31 October 2022

My UEA Story: Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor left UEA in 2020 with a BSc in Actuarial Science. He is now a HI Pricing Analyst at Aviva. This is Joel's UEA Story.

Becoming an actuary is hard work, but also very interesting and rewarding. If you have an interest in maths and business, I encourage you to consider this career path.

How do you feel your time at UEA prepared you for working in the industry?

A degree in actuarial science has given me a very broad skill set which has served me well in my career so far. The degree consists of modules in maths, economics, computer science, statistics, data science, and business with a clear focus on the application of concepts.

When I first started working for Aviva, I had an advantage over other new starters at the time since my degree had equipped me with industry knowledge as well as the softer skills required for my role. 

Gaining exemptions from 6 of the IFoA actuarial exams is also a major advantage which will speed up the process of becoming a fully qualified actuary.

What does your typical day consist of?

As cliché as it may sound, in my role as a pricing analyst, no two days are ever the same. My priorities can change very quickly with market movements and new data/insights coming in which may change our view of performance. The pricing team at Aviva must react quickly to ensure our prices remain profitable and competitive. 

Some of my main roles include: 
•    Monitoring financial performance and presenting this information to senior managers
•    Ensuring our prices are fair and competitive to customers, whilst complying with industry regulations
•    Analysing large volumes of data and proposing efficient pricing changes
•    Responding to pricing queries from customers and intermediaries (brokers)

What are your plans for the future?

Over the past couple of years, I have been enjoying the experience of working in general insurance. This has given me the opportunity to apply the concepts and skills that I gained from my degree. In the future I aim to complete the rest of the actuarial exams and become fully qualified.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?

Becoming an actuary is hard work, but also very interesting and rewarding. If you have an interest in maths and business, I encourage you to consider this career path. By completing a degree in actuarial science, you will gain a vast range of expertise; this will serve you well wherever you decide to take your career.

What was your favourite memory from your time at UEA?

In my time at UEA, I enjoyed meeting new people both on my course and others. Though the degree itself was hard work, I found a good work-life balance and was able to get involved with plenty of social opportunities. My favourite individual memory from my time at UEA was in my first year when we had heavy snow which closed campus for a few days. My flat mates and I spent the day having snowball fights and sledging down the campus hill on baking trays (these did have to be replaced afterwards, but well worth it).

Joel studied BSc Actuarial Science at UEA.