Introduce Yourself - Paul Gobeil


Paul Gobeil

1. Why did you become an actuary?

I have always had a love of math, but wasn’t interested in teaching, so actuarial science was a way to work with numbers in the business world.

2. When you tell people you’re an actuary, what do they think you do?

Judging from the blank stares, they don’t think much of anything. Once I’ve explained it, they probably imagine me pounding away at a spreadsheet all day. (I find it’s not a very relatable occupation!)

3. Who has inspired you the most during your career? Did you have a mentor in your early career?

I had a great mentor at my first job, Louise Hoeppner. (Thanks Louise!) These days I draw on my manager, Alec Blundell. His knowledge and passion for the business inspire me to put my best work in and challenge myself.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy thinking through a problem and arriving at a solution that might not have been immediately obvious. I’m grateful that I’ve had opportunities for this throughout my career.

5. What career would you follow if you weren’t an actuary?

I took some computer science classes in university, and really enjoyed them, so I might have tried my hand at programming. Maybe by now I would have designed a few mobile apps!

6. What are your hobbies?

My two main hobbies are music and sports. I play guitar, sing, and write songs, and I love going to concerts. Songwriting is definitely my biggest creative outlet. As for sports, I mostly play soccer, though I’ve also tried football, hockey, baseball, volleyball, and badminton. I watch a lot of sports on TV, mainly the CFL and NHL. Go Riders and Canucks!

7. What is your favourite music, book, and film?

Music: seeing as this is for a Canadian audience, I’ll promote a couple of brilliant Canadian artists, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays.
Book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Film: No Country for Old Men.

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

Having been to London, England, this summer, the top of my travel list is now New York City. Maybe not very exotic, but it would be exciting for me!

9. What do you do better than anyone you know?

Well, there’s always someone better, but I would probably have the best shot at a songwriting contest.

10. If you could be anybody else, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

I’ve always thought being a big-time musician on tour would be pretty fun, at least for a while. Same with a professional athlete. But the grass is always greener, right? I’ll stick with my own life for now...

Paul Gobeil is senior director, pricing and product support, individual insurance and wealth management, at Co-operators Life Insurance Company.

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Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires