Interview with Nikita Prabhu - General Insurance Actuary

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Ques 1: Why did you choose Actuarial Science as a career? Ans: I came to know about Actuarial Science when I was in high school from my father who is an insurance agent. He showed me the Ready reckoner for premium rates and told me that ‘actuaries’ were behind the mathematics of it. I researched the profession and found it quite fascinating. I could apply the knowledge gained from the study of mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance to solve a range of real-world problems. It seemed highly rewarding. Ques 2: How is it like to work in both consulting and core Insurance based company environments? Ans: I was fortunate to start my career in consulting with Ernst & Young. Early on in my career, I got exposure to the different fields that actuaries work in, such as life insurance, employee benefits and general insurance. This initial experience aroused my curiosity towards general insurance (GI) and hence I chose to become a GI actuary. In a consulting firm, you get the

Interview with Chelsea Adler - Pricing Actuary

Interview with Chelsea Adler

Ques 1: Why did you choose Actuarial Science as a career?

Answer: I was initially drawn to the actuarial profession because I love math and statistics. However, what really sold me was the collaboration and variety of work. No day is the same and I love getting to partner with individuals throughout an organization to accomplish shared goals.

Ques 2: According to you, how important is it to keep yourself updated regarding latest market trends? And how you keep yourself updated?

Answer: It’s essential! When your job involves predicting the future, it’s important to take in all the relevant information. To stay up to date on the latest trends, I regularly attend continuing education sessions, read actuarial publications and investigate emerging hot topics.

Ques 3: What are your roles and responsibilities in your current role so that our readers will know what type of work they will do once qualified.

Answer: I currently work as a Senior Pricing Manager and Actuary at Root Inc. I specialize in evaluating risk and developing rating plans for home and auto insurance. My team partners with our Data Science, Product, and Engineering teams to analyze the impacts of rating enhancements. We then prepare filings and work closely with state departments of insurance to get our new rates approved and into market.




Ques 4: If you want to hire a college graduate, what type of skills are you looking for in a candidate?

Answer: For an entry level actuarial position, it’s important to demonstrate strong analytical and problem solving skills, in addition to proficiency with computer programs such as Excel, SQL and R/Python. Leadership, team work and communication are also essential. Especially in a start-up environment, it’s important to learn quickly and adapt easily to changes. Finally, I think the most successful candidates demonstrate passion and initiative to fight for what they believe in.

Ques 5: How did you manage your work-life-study balance while giving exams? What are the tips you can give to actuarial aspirants?

Answer: The best advice I can give is to make a plan for how you’ll spend your time and ruthlessly stick to it. It’s extremely important to establish your priorities early on. You will have to make sacrifices to pass actuarial exams and excel at work. Even if you do everything right, there may be times that things don’t pan out the way you had hoped. So decide what matters most in your life and don’t sacrifice those priorities. The actuarial profession is a marathon, not a sprint. Work hard but enjoy and appreciate each lesson along the journey.

Ques 6: What’s your view on learning programming languages for actuarial students? Which one is your favourite and why?

Answer: It is necessary for actuaries to pull, manipulate and analyze data effectively. Often it’s essential to learn a programming language such as R or Python to do that. I don’t have a strong preference towards one in particular, but I’ve been impressed with some of the visualizations that can be created with R. Plus it certainly handles large volumes of data more efficiently than Excel.

Ques 7: What kept you motivated throughout your actuarial journey and getting credentials i.e. FCAS and MAAA?

Answer: From a young age, I’ve felt called to become an actuary. I believe the Lord blessed me with skills that align well with the profession and I want to honour him by working hard to use those talents for good. When faced with failure along my journey, I was fortunate to have support and encouragement from friends and family to keep pressing on. They reminded me that I am loved and cared for regardless of my performance. This freedom allowed me to keep persevering without fear of failure.

Ques 8: Now that you have cleared your actuarial exams. What do you do in your free time?

Answer: In addition to spending more quality time with friends and family, I’m passionate about giving back. I’m grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve received along my journey. To support and inspire other actuaries, I launched a blog at InspiringActuaries.com. I spend my free time creating content to raise awareness of the actuarial profession and to provide resources for those interested in pursuing a career as an actuary.

Ques 9: What will be the future of actuaries in the upcoming 5-10 years according to you?

Answer: In the future, I see actuaries working in a wider variety of settings. The lines between actuaries and data scientists will continue to blur. More actuaries will sit in positions of leadership at companies.

Ques 10: What are some tips which you would like to give to young students and budding actuarial professionals?

Answer: If you don’t already have a mentor, find one! Having someone to look up to and seek advice from is invaluable. Not only will this person provide motivation and accountability, but they can also share wisdom on mistakes to avoid and opportunities to pursue. Ask for what you want! It’s always a no unless you ask. If there’s a particular project you’re interested in working on or an opportunity you’re passionate about, tell your boss about it. If he/she knows what you want to work on, they can advocate for you when opportunities arise. You’re much more likely to have a fulfilling career if your vocal and proactive about what you want to do. 


Note: If you are a qualified actuary and want to share your views. Contact us at actuarysense@gmail.com

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