Case study

Business Analyst — Vibha Raj

Vibha studied for a BSc in Financial Mathematics at the University of Nottingham. Her love of problem solving lead her to join the actuarial profession. She now works for Legal & General, London

What do Legal & General do?

Legal & General (L&G) offer a variety of financial services including products such as life insurance, general insurance, pensions and investments.

How did you get your job?

I was searching for jobs during my last year at university and remembered meeting an actuary at sixth form.

My interest in this profession lead me to apply online for the L&G graduate scheme and after online tests, telephone interviews and an assessment centre I was offered a place on the programme.

What was the interview process like?

The telephone interview comprised of competency-based questions and more general ones about L&G in general.

At the assessment centre the interview contained competency-based questions, but mostly they want to know more about you as a person, and what motivates you to succeed.

What's a typical day like?

I work for Pension Risk Transfer and we have a variety of ongoing projects to provide quotes for schemes that are looking for de-risking solutions.

The quotation process covers data checks, to coding the pricing engine with scheme-specific rules, to using a range of models to asses our capital requirements for taking on the risk.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The team I work with have made me feel at home, and have given me plenty of support, help, and knowledge. I couldn't have asked for a better one.

Every case is unique as well, which keeps the job interesting.

What are the challenges?

My first few weeks in the role were a steep learning curve. There was a lot of jargon and a lot of the concepts were new to me, but the more questions I asked, the quicker I began to understand the pricing process.

Deadlines can also become tight as finalising the quote can become an iterative process. It's a fast-paced role, but it's never boring.

How do you manage the work/life balance?

Studying, working and maintaining the other aspects of life can be tricky at times. A good study timetable is really useful to not only ensure you do enough for the exams, but to also make sure you have enough free time social activities.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I hope to expand my knowledge across a variety of sectors, building on the foundation I'm developing in L&G Retirement.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actuaries?

Be enthusiastic, show a desire to learn, show dedication and passion to keep developing your professional skills and knowledge.

Where interviews are concerned, be prepared. For competency-based questions it's good to have a few examples lined up. Don't be afraid to take a few seconds to think before you answer a question.

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