BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science with a Foundation Year student Daniel Eyre chatted to us about his experiences on his degree, the Invicta Actuarial student society, and his plans for the future!
Why did you choose to study a foundation year at Kent?
I discovered my passion for actuarial science during A-level’s, knowing that I could incorporate elements of statistics and economics was a great appeal. Furthermore, having an A-level Maths tutor who was a former actuary was largely beneficial when learning about the day-to-day responsibilities that came with an actuarial role. After a number of enlightening discussions with my tutor, I began researching Universities offering an actuarial science course. From this research the University of Kent stood out to me as the majority of lecturers on this programme are IFoA accredited and therefore able to incorporate a wealth of industry experience into their lectures. Upon receiving my A-level results, I didn’t achieve the grades I was expecting and therefore wasn’t able to gain direct entry into the actuarial science course. By achieving a C in A-level Maths, I knew that a foundation year at Kent would ensure that I reached the required A grade standard that the technical elements in this course demands. Grateful for being offered a route into studying a field I had a particular interest in, I believe the foundation year at Kent prepared me with the knowledge and skills to not only make the most out of my degree but also to ensure that I achieve the best result possible.
How well do you think the foundation year prepared you for the rest of your programme?
The foundation year at Kent was great preparation towards the rest of my programme as it proved to me that I could cope with the workload that the demanding actuarial science course offers. Providing a smooth and accurate balance between A-Level and University teaching difficulty, I was not only able to improve on my mathematical capabilities but also create a strong network with the actuarial science lecturers at the University of Kent. Having built up the confidence and being able to identify which lecturer to approach was a great benefit in putting any problems to bed early on and ensured that I made a strong start to the remainder of my degree programme.
What was the highlight of your foundation year?
Having put in great dedication and perseverance during my foundation year studies, I was particularly pleased that my hard work had paid off. By not only achieving a distinction in my foundation year and a score of 95% in my statistics module, I also managed to retake my A-level maths improving from a C to an A grade. This ensured that I am able to be considered for a wider audience of employers who require an A grade at maths A-level (particularly prevalent in the actuarial field). From this experience I couldn’t speak highly enough regarding the quality of teaching I’ve experienced at the University of Kent. With lecturers showing a genuine interest in my goals, I have been given invaluable support and guidance throughout my foundation year which ultimately turned a setback into a great success!
Have you done any extra-curricular activities at Kent?
During my time at the University of Kent, I took part in a range of societies as it was a great way of meeting new people, trying new things and really making the most out of my university experience. One of particular interest to me was the Invicta actuarial society. Aside from having various social events such as pub crawls and quizzes, there were also frequently organised talks by senior lecturers and industry professionals providing invaluable insights into the actuarial field. This was majorly beneficial when looking to improve my commercial awareness and knowledge on latest industry topics in line for job/internship interviews. I also took part in a range of other societies to give myself a break from studying including Poker, Ultimate frisbee and tennis. What really surprised me about these societies and many more is how welcoming they are. It really doesn’t matter what your skill-level is, if you are open to trying new things then you will feel valued as a member of the society you join. There are also many employment opportunities at the University of Kent from the campus library to the many different restaurants located on the University campus. During my degree, I had a part-time role at Hut-8, one of the many restaurants open to Kent students. This was a great way to provide financial aid towards my studies and living costs ensuring that my university experience wasn’t restricted. Having a part-time role located on campus meant that the walk to work was only 5-10 minutes from my campus accommodation. As a result, this made it effortless to fit my working schedule around my lectures also based on campus.
What are your career plans? What do you hope to do in the future?
Due to graduate from the University of Kent with a First-class Honours in actuarial science, I am now in the process of applying to numerous jobs. Through this process, the University of Kent has offered great support from practice interviews to listening to my prepared presentations for assessment centres and giving constructive feedback. Having just been through and waiting to hear back from an assessment centre, I believe that my performance at job interviews has noticeably improved due to the services provided by the careers and employability service at the University of Kent!
If I am unable to receive a job offer, I plan to further my studies at the University of Kent having reflected on my positive experience throughout my degree. By taking on the applied actuarial science masters, I believe this is a great opportunity to tackle the actuarial exams without the added pressures of having a full-time job and ensure that I gain the additional exemptions to quicken the process of achieving my aspiration to become a fully qualified actuary.