For me it’s always been important to have a connection between academia and the professional world. Although I liked the specialization of academia, I wanted to work on real-world problems. As a consultant at Milliman, you have a huge spectrum of challenges and so many different topics to address. I knew it was where I wanted to be.
I was an actuary in Austria before I started my PhD program in Switzerland. I was always interested in theory and in expanding my technical skills. Staying in academia, however, was not an interesting option for me as I really enjoy working with people on a wide variety of topics.
I wasn’t familiar with Milliman at first, but I did some online research and after meeting with the Zurich office, I realized Milliman is different from other consulting companies. It’s a different structure—not a hierarchy as in other consulting companies. There’s a lot of flexibility. You don’t have to focus on just one thing, although you can if you like. But you can change that focus, which keeps it interesting. At that point, I decided Milliman was the place for me.
I really like my job. I work with people around the globe. Our office region covers Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, and Germany, but we also do work with other European countries and the U.S. and Asia. We’re part of a big global firm but we work within a small network that makes life easy. It’s like a family.
Insurance companies in the European Union and Switzerland are facing two major challenges due to the new Solvency regimes. The first is documentation and validation of all their internal models, ensuring they conform to the regulations. The second is automating all their actuarial processes. The companies just don’t have enough capacity to complete these tasks on top of to their day-to-day operations. This is where Milliman can help. Our teams focus on modeling support, documentation, and validation.
I’m currently on-site at a big insurance company in Germany, doing project management for the company’s industrialization. I’m supporting them with the design of the user interface and the development of their new actuarial processes. It’s really interesting and fulfilling work.
Milliman’s typical approach to addressing client needs is simple. They tell us, and we listen. That’s what also happened in the case of the German project I’m working on now. It was clear from the beginning that there was no one-size-fits-all solution for them nor did we try to sell them one. Because we were highly involved and showed we really wanted to understand their needs in order to make the right decisions, they also asked us to support them during the implementation. It’s now been 12 months and the project just keeps growing. I’m really considered a member of their team and this makes the work enjoyable and the cooperation fruitful.
The Milliman approach is different because we really are focused on our clients. Only after we fully understand all their needs and wants and all the relevant issues do we try to make our pitch. We don’t want to sell the easy solution—we want to sell the best solution.