insurer where I built models using some of the most advanced machine learning techniques.