• Role: Actuarial Trainee
  • Location: Aviva York
  • University: Newcastle
  • Degree: Mathematics

Eve Hodgers

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Why did you choose Aviva?
I was initially attracted to Aviva because they’re a large, reputable, international business and would be a great place to start my career. However, when it came down to choosing between various graduate job offers, it was the friendly atmosphere and culture at Aviva that helped me make my final decision.

What’s it like working at Aviva?
Aviva really care about the health and wellbeing of their staff. Exercise classes, free fruit days and flexible working help to achieve a healthy work life balance. We also get 3 volunteering days a year and lots of development opportunities, such as coaching and mentoring programmes.

What kind of work have you been involved in whilst working at Aviva?
I have rotated teams every 18-24 months as part of the graduate programme. The Actuarial areas I have worked in are:

  • With-profits
  • Bulk Purchase Annuities
  • Economic Capital reporting

The rotations have allowed me to gain a breadth of technical skills and experience, as well as a strong network within Aviva.

I am currently on a short-term secondment, performing the role of Actuarial Resource Manager. This is not a typical Actuarial role, but it is helping me build a wide range of invaluable managerial skills such as organisation, stakeholder management and relationship building.

What skills have you found to be particularly useful in this sector/profession?
The 3 skills I use most are:

  • Analytical
  • Numerical
  • Communication

How do you see yourself progressing from your current position in the next 2-3 years?
I aim to qualify as an Actuary in 2019 and then I will look for a promotion within Aviva. I see myself working in our London office for a few years and I am interested in doing a short-term international secondment.

Any advice for the interview process?

  • Do thorough research – research the role as well as the company and its values.
  • Be yourself – your personality will shine through.
  • Practice makes perfect – practice applying your past experiences to competency-based questions.

How do you manage your work/life balance?
I have a work hard, play hard mentality, so my balance is generally good.

The reality of working and studying at the same time can be challenging, but Aviva provide up to 50 days paid study leave a year. This means I’m able to juggle my work, personal and study commitments more easily.

What personal attributes have you found useful?

  • Strong work ethic – the Actuarial exams are tough.
  • Communication – communicating complicated concepts both written and verbally is key.
  • Relationship building – having a strong network can create opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The continuous learning and the wonderful people I work with.

What would you like to achieve in the future?
Over time, I would like to move away from the technical side and into a senior leadership role.

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