Sample Essay on Career Development for a Prospective Actuarial Manager

Career Development for a Prospective Actuarial Manager

Introduction

Traditionally, the actuary profession is widely recognized for its top quality in the business risk control. This profession has developed through strict application of mathematics in solving business risks. Actuaries are number crunchers. However, this profession has more at stake the crunching numbers. Actuaries are trained to be good mathematicians and problem solvers, especially in business. They use their innovative thinking ability, and mathematical prowess to manage the business risks, especially those dealing with finances and life contingencies.

According to Szabo (2012, p. 15), professional actuaries have specialized skills and abilities in analyzing business financial risks. They use a combination of financial theory, mathematics, and statistics to mitigate uncertain future financial risks to the business. Actuaries primarily evaluate and determine the likelihood of unpredictable financial risks and design a creative mechanism for minimizing the impact of such risks on the business. Due to their roles of risk control, actuaries have become very talented professionals. In this paper, I provide documentation of my potential as a prospective actuarial manager. I will create my proposed career development path that would enable me rise to a top management position in the actuarial profession.

2.1 My Management Skills Performance

Assessing and evaluating my managerial skills performance is essential. This involves reflecting and evaluating my previous personal performances. It also involves discovering how I can improve my skill performances either through skills development. To assess my skills performance, I need to collaborate with other people who can identify my personal weaknesses and strengths. I also need to find out the available information and support that I can use to develop a plan for fulfilling my professional aspirations.

I see myself as having the appropriate business management skills required by the actuarial profession. Business management skill is essential in this complex business profession. This skill enables all actuaries to be managers despite their positions and job roles in the company. As an actuarial manager, I have my own set of skills, abilities, and traits.

The key to effective business management is whether the person is a good leader. In other words, sound business management requires effective leadership ability. Leadership and management go hand in hand because a manager is a leader. I consider myself as having sound leadership ability, which compliments my business managerial skills. In particular, I have the ability to give sound leadership direction to other employees through my wise advice and guidance.

As a prospective actuarial manager, I consider myself as having the required management skill in this profession. My skills combinations truly translates into effective management and leadership potential. I have expressly shown these management skills and abilities during school education. During my college and university education, I was actively engaged in some leadership positions. The positions helped develop and perfect my management and leadership skills and abilities. I will continue to develop them at my workplace.

Even after leaving school a year ago, I still demonstrate my sound leadership and management skills and abilities in my place of work. At my workplace, I have several responsibilities that I have continuously performed well. My boss and other managers uphold my strong management and leadership skills. That is why they have trusted me with several different responsibilities at the organization.

As explained by Martinez (2007, p. 11), effective and good business managers have the inner ability to motivate, inspire and encourage others. These qualities speak of me. Many people at the college including teachers openly expressed these sentiments. These three qualities qualify me as an effective perspective actuarial manager. Using these qualities, I can make fellow employees more productive, which is necessary for business management. I encourage employees to perform their work at their best. Business managers must be good decision makers. In understands that as a manager, the decisions that I make hugely impact on the business.

As an actuarial manager, I possess strong strategic planning skills. I have the ability to plan the business activities strategically. As a business manager, I need to be compassionate, understanding, and respectful of all employees irrespective of their conditions. Actuarial management also requires strong business acumen. I love everything that is business oriented. I strongly believe in my management. While undertaking my undergraduate studies at the university, I not only inspired but also motivated and encouraged many students.

2.2 Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

Actuaries undergo through competitive professional training that requires a definite set of skills and abilities. As a prospective actuarial manager, I realize that I have both my strengths and weaknesses that would either build or destroy my career in actuarial science. In general, my strengths outweigh my weaknesses.

My primary strength is the strong mathematical skills. Mathematics is a necessity for actuarial professional. I am privileged to be a mathematic acumen. Since, primary education, my mathematics performance has never slacked. According to an explanation by Szabo (2012, p. 20), the actuarial profession is firmly rooted in strong mathematical foundations. During my education, from ordinary to tertiary level, my performance in mathematics has been outstanding. The actuarial profession requires specialized math knowledge. Essential elements of mathematics required include calculus, statistics, probability, and actuarial data processing.

I also possess keen analytical skills. The actuarial profession requires keen analytical skills coupled with project management skills. The two skills combined give me additional strength to be a successful prospective actuarial manager. I also privilege to have reliable problem-solving skills. This skill is vital for the career in actuarial profession because it is also about solving the business’s financial problems. My other strengths include good business sense, solid communication skills, and computer skills.

However, I have some weaknesses that might be detrimental to my business career development. First, I take cognizance of the fact that I do not have comprehensive accounting skills. The fact that I have not undertaken accounting studies will certainly jeopardize my career prospects in actuarial science, especially in the broader business sense. Besides, I need to study more about macroeconomics and international finance.

Opportunities

The actuarial profession presents to me several opportunities to become a top business manager in a competitive environment. The growing demand in this profession is actually an evidence of the numerous opportunities available all over the world. This has resulted from the significant roles actuaries plays in the business community. Many factors make actuaries essential at the workplace. First, they perform the primary concern of most businesses, which is mitigation of financial risks. Business owners want to prevent, control, or minimize the impact of financial risks.

The foremost significant opportunity in this profession is presented in the insurance sector. Insurance is the leading employer of actuarial professionals. In this industry, actuaries perform different roles including analyzing, investigating, evaluating, as well as explaining numerical information. They also use a combination of diferent information for the development of premiums as well as price policies. They also use the financial information to determine the amount that the company needs to set aside to meet all the anticipated claims.

The insurance industry is expanding, as it slowly becomes a necessity in our everyday life. Governments across the world have put different laws that necessitate people to insure their properties and items. Health insurance and motor vehicle insurance are rapidly growing businesses. Insurance and it touches on many important aspects of human life. This continues to create bountiful opportunities in the insurance industry for actuarial professions.

Threats

There are serious threats of competition in this lucrative profession. However, the competition is not stiff like other business professions such as accounting and finance. This is because there are few qualified professional actuaries all over the world. Actuaries may face competition for employment and business opportunities from other professions such as Financial Engineers, MBAs, and CFAs.

Another threat to the actuarial profession is the availability of many professional bodies. These bodies regulate the profession differently and are confined to a given region. The two major actuarial professional bodies are the Society of Actuary and the Institute of Actuaries.

2.3 Objectives and Targets for my Career Development

My objectives and targets for a career developed is set and prioritized in this profession. I want to start my actuarial profession as an intern, grow, and rise to the executive level within the next six years. I can achieve this by simply developing and perfecting my skills and work experiences in this profession. As illustrated by Boa and Gorvett (2014, p. 24), undertaking professional actuarial exams will enhance my career growth and development in this lucrative profession. For this reason, my second objective is to complete my professional actuarial exams at the Institute of Actuaries within the next three years. Doing all the 15 actuarial professional exams will easily facilitate my rise to the executive position.

I want to use my studies and work experience to improve my actuarial skills especially in the pension analysis. I have a well-defined career development within the pension industry. To be precise with the pension industry, my interest is in the Social Security Funds department. I want to define my career in the pension industry because it will present to me a challenging working environment. Due to the dynamic nature of pension industry, I will need to apply fresh and innovative business approaches and strategies.

4.1 Supporting my Career Development

My management and personal skills will support my actuarial career development in many ways. I chose actuarial profession because it presents opportunities that match my personal interests, training, skills, and experience. As illustrated by Burton (2012, p. 33) the actuarial profession requires more mathematical and statistical skills. Therefore, an aspiring actuary, I will support my career development using my strong mathematical, statistical, and financial skills to become successful. This is because actuaries use a combination of statistical and mathematical skills to solve real problems in the business field by analyzing past and present data set. In most cases, actuaries work in risk management and business analysis departments. In these departments, they determine the likelihood of financial risks and their estimated cost impacts.

I will sue my deep understanding of the financial and business market to support my career development in actuarial profession. This profession requires deeper and keener understanding of how business operates. For actuaries to meet this essential requirement, they must be updated with the latest legislative changes affecting the business environment. This may create an additional challenge to an actuary. Due to the professional nature of their work, actuaries also need to be well informed about the long-term and short-term demographic trends. To sum it up, as a prospective actuary, I will support my career development using my economical and awareness of the commercial environment. This is particularly important in determining and accessing the nature and extent of financial risks in the business.

There are different actuarial careers that I can choose as a prospective manager. Traditionally, actuaries work mostly in pension and insurance companies. However, in the modern day, the role of actuary has extended beyond insurance and pension into valuation and banking. Student actuaries traditionally work in insurance, reinsurance, or sensitive interest projects. However, at the management level, actuaries are trusted with more complex tasks such as traditional life valuations, projections, as well as earning analysis.

At the officer level, actuaries are exposed to more complex and demanding tasks than managers. In particular, they work in non-traditional actuarial setup. Actuarial officers may work in different fields such as life assurance, health insurance, life insurance, annuity, group insurance, reinsurance, retirement, investments, finance, consulting, and casualty insurance among others areas. An actuary can choose to define his or her career path within one specific area. I would like to define my career path in pensions. Nonetheless, the actuarial career path goes beyond these areas. Some actuaries may choose to work in consumer and investment banks.

As a prospective actuary, I may choose to define my career paths in other financial industries where I can specialize in managing credit, price, and corporate security offerings. This will gives an additional role of designing investment tools for increasing the firm’s competitive advantage in the market. In pensions, their role is to design and evaluate pension plans for the company. They have obligations of designing financially sound pension schemes. Actuaries can also develop their career paths in government agencies where they are employed to manage social security programs such as Social Security Funds, Medicare, and Medicaid, among others. They also have the additional role of explaining technical matters to company executives, government officials, shareholders, policyholders, as well as the public.

These are some of the possible career development paths for a prospective actuary. In all these career paths, actuaries depend on their mathematical, statistical, financial, as well as business skills and knowledge in solving the business problem. As explained by Staples (2014, p. 10), they do this with the ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating financial business risks. In particular, they use their skills to provide probabilities that would determine the likelihood of the risk event. They use probability and life table to calculate the estimated amount of funds that should be set aside to cater for a claim. The figure below illustrates the possible career path for a prospective actuary.

4.2 Review of my Career and Personal Development Needs

I chose the actuarial professional due to its important roles and hefty income. Besides, the demand for actuarial professionals is ever increasing. According to a report by Mills (2014, p. 23), the actuarial, demand is estimated to increase by 28% between 2010 and 2020 as many industries come to terms with their significant functions in the business process. This level of growth will represent more than 6000 job gains in this profession. Similarly, by the end of 2020, the actuarial consultancy service is forecasted to increase by 60%. In essence, the actuarial profession will continue creating several opportunities for employment and consultancy services in the business field.

I need a well-paying profession, and actuarial science offers me exactly that. Actuaries are the most highly paid professionals in the world. There are also a number of opportunities in actuarial profession. All these opportunities will lure many people to become practicing actuaries. I look forward to become a top manager in the actuarial profession. After completing the college education, my actuarial career path will start with an internship at a reputable institution. I will join an organization, such as pensions where I will be exposed to the daily tasks of an actuary. In the organization, I will get enough exposure and work experience in what it takes to become an actuary. I will develop my actuarial career starting from internship right to the top executive level.

Personally, I love studying a lot. The actuarial profession gives me opportunities to study extensively and expand my skills and knowledge. As explained by Boa and Gorvett (2014, p. 44), the actuarial career requires dedicated studies of the business environment. To successfully develop my career in the actuarial profession, I will register for professional actuarial exams at the Institute of Actuaries. This is a London based actuarial professional body. The institute offers 15 actuarial professional exams, which are mandatory to become a practicing actuary. I will start doing the professional exam immediately after getting an internship placement. I will work harder to finish all the 15 exams before becoming an actuarial officer. The figure below illustrates my proposed professional career in becoming an executive actuary.

 

 

References

Boa, J. M., & GORVETT, R., 2014. The Casualty Actuarial Society: Helping Universities Train Future Actuaries. PRIMUS24(9-10), 785-789.

Burton, D. M., 2012. Actuarial careers: an overview of the profession and the undergraduate degree.

Martinez, M. J., 2007. Vault guide to actuarial careers. New York, NY, Vault, Inc.

Mills, M. A., 2014. Starting an Actuarial Science Major at a Liberal Arts College. PRIMUS24(9-10), 790-798.

Staples, S. G., 2014.The Role of an Actuarial Director in the Development of an Introductory Program. PRIMUS24(9-10), 883-890.

Szabo, F., 2012. Actuaries’ survival guide how to succeed in one of the most desirable professions. Academic Press.