In this blog, Chloe Hung, Amazon best-selling author, gives tips on the best way to take advantage of all the resources available at your university and how this can make a difference to the start of your actuarial career.
If you are currently pursuing an actuarial science degree at a university, then it’s essential you fully utilise your university’s resources. This can help save you time and money during the length of your actuarial journey.
As you may already know, the actuarial exams are crucial if you want to become a qualified actuary. Since the IFoA grants you exam exemptions, be sure to fully utilise this advantage at your current university. Check in with your academic team to determine which modules are eligible for exam exemptions under the IFoA. Then, aim to take as many of those as possible during the duration of your actuarial degree at the university. You want to fully maximise the number of exemptions before you graduate university.
The trick to maximising the number of exemptions you get is to plan your semester’s subjects carefully. Many students overwhelm themselves by taking too many difficult subjects in one semester. As a result, they fail to obtain the minimum grade needed to gain the exam exemption from the IFoA. Try to have a balance between tough and easy actuarial subjects. This gives you more time to focus and work on the difficult subjects. Plus, you stand a higher chance of scoring a better grade in each of your subjects this way.
Exams aside, you will also need a strong peer support group as an actuarial student. The actuarial journey is long and tough. Having a community of other actuarial students around you will help you stay motivated when the going gets difficult. Therefore, be active and join in the actuarial societies or student groups in your university. This gives you the opportunity to form study groups, seek help from your seniors if you are struggling with a particular subject or even get helpful advice when it comes to job hunting.
The actuarial industry is becoming more and more competitive these days. It’s extremely difficult to land a full-time actuarial job if you were to only rely on your academic achievements. Hence, always be on the look-out for any career fairs or networking events organised by your university. This is the best place for you to start building your actuarial network.
I would also recommend you consult your university’s career services for feedback on your CV. This is the cheapest way for you as a student to get a professional review of your CV before submitting it to your potential employer. You should also consider working with your university’s career service to create your own personal career plan for life after graduation. This will help you prepare and transition smoothly into the workforce.
Last but not least, be sure to build good relationships with your academic advisors and lecturers in the university. Their guidance and support will help you tremendously in your actuarial journey. If you are ever struggling with a particular subject or need some professional advice in regards to the actuarial profession, don’t be shy and pay your lecturers a visit during their office hours. I am sure your lecturers will be more than happy to help you out.
Finally, if you have the time and interest, volunteer to become a student mentor at your university. Offer your help to other students who may be struggling with a particular actuarial exam. You may also volunteer to become a student assistant or grader for your lecturers if they are looking for one. This is a great way to build up on your leadership skills and boost your understanding of a particular subject matter.