CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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May 2017

A Day as an Actuary

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CIA staff actuary, education, Joseph Gabriel and student Jérémie Moreau.

CIA staff actuary, education, Joseph Gabriel
and student Jérémie Moreau.

In February, high school student Jérémie Moreau had the chance to spend an entire day shadowing the Canadian Institute of Actuaries’ Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education, to learn more about the actuarial profession. We chatted with Jérémie to learn how it went.

1. Why did you spend a day at the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA)?

As part of my course on ethics, religious culture, and academic orientation, we were asked to plan a one-day project in a business setting. We could pick the trade or profession of our choice, and after looking at a few options, I decided that the actuarial profession looked like it might be interesting. So I got in touch with the CIA’s staff actuary, education, to see if I could spend the day with him.

2. Why the CIA?

I chose the CIA because I knew one of the actuaries who works there. So I contacted Joseph Gabriel and he very graciously agreed to let me come. Also, the building’s location was convenient for me.

3. What type of tasks did you perform during your day at the CIA?

To start with, I asked Joseph some questions and he explained several aspects of the work done by actuaries. He talked to me about the educational requirements, the type of work they do and the various areas of interest. After lunch, I did a simulation of the actual work an actuary might do on any given day with a simulated client. It was really interesting and fun!

4. Was there anything in particular that you liked or found interesting about being an actuary? Anything you didn’t like?

Math and economics are what draw me to the actuarial field. I love math, and an actuary really needs math. Also, anything related to finance or economics just fascinates me, and these are both front and centre in this profession. On the other hand, I’m less attracted to the abstract side of things. I prefer when things are concrete and well defined, whereas an actuary has to deal in assumptions and predictions.

5. What surprised you most about the work done by actuaries?

Nothing really surprised me, because I had done a bit of research about the profession before the visit. That being said, I was surprised to learn that you don’t have to go to university to become an actuary. Sure, it’s better if you take actuarial courses, but to be recognized as an actuary, all you have to do is pass the actuarial exams.

6. Might an actuarial career interest you? Why?

I don’t know yet whether I want to join the actuarial profession one day. I’m still a bit young to make concrete decisions about my future, but I think it’s something I could consider. I found my experience very rewarding and interesting, and true enough, the profession lines up well with my interests. But I don’t know yet whether it’s something I'll want to do when the time comes.


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