Sinead Clark

At Milliman, you begin to learn from day one. You will be working on a team made up of a mix of students and recently qualified and senior actuaries, so you will learn different techniques from different people. There will always be someone available to answer your questions no matter how big or small—we all remember what it was like to be a student actuary!

My place in the team evolved as I progressed through my actuarial exams and eventually qualified. I used to run actuarial projection models, but now I have more of a project manager role. This involves training junior students and reviewing their work, discussing results with the senior actuaries on my team, and ultimately delivering the final results to our clients.

As a Life consulting actuary, a lot of the work I do involves valuing policyholder liabilities, but my job varies daily. Working on a wide variety of projects has provided me with many opportunities to increase my knowledge base and expertise. Recently, I have been involved in embedded-value calculations, product development, financial projections, due diligence, and various Solvency II projects.

My most immediate goal is to become a signing authority. This would mean that I would have more responsibility, as I would be signing off on projects.

Risk management is becoming more and more important as a result of the financial crisis. Although risk management is not a traditional actuarial discipline, actuarial consultants have the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the risks that our clients are currently exposed to, and to assess the risks that they may face in the future.

The Dublin office has more than 15 years of experience in the Irish and European insurance markets. We have helped set up many of our cross-border life insurance companies in Ireland and continue to work with them today. In addition to being experts in our region, we have access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise at a global level, which is becoming increasingly important.

Over the past couple of years, the number of employees in the Dublin office has grown significantly. When I started there were only three actuarial students; now there are almost 15. Knowledge is shared among the staff so that you can direct a question to almost anyone and they will be able to offer you some help.

Milliman's culture is unique because the company is owned by the employees. This creates a very open and relaxed working environment, as everyone benefits from the company's success at the end of the day.

My clients make important decisions based on the results of the work I do. Therefore, it is important that my work is of the highest standard to provide my clients with the right information to make these decisions. This is particularly important when the decisions can have a large financial impact on the company, as with M&A projects, for example.

I never expected that I would write so many reports and memos. I assumed that as an actuary I would always be working with numbers, but I learned quickly that the numbers are useless by themselves—it's the commentary surrounding the numbers that is most important to our clients.

To keep fit, I run and play on our office’s tag rugby team during the summer. We're not very good, but it's the taking part that matters.

I am taking a seven-month sabbatical in June this year to go travelling around Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. That's a pretty good work/life balance!