As part of our global series, we caught up with Arif Asnawi Leong, based in Negara Brunei Darussalam, to find out more about his journey to becoming an actuary.
Why did you decide to join the actuarial profession?
My late mother was a Mathematics Teacher and she suggested this profession since I was unsure on what career I should be pursuing. At that time, my sister in law just qualified as an actuary. I have always been passionate about mathematics and this profession enables me to use and apply mathematics in the real world so that I can always contribute back to the society.
What do you enjoy in your role?
As head of actuary, colleagues will always come to me with difficult requests and complicated problems. I enjoy advising them by guiding and finding alternative solutions that are out of the box. It challenges me to improve myself as I am always eager to learn more.
What are the highlights in your career?
Back in 2017, I became the first Local Brunei Actuary where there were only a few practitioners in the country. I was able to convince the senior management in the importance of actuarial input and hence made significant changes to the actuarial industry in Brunei Darussalam.
I have been given the opportunity to be a part of two prestigious Takaful companies in Brunei Darussalam which are Insurans Islam TAIB Holdings Sendirian Berhad from February 2015 until October 2020 and Syarikat Takaful Brunei Darussalam from November 2020, both as head of actuary.
What advice would you give to students who are just about to embark on their career as an actuary?
Always stay passionate in this journey and do not give up easily. Being an actuary requires a lot of hard work. Stay focus as this journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. I believe with passion, you will eventually achieve your goal.
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