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Case Study: Jamie Jones

Personal details
Degree:Astrophysics Profile picture
School(s): School of Physics and Astronomy
Year of Graduation:Jun-2012
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Towers Watson
Job title: Actuarial Consultant
Occupational Sector: Actuary
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I secured a place at Towers Watson during my final year of university.
What does your job involve ?
I am in the Retirement section of Towers Watson so my day to day work revolves around the world of pensions. Though it may sound like quite a dry subject at first glance, the whole area is constantly in flux with different legislative changes and consulting opportunities that offer a wide and varied spectrum of work. One day I may be calculating the value of a member's complicated array of benefits, the next I may be carrying out accounting work for a big company's pension scheme or share options. There really is no standard working day.
What are the best bits of your job ?
The intellectual challenge. It is refreshing to work in a field which keeps you on your toes and where you are constantly learning more and more. Working in an intellectually stimulating environment makes the day fly by. The people I work with are not only very intelligent but also wonderfully friendly people which makes it a pleasure to come into work.
Why were you successful?
I'd say the key to my success was preparation with a good dose of luck. Other than that, remember that employers are not just looking for someone who can do the job, they want someone that they feel they could work with on a daily basis.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Numerical aptitude is an obvious answer but a head for problem solving and thinking around problems is particularly useful. Also, you'd be surprised how much overlap there is between Quantum Mechanics and Financial Statistics!
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Be aware of what you are getting in to. Actuaries are well paid but they also work very hard. You'll be studying for around three to five years alongside work but you'll find that progress is incredibly rewarding.