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Name: Kayleigh Anderson
Degree: BSc Hons Mathematics
Graduation: 2015
Employer: Aegon
Job title: Actuarial Trainee


About my time in Dundee

I graduated from the University of Dundee in June 2015 with a First Class Honours in Mathematics. I had such a great time during my 4 years of living in Dundee, from the City vibe to the university vibe. The highlight for me during this time was definitely all the great friends I met along the way. I also learned a lot of life lessons! Dundee is a great city to go to university at as everything like shops, bars, gyms etc. are all so close to the campus.

What I do now

I am currently an Actuarial Trainee working at Aegon in Edinburgh and my role is within Financial Reporting. I started this job in August 2015. Since my role is within reporting there are a lot of deadlines to stick to. Every quarter of the year we publish our results to the press. This involves a lot of work; we need to calculate the correct numbers, then understand why they have changed from what we forecast and then explain the numbers to management. This is done with a lot of team work over the Actuarial, Accounting and Tax teams. So it is important to keep an open mind and learn how other teams calculate their numbers as we all work differently. It is also important to have good communication skills as you may be explaining something to people who have no idea about maths or actuarial work.

How I got the job

The role I am currently in was advertised through a website called Indeed. Surprisingly, there were only two stages to the process which were the application and then an interview day (unlike most companies). The interview day was 12-5pm and consisted of a group task, an individual written exercise, a competency-based interview and then a five-minute presentation. Apart from the competency-based interview, it is very hard to guess what the employer is looking for so my advice would be just be yourself and rehearse what you can as it shows when you have put time into something. With the interview, it is important to do your research! Know all about the company and rehearse typical competency-based questions, it's always a good idea to have a few similar options for the same type of question. I didn't do an internship through the summer. However, when I did the interview I was in a temporary role with RBS in the Risk Department. I think this is what helped me obtain the job as I used examples of my recent work experience with RBS to show what I am capable of. So, an internship isn't exactly essential but I would say it definitely helps to get some sort of relatable experience.

Applying for jobs is a lengthy process but do not give up. Receiving rejection after rejection is a hit on your confidence and you are up against a lot of people all applying for the same jobs. So keep at it and one day you'll get good news. It took me exactly one year from when I started applying to starting this job so there is no time like the present to sort out your CV and start looking for jobs.

Advice for current students

Some advice I would give to students is that networking is extremely helpful when trying to get a job. Unfortunately sometimes it is still a case of who you know not what you know. So in order to get your name out there, attending career events and speaking to employers is a good way of doing so.

Lastly, I wish you good luck in your studies and chosen career.