Jonathan Lane undertakes an internship at American International Group (AIG)
Whilst studying Actuarial Science at UEA some students choose to do a summer internship (usually between year 2 and 3) to allow them to get some relevant work experience and gain an insight into the life of an Actuary. Jonathan Lane, 3rd year Actuarial Science student, reports on his experiences below.
Where I've been
During the summer I had the opportunity to undertake an internship in underwriting with the American International Group (AIG). The internship provided a fantastic experience into what it's like working for a global insurance company in the heart of one of the world's financial capitals.
What I've been doing
I was based in the Energy division of underwriting. This involved assisting Underwriters in assessing the risks associated with the extraction of natural resources and production of energy, then determining the viability of insuring such a risk. I frequently attended meetings with brokers and as a result I witnessed first hand the strong negotiation skills required by an Underwriter. I also rotated across each of the actuarial departments and gained an insight into the functions of pricing, reserving and capital modelling.
The training and support provided by AIG was fantastic. They provided a three day induction programme, which included presentations about insurance and the insurance market, how to get the most out of the internship and fun team building exercises where all the interns and a number of staff volunteered to help renovate and maintain a local farm. AIG also provided excellent social events throughout the internship, such as going out for a meal, staging a table tennis tournament, drinks on rooftop terraces and Q&A lunch sessions. This shows how much AIG value their employees and how important the culture of ‘OneAIG’ really is to them.
Something I used from my studies
Possessing an understanding of run-off triangles (Actuarial Methods 2nd Year) really helped when working in the actuarial reserving team. This was a topic a couple of the interns who weren’t studying actuarial science struggled with and the AIG team were impressed by my ability to use the Bornhuetter-Ferguson method.
What I've learnt
During my internship I felt I learnt the most when working closely with experienced Underwriters and Actuaries. Having discussions with these people made me realise the level of knowledge and expertise required to be successful in these roles. It also made me feel more comfortable when carrying out my work, knowing I had someone close by with a huge amount of experience and knowledge that could help me.
I gained a good understanding of the insurance market and the types of challenges and risks that a company face when providing insurance coverage. I also became more aware of the types of jobs available within an insurance company and the insurance industry. Most importantly however, the experience reaffirmed my desire to follow an actuarial career, due to the high level of technical expertise required for the role, the career progression opportunities available not only within a company, but to also be working towards a qualification that is globally recognised and would allow me to work almost anywhere in the world.