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Our people: Cathal O'Donovan

Actuarial, Reward & Analytics Graduate Programme

Since studying Financial Mathematics and Actuarial Science in University College Cork, I had a fair idea that I wanted to take the actuarial route but was very unsure about what line of work I wanted to do. I didn’t want to restrict my options to one specific area of insurance when applying for a job, therefore I felt that consulting was the right fit for me.

The opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of disciplines like audit, advisory, analytics and programming really appealed to me. I also thought this work environment would stand me in good stead when sitting the actuarial exams.

The graduate programme at Deloitte allows you to gain experience in both life and non-life insurance work before you specialise. The prospect of working in both practices and the flexibility to choose which specialist exams to sit were key factors in my decision to apply to Deloitte.

Since joining the Actuarial, Rewards and Analytics department a year ago, I have worked on numerous different projects, which have incorporated multiple aspects of both audit and consultancy work.

Projects so far have included modelling, testing, IFRS 17 process design, regulatory due diligence and data analysis. The wide variety of work has exposed me to specialist areas, whilst building a foundation of basic technical and non-technical/soft skills. Being able to see whole projects through at a high level from beginning to end, rather than being involved in a small part, is invaluable at this early stage of a career.

I was part of the first ever group of graduates in Deloitte that were onboarded virtually. It was definitely an interesting challenge at the beginning, but the experience was made so much easier by all the members of the actuarial team. Everyone was extremely helpful and supportive, and there was always someone available to answer questions or explain something if you were unsure. That is the big plus of joining a team of consultants - they are experts at explaining technical concepts in simple English.

Once I got my bearings after the first three months, I really started to enjoy working from home. The team is very social, so we had regular (non-work related) catch up calls and being at home had the added benefit of no commute which allowed me to save some extra time for study.

The work is only one aspect of life at Deloitte. Aside from being a fast-paced work environment, it is a fun environment, with a great collection of diverse, young student actuaries.

Recently, we have been able to organise some extra-curricular activities such as basketball, football, walks, hikes and the occasional night out, which has been really fun. Needless to say, I cannot recommend the Actuarial, Rewards and Analytics graduate programme enough.