Janelle Lai Actuarial Senior Consultant Hong Kong (seconded to PwC London)

What did you learn during your first year at PwC?I was exposed to a great variety of work during my first year at PwC, e.g., Actuarial audit, design and pricing new insurance products, new regulatory framework and its impact on balance sheets and income statements, etc. first-hand experiences in meeting clients and discussing ideas among the team have been invaluable for my development.

How would you describe what you do every day on the job?We perform analytical review and analysis on work performed by the client in an audit, providing practical solutions and advices to clients in a consulting project through analysis of data, communication and understanding client’s objectives.

Any examples of typical tasks you might do? Why do you find these tasks interesting? During an audit, we will review and analyse clients’ work to ensure there is no material misstatement. These tasks allow me to understand different businesses and at the same time strengthen my actuarial knowledge.
Consulting work interests me a lot due to the wide job scope, and how we can manage a project from start to finish, adding value to clients.

Can you tell us more about your secondment experience?I am now on a 2-year secondment with PwC London’s Actuarial team. I have been here since May 2016 and it has been an eye-opening experience so far. The London Actuarial team has a greater variety of projects due to its team size. I plan to carry on with some of my insurance audit work, utilising the knowledge and experience I gained in the Hong Kong office. On top of that, I aim to participate in some other types of projects - the most interesting project I have been involved in so far is helping UK hospitals to analyse their costs and patients in order to get more budget from the Government.

What’s one key thing you have learnt in your secondment experience?One thing I have done more is to speak up and socialise more with people around me. Since the Actuarial team in London is a lot bigger than my team in Hong Kong, I have to make an effort to build closer relationships. During my 3 months here, I have had countless coffees and beers!

What’s one key thing you have learnt in your secondment experience?

  • Be sure you know what you're getting in to – try to talk to people currently on the job in order to know exactly what it's like working in the field, the key challenges that you are going to meet and what is good about the job.
  • You have to show your passion about the job, even given all the challenges ahead.
  • You need to display an ability to talk to people with different working styles as this is a client-facing job in many sense.