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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Actuary of the future: Majella McDonnell

Employer and area of work
Hibernian Aviva General Insurance in Dublin — pricing department.

Date entered
Profession June 2009. Describe yourself in three words Honest, motivated, nocturnal. I’m a night-owl!

Tell us your formula for success
Working hard and listening to other people’s advice is a good combination. I’ll let you know in 30 years’ time if it works.

What’s your best attribute?
I can stay quite calm at times when others might fl y into a panic.

And your worst habit?
I become addicted to reality TV shows such as The X Factor far too easily.

What is most likely to irritate you about others?
When my fellow commuters on the bus put their bags on the seats so that no-one else can sit beside them. If they want to do that, they can buy a second ticket.

Alternative career?
Spending my days writing articles and stories in Irish. That’s something I really love to do when I have the time.

Tell us something unusual about yourself
I’ve been playing the piano since I was nearly six. It’s so different from my actuarial work, but I love it and hope to always keep it up.

How do you relax away from the office?
For me, going shopping is one of the best forms of relaxation. When I’m watching the purse-strings, however, window-shopping does the trick almost as well.

Do you have a famous look-a-like?
No such luck, I’m afraid. If I looked like a star, I’d probably be living it up in LA right now.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
Scarlett Johansson, perhaps? I’m not sure how interesting the film would be, but I’m sure Scarlett would handle the part well.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
What other people think of you is none of your business.

What three items would you take to a desert island?
My boyfriend, because he’d be able to plan our escape route, mascara and my Aviva Rubix Cube to while away the time.