My First Actuarial Internship

Written by Leeping Chong:

I started work as an actuarial intern at Coaching Actuaries in February 2013. It was the first internship/ job experience that I had since I came to the US, so I was pretty excited to get started.

As an actuarial intern here, I am mainly in charge of creating keynotes for Exam P, FM, MFE, MLC and C. I am also creating keynotes for the MFE e-course, which is really useful for students preparing for Exam MFE. I was really fascinated with the Keynote as I was able to make something static move. It was like changing a boring, static exam manual into a video with moving words, images and sound in it. I felt really cool doing that because I had the ability to make studying more interesting for all actuarial exam takers!DSC_0064

I also occasionally participate in a few consulting projects. These projects involve more teamwork and it is completely different from creating keynotes for exam purposes. I learn more about dealing with Excel and Access data from the consulting projects. Those projects provide me with a more hands-on actuarial experience. Besides that, I also play a part in managing our company’s Facebook and YouTube account. I am responsible for posting the Question of the Week on our company’s Facebook page every week. Be a fan on our Facebook page if you are wondering what our ‘Question of the Week’ is!

I really love working here at Coaching Actuaries as I can always ask any questions to my colleagues, especially about Keynote. It was really hard for me to learn the “magic move” in keynote when I first started because this required a lot of advanced planning to ensure that the presentation slides fell in place smoothly when the slides are played. Being unfamiliar with Keynote, I had difficulties putting the slides together and I was really slow at getting my job done initially. Thanks to the help of my colleagues, I am able to understand how Keynote works and increase my efficiency at work. Creating Keynote slides for exams also helps me relearn all the actuarial concepts that I may have forgotten, because we have to understand what we are presenting in the slides. This definitely helps me prepare for the actuarial exams that I haven’t taken yet such as Exam C and MLC because I get to understand the concepts in these exams better.

While creating keynotes, I actually serve as a middle person between the scriptwriter and the audience. I have to think about what the scriptwriter wants me to present in my slide presentations and how the audience can understand specific material from the slides, which will be complied into a video with audio. I have to learn how to communicate ideas using video presentations.

There are also times when things get a little hard for me as some of the questions are really hard and I don’t really understand the concepts that are being mentioned. This is the time when I ask the scriptwriters to explain what these complex actuarial concepts are about. They will explain this to me very clearly so that I can continue doing the slides.

I love the small office atmosphere at Coaching Actuaries because I am able to develop close relationships with my colleagues and it is easy to get to know everybody there. Everyone is really friendly and it is really easy to get along with everybody. There are also times when my colleagues bring food to the office and we all get to share the food, which makes me really happy, as I love to eat! My favorite time at Coaching Actuaries would also be the picture taking days that we have. Everyone gets the chance to take some time off from work and take plenty of photos together, which serves as great memories for all of us. This also serves as a great team-building activity as it improves our relationship with each other in the company. As people always say, a picture speaks a thousand words and I will always remember these fun times that I have at Coaching Actuaries.

It has already been half a year since I first started at Coaching Actuaries. Time really flies. I really enjoy the small working atmosphere at Coaching Actuaries as I know everybody whom I am working with and I had no problems adapting to the working life after my time as a student when I first started. I also hope that my skills using Keynote will get better and better and I also look forward to more learning in other areas in the future!