Intellica Ltd - Michael Clark - Trainee Actuary

3rd August 2023

Michael Clark

Company: Intellica Ltd
Job Title: Trainee Actuary
Job Location: Liverpool
University: University of Oxford
University Course: Mathematics

Why did you choose this profession?
I have always been interested in Mathematics and Economics since my very early teens, and working as an actuary is one of the few jobs which involves using both directly and on a sophisticated scale. My stock answer to the question ‘What do you want to be when you are older?’ was always to say an actuary.

Working in pensions means that the work I produce not only goes a long way to help other companies, but also to help secure the livelihoods of pension scheme members; I find this highly rewarding.

How did you get your job at Intellica?
I worked as an Intern at Intellica from December 2020 to October 2021. At the time, the company did not have an actuarial division (though it did employ qualified actuaries). The CEO, Brendan Doherty, agreed to start up such a division and employ me as the first trainee in November 2021. 

What attracted to your role?
When I first joined Intellica as an Intern, it was clear to me that the CEO had not only very ambitious goals for the company, but also the means to achieve those goals. I believed that he could successfully train me as an actuary; what is more, I believed that he could teach me all about business and how to be an efficient businessman. 

Additionally, I found that there was so much innovation and positivity around Intellica, coupled with a strong  family feel – this precise feeling has remained despite the company growing considerably in recent times. 

All of this was enough for me to reject a more traditional actuarial role at a well-known and prestigious life insurance company in favour of working here. 

Is it a 9 to 5 job?
On average, I work from 9:00am to 5:30pm. Our hours are quite flexible at Intellica, though it is rare that my hours on a given day do not resemble something like a 9-9:15am start and a 5:15- 5:30pm end-of-day. 

What are your main duties?
I currently work in both GMP Rectification and GMP Equalisation projects. Broadly, these involve development of mathematical models in Excel and/or SQL, alongside some programming in VBA to allow for bulk calculations. I also have to both test that these models are working correctly and produce audit trails which document how they work. 

When not working, I am studying towards my exams. My study leave averages out to a day a week in the long-term

What skills are useful in this profession?
In working in an actuarial role in the pensions sector, it is important to have an inquisitive and open mind, alongside a thirst for knowledge. The sector is constantly evolving – with new legislation often comes new problems, and these new problems require new solutions. These solutions are driven not only by the underlying technology, but knowledge of precisely what needs to be solved and how this can be achieved. If you don’t have an open mind and sufficient pensions knowledge, then you risk new problems seeming too novel and too hard to master.

Of course, working in any actuarial role needs strong skills in mathematics and problem-solving; your day to day will generally involve problem solving and decision making with respect to developing mathematical models

What would you like to achieve in the future?
There are a few things; firstly, I would like to complete the actuarial exams as set by the IFoA (Institute and Faculty of Actuaries). 

I would also like to improve my knowledge of pensions and become more proficient at producing mathematical models. 

I am also keen to become a more proficient SQL and VBA programmer.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
Be resilient; it is not always an easy feat to both study towards your exams and work efficiently and effectively in your role in a given week. 

It is important to remember that the profession is fairly niche – indeed, few people have even heard of an ‘actuary’ – so it is important to seek out opportunities when and where they appear to help you decide if it’s the right career for you. It really can be difficult to get a sense of what an actuary does before, for example, an internship or a shadowing experience.

Previous Articles

Please click here to view all news articles

This website uses cookies. Read our cookie policy for more information. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Latest Job Listings