Josephine O.

Part Qualified Pensions Actuary
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Josephine O.
Mathematics
Maths
Undergraduate
Goodricke
2012
United Kingdom

My employment

Part Qualified Pensions Actuary
Pension Protection Fund
United Kingdom
Finance and consultancy
Large business (250+ employees)
2020

More about Josephine

BAME student

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A day in the life of a Part Qualified Pensions Actuary in the United Kingdom

Reach out to people often, and expand your networks. Your biggest currency is your networking and your personality.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

The PPF was created to protect members if their defined benefits pension fund becomes insolvent.

What do you do?

Actuarial calculations relating to the pensions of member schemes and monitoring of investments. I help ensure members are treated fairly following the insolvency of their Pension provider.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Actuary is very mathematics based, so my degree definitely helped. My extracurricular activities volunteering and tutoring also helped me realise the importance of working for an organisation that aligns with my core values.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I knew I'd want to do something more finance related and probably in the city of London where the money is.
Initially I worked in York for just under 3 years in Life Insurance, then in Surrey for 2 years in Retirement related insurance and in London city centre in Group Performance for 1 year. Exploring the different areas and sectors helped me realise that I actually preferred something quieter and less corporate. This brought me to the Pensions Industry, which has given me a work life balance better than I've had in the 6 years I've been working in Industry.

Describe your most memorable day at work

My first day meeting my first manager. I was very nervous and very conscious of making a good impression. Once I relaxed, I realised how little was expected of me as a graduate! Much of the pressure we put on ourselves is usually unnecessary.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

My job often requires thinking outside of the box to get a task done. This usually requires maintaining strong and effective relationships with people and collaborating. This can be challenging when people have different priorities to yourself.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

My current work environment is very relaxed. My company are very concerned with maintaining the mental health of their employees and that is important to me.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

Working in a call centre
Volunteering in charity shops
Tutoring primary and secondary students.
All of the above massively helped me with my inter personal skills, and also as talking points in interviews.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I would love to one day tutor full time. Tutoring is something I really enjoy and wish I could do more of it.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Take advantage of your connections!
Reach out to people often, and expand your networks. Your biggest currency is your networking and your personality. People want people they know and like.
Join societies, go to parties you wouldn't usually, start a conversation with someone you wouldn't. Expand your network and it will pay dividends.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

It took me 2 years to get my first full time job, so I'd love to talk about the after uni job search.
I would also be happy to discuss moving cities, leaving home, mental health and dealing with a work life balance.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I'm happy to answer questions on other topics of interest also.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Josephine ’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Josephine a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Josephine to be your mentor.

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