Spotlight on New Fellows – Amélie Landry-Aubert, FCIA


By Amélie Landry-Aubert, FCIA

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

As early as grade school, I liked math and science. But when the time came to choose my field of study at university, the choice wasn’t easy. The actuarial profession was fairly nebulous in my mind, and I didn’t know anyone in that field. So I studied medicine for a year before realizing that I missed studying math. I’ve always liked the logical process that goes with this science, and I wasn’t finding this in my medical studies.

2. What inspired you to pursue an actuarial career?

When I left the field of medicine, I took some time to reflect on my career and to learn what an actuary does and what actuarial studies involve. I went to some university classes with a girlfriend and that’s when I made the decision to enrol in this program. I’ve never looked back.

3. What was your experience of the actuarial exams? Did you experience any particular challenges?

At the beginning of my actuarial BA, I heard about all the exams you had to pass to obtain the Fellow designation and realized how many hours of study it would take. But I found the challenge motivating. So I took them one by one and gradually made my way through the exam process. Since I’ve always liked studying and the subjects applied to my work in a concrete way, it helped me a lot and I found it very interesting. I would say that one of the challenges is to be able to balance work and studies. When we’re undergraduate students and studying for the first exams, we have a lot more free time. But when we start working full-time, it takes solid time management and prioritization to strike a successful work-study balance.

4. How did you find the transition from being a student to becoming a young professional?

The transition went fine. I did an internship with Industrial Alliance, where I ended up working part-time until I finished my BA. When I completed my studies, they hired me full-time, so I already knew the place, the work, and the people, which eased the transition considerably.

5. What is your current professional role? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?

After my studies, I worked on life insurance products pricing in Québec City. I took part in all sorts of projects, including product development, in collaboration with people from several different departments. Next, since I had always wanted to study or work outside Québec but never had the chance, I asked to be transferred to one of the company’s other branches. And that’s how I ended up in Vancouver early in 2016. Since the actuarial team there is smaller, my work is more varied. I’m still working in life insurance, where I’m doing product development pricing, as well as helping analyze monthly outcomes from an expenditure/profit standpoint. But I’m also working in the field of property and casualty insurance. I look on this as a new work environment that has brought with it a new set of intellectual and linguistic challenges. It’s very motivating.

6. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The range of career opportunities for an actuary. I like the analytical side of our work, the diversity of projects, the fact that we work with other actuaries but also with people from a number of other fields. I like being a resource for people in other departments in the company. I also like the opportunity to train new interns and share my knowledge with them. I also had the chance to work as a lecturer at the university. That too was a great work experience.

7. What are your short-term career ambitions?

I wanted to work in English in a new environment. This recently came to pass and I’m very pleased with all these changes in my life. As I’ve just started in a new position, I’m facing a professional adaptation in the short term. Right now, I want to get up to speed in the new actuarial fields I’m working in.

8. Where do you see yourself professionally in 15 years?

I appreciate the fact that an experienced actuary has all sorts of opportunities from a professional standpoint, because it requires us to constantly be taking up new challenges. For my part, I’m drawn by the opportunities to land a manager position. In the company I work for, these management positions are not just on the actuarial side but in other departments as well, and that’s what is attracting me in the long term.

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

As those close to me know, I’m always joking about one day opening a bakery. It might seem surprising, but considering my passion for cooking and baking, I think that if I weren’t an actuary, I’d like to work in that field.

10. What are your hobbies?

I like running and yoga, two activities that complement one another and that help me stay in shape. I’ve ramped up my yoga over the past year and I just adore this physical activity. It helps people develop their strength (not just physical but mental too), flexibility, and balance. As I was saying earlier, cooking is also a real passion for me. I read cookbooks and cooking magazines as though they were novels. I also check out blogs written by various chefs. Travel is another of my passions. I like discovering new cultures, learning about the food in different countries, and going for walks in a new city. I’ve had the chance to discover several countries, but as soon as I’m back from a trip I can’t wait to take off again!

11. Where is your dream vacation destination?

My two dream destinations are Tahiti and Myanmar (Burma). They’re quite different, but they both appeal a lot to me—Tahiti for its beaches and vegetation, and Myanmar for its temples, culture, and history.

Amélie Landry-Aubert, FCIA, is actuarial analyst at Industrial Alliance Financial Group.

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Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires