"The variety of work that I have been involved with has been much greater than I ever expected and the main thing I have learned is that pensions are in no way dull!"
I was able to get involved with real client work straight away as both an intern and when I returned as a graduate, with tasks ranging from calculating pensions and transfer values for individual members to calculating the funding level for whole pension schemes. The work was and still is very varied. After a year and a half I took on the responsibility of organising some of the new graduates’ training within my office while still being on the Graduate programme myself, which I really enjoyed since it was an opportunity to have a more people-facing role.
Aside from learning about the technical side of pensions, I’ve also improved my communication skills and confidence, particularly in presenting to others. The variety of work that I have been involved with has been much greater than I ever expected and the main thing I have learned is that pensions are in no way dull!
I have a lot of good memories, particularly on the social side of work. We attend the Staple Inn Actuarial Society ball each year in London which is attended by actuaries from a range of companies, and my intake have won the annual Reigate Rounders tournament twice which is always good fun.
The main reason for which I decided to return as a graduate after my internship was because of the friendly, supportive and welcoming environment. I felt I was a ‘perfect fit’ with WTW culture and values. Here, work is intellectually challenging but also fun and dynamic. I am also proud to work for a company where excellence and client focus are highly valued, as well as maintaining respect for all colleagues.
I am now a Hub Manager within the Retirement team where I’m responsible for people and resource management for a portfolio of around 40 clients. I have always been a ‘people person’ and thought that I would like to be involved with people management or mentoring, but the opportunity to be involved in this from a relatively early stage of my career was not something I expected. I enjoy this more people-focused role alongside my technical work and I’m glad to have the opportunity to do both.
Being an intern helped with my initial transition from university to working life and gave me some foundation of pensions knowledge. However, this is definitely just a head-start and not a necessity to coming in as a graduate. The best way to learn is on the job and through the training programme provided by WTW, which is of a very high standard. The Graduate programme gave me the foundations to build on with client work. However, one of the perks of working here is that every day you continue to learn new things.
My advice would be to take as many of the opportunities offered to you as you can, even if they seem daunting at the time. I think this is the best way to learn and to realise that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want to.