Kelvin Chamunorwa looks at how actuaries are giving back and highlights the many benefits of doing so
When I meet people and mention my work as a volunteer for The Actuary magazine, there are two questions that I'm commonly asked. The first is usually around which aspect of the role I enjoy the most. My response is unequivocal: it's the interaction with contributors, readers and others with an interest in actuarial work.
I am often amazed when I hear about actuaries who are helping to solve all sorts of unique challenges. A few weeks ago I met Charles Cowling, an actuary who told me about his recent feat of completing ten marathons in ten consecutive days for charity. Ten marathons! He has raised £70,000 in donations, some of which will go to a charity that supports disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the UK.
The second question is usually rhetorical, about the time commitment. It is significant, but eclipsed by the benefits. At the IFoA volunteer recognition party in London last month, I learned that more than 3,000 members of our profession also give up their time. I see volunteering as not only an act of benevolence but also about personal growth, developing professional relationships to draw upon and building friendships.
In his article, Derek Cribb discusses how volunteers are integral to the increasing diversity of the work of actuaries, and thus the continued relevance of actuarial skills in business (page 10).
Producing The Actuary is a team effort. Sonal Shah has been one of the enthusiastic volunteers on the team for four years, serving as a features editor. She has now decided to step down. Many will remember her 'Elegant English' series of articles, a particular favourite of mine, amongst her many considerable contributions which we greatly appreciate.
Sonal's departure leaves a vacancy for a features editor at The Actuary. If you would relish interacting with thought leaders in the actuarial world and have a keen eye for detail, please get in touch for more information. All you would need is some spare time.