Introduce Yourself - Patricia Hladun

Patricia Hladun

1. Why did you become an actuary?

During my time at the University of Saskatchewan, I just took classes that I liked and ended up with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Quantitative Analysis and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Math. My goal, after graduating, was to obtain a job with my field of interest so actuary ended up on the list. Although I initially thought that I would end up doing market research or consumer analytics, after I passed a few actuarial exams, my goal became to obtain an actuarial position.

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

I just tell people I work in insurance – really, very few people are interested beyond that!

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I started my career in pension consulting but switched to property and casualty insurance after three years. I love that we can obtain knowledge and make decisions based on analyzing huge sets of data. Plus it’s fascinating to work in a field that is so dynamic!

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

I would probably be in something that is statistics based, such as market research or consumer analytics. During my search for an entry-level job, I almost gave up and went back to school for accounting. Thankfully, I found an actuarial position because I would have been miserable being an accountant!

5. What are your hobbies?

I have a five-year-old so find it difficult to have real hobbies! I have spent a lot of my time over the past 10 years volunteering for the Casualty Actuarial Society Exam Committee, if that can be classified as a hobby. I also spend a lot of time planning my vacations, although I need a lot more vacation days to actually go anywhere interesting.

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

I’ve been told my taste in music is questionable so in order to avoid judgment, I’m not going to answer!

My favourite series of books are The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery. The journals not only provide insight into the life of one of Canada’s most famous novelists but also provide a fascinating overview of middle-class Canada from 1889 through 1942 through the eyes of a professional woman.

My favourite films are a Richard Linklater series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy that started with Before Sunrise in 1995, and was followed by Before Sunset in 2004 and Before Midnight in 2013. The first film is a romantic drama that tells the story of two people in their early twenties who meet on a train while travelling but only spend the night together before parting. As with most Richard Linklater films, not much happens plot-wise but there is a lot of conversation. I think I initially enjoyed the first film because I had travelled alone in my early twenties so having long conversations with random strangers was very familiar to me.

7. Where is your dream vacation destination?

I enjoy travel and thinking about and planning for travel. However, it’s pretty difficult to go anywhere too exciting on the two weeks or less of vacation that I have remaining after completing all our family visits. For a year after I graduated from university, I worked at a computer college in Malaysia, a job I obtained through the AIESEC international internship program. I have a soft spot in my heart for south-east Asia as it was my first major travel experience.

Patricia Hladun, FCIA, is a senior manager at Deloitte Canada.

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Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires