Life at Deloitte
Our people: Bronagh Kearns
Life as an Actuarial Graduate
What did you study in college?
I spent 4 years at University College Dublin completing my degree under the Bachelor of Actuarial & Financial Studies programme. This was a great choice for me, as it meant that I earned exemptions from 9 of the then 14 Institute and Faculty of Actuaries exams before joining Deloitte in September 2017.
Why did you choose the Deloitte Graduate Programme?
I chose the Deloitte Graduate Programme because I saw working at Deloitte as a great opportunity to gain experience across a wide range of actuarial roles. Unlike traditional roles in an insurance or reinsurance company, joining a consultancy meant that I would be exposed to each of life, general insurance and reinsurance, as well as a variety of projects that would span across the likes of reserving, regulatory reporting and capital modelling. I knew that this would help with both my progress through my later exams and my ability to choose a specialism as my career develops.
What did you find most challenging about the working world?
Balancing the demands of studying for the IFoA exams around those of the working world has been the biggest challenge to date. I would’ve been fond of cramming during my time at UCD, so adapting to the idea of fitting small study sessions around work took some getting used to!
How has Deloitte helped you build your career?
The balance between audit and consulting work within the Actuarial, Rewards & Analytics team has helped me to develop my knowledge across a wide range of actuarial topics. While audit work has broadened my knowledge of statutory (IFRS, GAAP) and regulatory (Solvency II) reporting, my involvement in consulting projects has given me exposure to a diverse range of topics such as cash flow modelling, IFRS 17 and formal report writing.
Do you have any mentors and if so what is their value to you?
Each member of the Actuarial, Rewards & Analytics team is assigned an appraiser within the team when they join. This role encompasses everything from regular check-ins, advice around studying for exams and ensuring that the work you’re assigned is reflective of your career goals. This has been invaluable to me as a source of advice and guidance, as well as the occasional coffee!
What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?
I’ve definitely learned to ask lots of questions, particularly when I have access to the knowledge of experienced members of the team. The nature of consulting work and the structure of the ARA team has given me consistent exposure to members of senior management both internally and externally, so I’ve been lucky to have had the opportunity to leverage their knowledge of the general insurance industry.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you finished college?
Probably a combination of Excel keyboard short-cuts and what Solvency II was!