22 March 2023

Year in Industry at Sizewell C. The experiences of a BSc Actuarial Science student

Year in Industry at Sizewell C. The experiences of a BSc Actuarial Science student 

A key feature of studying actuarial science at UEA is the option of a year in industry. This helps students gain much valued practical experience and is viewed favourably by graduate employers.

Actuarial science students are particularly popular with an increasingly widening range of placement employers. Over the years actuarial science students have gone out to firms in insurance, banking, consultancy, investment, pensions, government bodies, and many others. 

Recently one of actuarial science students, Rania, worked at Sizewell C in Suffolk for her year-long placement. We asked about her experiences there.

Did you enjoy your placement and what did you learn from it?

I really enjoyed working for Sizewell C. It was an amazing experience to work on such a nationally important project and to meet people from various organisations. I  worked with the energy transition, risk management, project management, investor relations, cost estimate teams.

Over the year, I learned so much about the different risks involved in the development of a new power station, the importance of learning from other similar projects, how the company organises events for investors, how to draft investor newsletters, and the financial planning to understand the overall costs of the project.

Additionally, I also improved my interpersonal skills. I worked with different networks to help create an open and diverse workplace. As a member of the United for Race Equality, Gender Balance and Pride Networks, I helped recruiting new members, organising events such as Family Day, LGBQTIA History Month, and raising awareness about the networks, their importance and several other special days such as International Women’s Day, Windrush Day. I also had a unique opportunity to attend a workshop about the prostate cancer, organised by Prostate Cancer UK. It was great to hear about their work and how people are helped. My work with the networks enabled me to enhance my knowledge about diversity and understand in which work environment I would want to work in. I understood the importance of culture and diversity in the workplace. 

Did the knowledge and skills from your degree help you in your placement?

Yes! The analytical knowledge and systems skills that I developed over the first two years of my degree helped me so much during my time with the risk and finance teams. An example of this, was that I used my knowledge of multiple regression to analyse risk reports to help to understand the key drivers of risk for a specific aspect of a project.

The programming and analysis skills I learned at UEA also helped me to efficiently produce data from the economic modelling related to the building of a new power station. One particularly enjoyable task was to replicate how the team would usually obtain outputs from the model but using Python instead so leading to efficiency gains.

How do you think your placement has supported your final year of study and chances of securing a graduate role?

My placement has helped me in various aspects of my final year studies. My improved teamwork and leadership skills are helping me through my Actuarial Skills employability module, where my group has to regularly present on chosen topics.

I now find it easier to collaborate and work simultaneously on multiple tasks. My time management skills have improved. I am better at organising my time and understanding the outcomes and deadlines. I also feel more focused on what I need to do and when it needs to be done. This is very helpful when you are working on several assignments at the same time!

My placement helped me understand the dynamics of the energy sector and especially how the UK plans to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050. Actuarial Science at UEA teaches me about managing risks. Managing energy production in UK is about managing the risks applicable to the industry. After I graduate, I feel that I am in a great place to secure a graduate role in the energy sector. 

School of Computing Sciences

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