德慎精算2020年暑期實習生心得(Decent Actuaries Summer Internship Report 2020)
Mike/許〇〇, 東吳大學財務工程與精算數學系 應屆畢業生
以一位新人而言，在一般公司不大可能每天遇到Fellow並親自指導，我要感謝Chris & Amber 兩位FSA，讓我在一個剛起步的階段就可以見識到，心智強大的專業人員是如何去判斷和討論分析問題，例如，客戶高層主管看到簡報時，想知道甚麼，我們應該事先準備甚麼，呈現甚麼，甚至是在報告上更細微的格式等，一個報告裡就有許多需要注意的細節，我想就是德『慎』的嚴謹、謹慎和細心吧。
The first time I heard about Decent Actuaries was because of Soochow University and Decent Actuaries collaborated on scholarships. I have always been curious and wanting to join Decent Actuaries. I even sent out letters back in freshman year to see if they were hiring. Fast forward to January of this year, I found that they had a new job opening, and I sent my resume over without any hesitation. I came to the interview with excitement and got an offer right after, turning my dream into reality. Regardless how difficult a challenge may seem to be, if you try your best, you'll have a chance.
As a newcomer, it's impossible to meet a FSA in a general company, let alone being mentored by two. I would like to thank Chris Chan and Amber Lee for showing me how to judge, discuss, analyze, and make decisions. Board members will be asking questions when they see a presentation. Therefore, we should prepare well in advance. Even the subtle details from header color and alignment to font and line spacing should be consistent and precise in order to support the main content. I think this attention to detail is part of what makes Decent Actuaries decent.
This profession plays a critical role in helping and giving back to the society. One of the many ways we do it is through reserve checking. If the insurance company went against regulations and underdrawn the reserve, it might not be able to help the customers when they need it the most. Before that happens, we can inform the insurance company and correct this error as an inspector. Integrity is another part of Decent Actuaries' company value.
As a person who love challenges, I am thrilled about the projects I got to work on during the internship. I was responsible for inspecting new product rates and one-year rates for clients, as well as the half-year inspection report. Initially I was very nervous about receiving calls from clients asking about the project. After the practice I've had during this internship, I hope that I'll keep getting better at handling phone calls in the future. Throughout my time here, I can feel the supervisor's commitment to push me further and urge me to think about the underlying theories behind the numbers. Working with foreign colleagues has also been a rewarding experience. Communicating and brainstorming together on a jointly responsible project was a great learning opportunity and it taught me a great deal. Finally, I just want to say that I am grateful for the choice I made in the beginning.
Tina/許〇〇, 武漢大學金融系 四年級
In just two months, I found myself immersed in a significant amount of practical work such as understanding the calculation manual, sorting insurance product calculation instructions and reviewing reserve drafts. Towards the beginning of the internship, I encountered many challenges because my major is not actuarial science. In addition to basic practical work, the manager also arranged a lot of training courses. In a short period of time, I had to keep up and retain the new information from the training courses. It was very stressful for me who spent nearly three hours every day commuting. In the second week of the internship, the pressure accumulated as I was not able to keep up with the work. I doubted whether I was suitable for this internship and wanted to give up. During that time, the manager told us that this kind of opportunity is scarce. It's almost impossible to have Fellows, who have nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, guiding us in person. It is this reason that I decided to stay and try harder. I am very glad that I didn't give up.
When I first received the calculation manual, I didn't understand what CDMN are. As I gradually progressed to understanding the calculation formula, I was helped by everyone at DAC. The manager spent an afternoon explaining the calculation manual page by page, so that we can get on track faster. He told us that we should start with the payment content when we first receive a calculation manual. As we understand that, we can also recognize the development process of insurance products.
In the process of work, not only did I acquire lots of new knowledge in each training course, but I also have a more profound understanding of the meaning of "cautious". During each step, there are many details that we must pay attention to. Otherwise, a small mistake could snowball into a significant one. In terms of general errands, I received calls from abroad and assisted in making calls to Vietnam. Answering the calls may seem like a simple matter, but it also prepare me to handle unexpected situations on the spot.
Lastly, I am grateful that DAC gave me this summer internship opportunity. In addition to gaining new knowledge, I also got to improve my soft skills like presenting and talking with others. Thanks to every colleague at DAC for the guidance and advice. This internship has been extremely beneficial to me.
Tom/吳〇〇, 中山大學財務管理學系碩士班 二年級
在短短兩個月內，有機會接手的實務工作十分充實，例如我在這次實習期間負責其中一個project，是用統計軟體分析保險大數據資料後，進行結果摘要簡報。一開始接到交辦時內心是有點畏懼的，雖然平常在學校學習程式相關能力，但實際應用在業務上是第一次，在做的過程中也遇到一些困難，像是資料彙整和程式語法問題，不像在學校上課時拿到的都是處理過的資料，並且也有時間上需要完成的壓力，在這當中除了運用手邊資源，包含與同事之間討論請教，並且適時提出在執行上遇到的困難與主管協調，避免在最後期限時開天窗。此外，第一次向同事們簡報時，成效並不如我所想，在第一次簡報時我沒有考慮到聽眾的反應，也沒顧及外國同事需採英語簡報，並且將重點錯誤的放在我想呈現的內容，主管提到，對於顧問業而言，面對的客戶很多面向，因此報告要先界定好聽眾是誰?報告目的是什麼?如果面對高層時，想傳達的重點訊息可能只有短短 3~5 分鐘，所以需簡潔有力。而對於客戶端的工作人員，資料就要準備充足，細心解釋。不過也許會有客戶發問或一些突發狀況而導致報告時間不夠，所以資料雖然準備充沛，也要隨時有重點摘要報告方式的心理準備。
Before joining Decent Actuarial Consultants Company, my finance background only provided me small glimpses into the insurance field, but they sparked my interest to become an actuary. I was ecstatic when I found out that I'll be joining DAC as an intern. Unlike an insurance actuarial internship, this opportunity gives me hands-on experience on actuarial processes for multiple purposes like pricing and valuation. From understanding the calculation manual, to creating an excel worksheet that calculates reserve, premium, and embedded value, I got to experience what it's like to work for DAC.
Within two months, I was exposed to a significant amount of real work. For example, I was assigned a project to use statistical software to analyze insurance data and present my findings. In the beginning, I was a little scared since it was my first time applying my programming skills in a professional setting. Unavoidably, I encountered some difficulties, such as collecting data and understanding the programming language. Unlike a classroom environment, the data I gathered was not processed. On top of that, I had to complete the task in a time crunch. Besides using the resources I was given, I brainstormed with my colleagues as well as my supervisors in order to finish the project on time. However, my presentation was not as effective as I expected. I did not take into account the audiences' point of view, and merely focused on the content that I wanted to present. My supervisor advised me on the importance of presentations in the consulting field. Since our clients might have different levels of understanding on the subject matter, you must know your target audiences and the purpose of the presentation. If you are presenting to board members, you might have 3 to 5 minutes to convey your message, therefore, precision is key. For general clients, the challenge lies in thoroughly preparing your material and carefully explaining it. It is also important to be adaptive. Unexpected questions and emergencies could leave you with less than ideal time to finish your presentation. On top of knowing your material, being able to give a concise summary at any given time is also crucial.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone at DAC for their guidance and encouragement. Rather than giving me answers right away, my colleagues asked questions to guide me towards them. This made sure that I understand the underlying concept, instead of simply memorizing the solution. In the consulting field, everyone needs to be responsible for an array of tasks. These challenges bring more knowledge and skills to build upon. Time management becomes critical once we combine work and preparations for actuarial exams. What surprised me was that even those who are fellows of the Society of Actuaries still spend time to gain new insights into the industry every day. This gave me an understanding of what it takes to pass actuarial exams and obtain the FSA status. I will cherish my accomplishment and knowledge I gained from this internship and continue to work hard in the future. Thank you!
Wilson/黃〇〇, 東吳大學財務工程與精算數學系 四年級
Over the summer before my senior year in college, I had the pleasure to intern at Decent Actuaries. Decent Actuaries is an actuary consultant company, which differs from a tradition insurance company in terms of scale and structure. I had the opportunity to learn about two main functions of an actuarial job, pricing and valuation. Unlike the regular summer internship programs at other companies, I was given real work after our training on fundamental knowledge about actuarial science. Some of the new materials include AA report examination, insurance product information compilation and reserve account examination. As I went through the internship, I found that there is a significant gap between what I learned in undergraduate courses and what is required to complete the tasks. Some of the challenges I came across include using Excel, understanding the calculation manual and manipulating the actuarial formulas.
My main goal from this internship is to confirm my future career path. This was the first time I did a professional job. I consider myself very lucky to have an internship which directly correlated to my undergraduate courses. During my time here, I thought about what I truly wanted for my future. I noticed the managers' passion and dedication for their work, even during breaks and after work. I then realized that the actuarial industry requires a considerable amount of effort and time. I wonder whether I would be suitable for this industry. After sharing my hesitation with my manager and colleagues, they shared their experience with me and told me that this path depends greatly on curiosity and determination. The most important thing is to choose a path and be persistent. I thought over what they said and decided not to completely deter from the actuarial path, but to seek opportunities in other industries to find what suits myself the most. Although I have not decided on a career path, I appreciate Decent Actuaries for giving me this internship. It gave me a better understanding of the actuarial industry. I believe I will be able to utilize what I learned here in the future whether I end up pursuing the actuarial path or not.
Additionally, I recognized that consulting actuaries not only have to be cautious and responsible, but they also have to be honest and authentic to the clients. What made me admire Decent Actuaries is their continuous contribution to education and society. For instance, their continuous effort to provide scholarships to help actuarial students both locally and internationally has been inspiring. Lastly, I appreciate the guidance from my managers and colleagues. This experience has been truly remarkable and rewarding.