As part of our global series, we caught up with Prashansa, based in Myanmar to find out more about her journey to becoming an actuary.
Why did you decide to join the actuarial profession?
The unfortunate part of this story is that I didn’t actually arrive at the decision of entering the actuarial profession in a very informed fashion! I was majoring in Statistics and towards the end of the term, my college hosted a session on career options after Statistics and that’s where I first heard of it. Alongside two of my college buddies, we decided to enrol and started to take the actuarial exams, and continued on!
What do you enjoy in your role?
The various domains within the actuarial function from pricing, product development, shareholder reporting to valuation impact the business dynamics in numerous ways. The ability to connect these through and contribute to the short- and long-term strategy excites me the most about my role.
What are the highlights in your career?
I have mostly enjoyed all my roles! But especially those that enable me to extend actuarial skills to business challenges. In my previous assignment, I took up the ILO Social Finance fellowship in the Philippines, working on a wider financial products’ umbrella for the low-income segment. The project objective was to implement a holistic integrated risk management bundle for the clients of a microfinance institution with a presence across the archipelago of the Philippines. There was a focus on anchoring the offering through a digital platform. The programme is currently piloting a digital financial service solution for money transfers, payments and eventually digitising the loan repayment and disbursement process. I recently wrote a piece on this programme in the Actuary magazine (Plugging the resource gap | The Actuary)
This was a real departure from the commercial world of insurance and has been an insightful and exciting time in my career!
What advice would you give to students who are just about to embark on their career as an actuary?
Despite being an arduous journey, it is a fulfilling role especially if you diversify and widen the role you want to play in an organisation.
Any motivational quotes?
Kung Fu Panda is my all-time favourite movie and it has some of the best life lessons! It has so much wisdom to offer and my favourite quote is “ there is no secret recipe!”