I'm an associate in the London Life practice. I use models and spreadsheets to try to measure the probability of future events and estimate associated risk. This is then used for a variety of purposes, from determining what reserves a life company may need to hold to meet their future liabilities, to how profitable writing new business is likely be.
I've worked on wide variety of projects, from statutory valuation work and QIS5 calculations to model development, and even independent expert and expert witness assignments.
Our work directly affects policyholders. Firms use our reports and results when considering what bonus rates to declare and how much money to hold in reserve and whether or not to continue writing new business.
There is still quite a lot of uncertainty surrounding the markets following the "credit crunch." Add to this the ongoing development of Solvency II—a new set of regulatory requirements for insurance firms that operate in the European Union—and you can see why actuaries are so sought after at the moment.
What is unique about Milliman's culture is that you feel really involved in the work. Even as a student, you are encouraged to come to meetings and discuss how projects are going, attend talks at conferences, and attend client meetings.
I'm currently working my way through the actuarial exams, which is my main focus at the moment. Most of my other work goals—taking on more responsibility and getting involved in new projects—are related to this.
The team I work with is friendly, a good laugh, and extremely knowledgeable. If you're ever stuck for an explanation or don't know how to go about a problem, they'll have an answer for you. There is always someone with enough time available to help you out with a piece of work. I honestly think I get on well with everyone in our office, and I'm sure the rest of the office feel the same way.
When I'm not working (or studying), I play a lot of football and do a lot of running. I've done a couple of half marathons and 10K races and am hoping to run a full marathon soon. I've also recently taken up boxing, and a group of us at the office decided to try fencing for a while. We've also entered a five-a-side football league and play one night a week after work.