Carly Wybrow on Learning Through Volunteering

This article originally appeared in the CIA (e)Bulletin.

1. When and why did you become an actuary?

I became an actuary in December of 2016; however, I started my path to becoming an actuary almost 15 years earlier than that. I think I wanted to be an actuary early on because it was a clear path to a career that used my strengths. I held at the Associate level for a while because I was tired of writing exams. Ultimately, I decided to finish my exams and become an actuary to further the progression of my career (which it definitely has).

2. What is your current job? Can you describe the type of work you’re doing?

I am a consultant and actuary at Actuarial Solutions Inc. (ASI), where we specialize in consulting on small- to mid-size defined benefit pension plans. I am the consultant and actuary on a large number of clients, where I am responsible for the administration, funding, and accounting work required for pension plan upkeep. I work with a great team at ASI, and a lot of my job is about organization and project management. I communicate with clients and other team members on a daily basis to make sure that the needs of both the plan sponsor and the plan itself are being met.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the team I work with, I like the variety of work (each client and plan is different and has different needs), and I very much like that we are a smaller firm focused on client satisfaction and in delivering a quality work product.

4. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

To be honest, I’m not much of a career goals person. In the short-term I just try to do good work every day. In the long-term, I would hope that I keep learning and progressing in my role. There are lots of paths you can end up taking in life, and I just try to be open to them.

5. What has been your involvement with the CIA since obtaining your FCIA designation?

I joined the CIA Single Topic Task Force (STTF) on Retirement Age in public pensions after obtaining my designation, and through the help of my fellow actuaries at ASI who nominated me for the position and who are very involved in the CIA themselves. My company is very supportive of our volunteering initiatives, and I think it benefits us both as individuals and as a firm.

6. How has the process of participating in the retirement age STTF been? What have you gained from the experience?

Working with the task force was definitely a good experience. All of the actuaries involved are incredibly smart, dedicated, and passionate people – and the profession is lucky to have them. I think I gained a broader perspective (lots of varying opinions from the task force members), and a view on how a professional committee operates (which is one I had not seen before). I also got to know the CIA as an organization better, and to see how they work behind the scenes. It was very impressive.

7. What advice would you give to another new Fellow looking to get involved as a CIA volunteer?

To future fellows I would say try to find some time to volunteer. We lead VERY busy lives these days, and if you are lucky you will have the support of your employer in your volunteer work. It will benefit you both. From a personal perspective, I think it both broadens and deepens your work experience by allowing you to work with other actuaries who have a great deal of experience to share. You will learn more than you would otherwise, and it might just open you up for greater experiences down the road.

Carly Wybrow, FCIA, is a member of the Single Topic Task Force on Retirement Age.

Note: To become a volunteer, visit the volunteer centre on the website (login required).  

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