[Skip to content]

Sign up for our daily newsletter
The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

A year in the life

This month, we’ve invited a couple of special guests to help celebrate our fi rst year as Student Page editors. While the audit trail of the Student Page over the years is clearly chronicled, the adventures of its editors past and present remain to be told. What did we get up to in 2007? Read on to find out…
Jen and Jean

Jean Eu: As I write this, I remember feeling both excited and anxious last year, as something possessed me to respond to Tristan Walker-Buckton’s call for a new Student Page editor for The Actuary. I remember meeting Jen for the fi rst time, and the ripple of delight I felt as it dawned upon both of us that we shared the same energy, ideas and enthusiasm for the page.

In 2007, my time was divided between three different departments at work — research, valuations and pricing — gaining a better insight into the way my company and the industry works. I helped organise the most successful Younger Members’ Convention to date. I played 11-a-side football in the Denmark Soccer Festival Tournament. I learnt that calculators are, apparently, controversial. I attended the annual Staple Inn Actuarial Society (SIAS) ball for the fi rst time. I conquered, in one go, the two exams that have been haunting me for two years (CA1 and ST2). I led 100 actuaries in the macarena. I learnt that some actuaries like karaoke. I met plenty of new, interesting people and made some great friends.

This year is for bigger and better things, and I look forward to new experiences and to working with my fellow conspirator, Jen. Anything can happen in 2008, as long as one is willing, so bring it on.

Jennifer May: I remember well my early experience of The Actuary, turning to Hannah Cook’s Student Page and thinking, ‘I’d like to do that’. I met Jean in December 2006, and realised that we shared the same — albeit slightly disturbed — vision. One year on, and our page has come a long way since its inception in a Soho restaurant. I’m now having dinner with Hannah, Tristan and Jean, reminiscing over our Student Page editor adventures.

My first anniversary coincides with my first year working at Hewitt Associates, and I’m happy to say that the training, support and opportunities I have enjoyed this past year have fi nally enabled me to consider myself a proper senior actuarial student. Alongside more traditional actuarial work, I’m also enjoying working with Hewitt’s technology team, getting involved in creating, fi xing and breaking models — and even leading training sessions.

The Actuary has allowed me an insight into the world of magazine publishing, and an understanding of the wider opportunities for students to become involved with the profession, through SIAS and the Student Consultative Committee for example.

Jean and I have met with publishers and marketing types, and learned the arts of advice, astrology and persuasion. We’ve conceived and successfully produced our fi rst ‘advertorial’, taken a turn as Arts Angels, enjoyed almost celebrity status at this year’s SIAS ball and given a whole host of interesting characters their 15 minutes of fame.

Tristan Walker-Buckton: At the time of writing, I have been a qualifi ed actuary for a glorious 10 days. This has left something of a void in my life, which I have been trying to fi ll by watching marathon sessions of Project Runway.

I now have the nagging suspicion that the past four years of my life have been completely wasted, and intend to quit the profession to become a top lingerie designer with an overly theatrical dress sense.

I will be keeping a paternal eye on the Student Page, of course, and I hope to see Jen and Jean continue their pursuit of the truth on the issues that really matter. Their ‘Calculatorgate’ exposé truly cemented their reputation as the new Woodward and Bernstein. I just hope they can uncover in time the Profession’s latest plot to mandate the use of Hello Kitty stationery and glitter pens in exams. Follow the money, guys…

Hannah Cook: Since handing the Student Page over to Tristan, my most significant achievement has to be qualifying at long last. It’s true what they say — the overwhelming feeling when it does finally happen is one of relief rather than joy. Still, it is very nice not to have to study any more, and it is worth the slog. I was obviously a bit delusional when I thought I would have time to learn a new language once I’d finished. Sadly, the time spent studying is now spent working but I’m enjoying life nonetheless.

I still keep a close eye on the Student Page. It’s definitely been sexed up since my time. I don’t think I would have got away with the latest headline — ‘FA, FB, F Me!’ — although it’s nice to see that it’s going from strength to strength, and there’s enthusiasm to keep it that way.

10 March 2008 is the exam entry closing date. Please remember, if you have not sent in your work-based skills supervisor form, you will not be able to enter any exams.

If you have any ideas for the Student Page, please e-mail jenandjean@the-actuary.org.uk