Actuarial Science Personal Statement

The recent financial crisis resulted from financial institutions’ not accurately quantifying the risks of some of their financial products. Actuaries are essential to ensure banks and other institutions correctly assess the risks of their ventures to avoid disasters that result in major job losses and the bankruptcy of nations. I have a gift for mathematics and consequently I want to use my talent to help prevent crises, such as the one we have just experienced, as an actuary at a major financial institution. I wish to study Actuarial Science to fulfil my ambition. To that end, I am studying Maths and Further Maths at A Level for which I am predicted the highest grades, as well as Chemistry and Physics. I have already gained A grades in all of my AS Levels. From studying Mathematics at A-Level I have further developed my love of problem solving and I gain great satisfaction from discovering new theorems and learning and producing proofs. So I very much look forward to studying even more complex areas of mathematics, such as Complex Analysis, at university, from which I may gain even greater satisfaction.

Before coming to the UK, I received an excellent intellectual grounding in my native Malaysia, where I excelled in languages as well as maths and science. As a result of my hard work and success, I was awarded a scholarship at a prestigious UK school. I was able to make the jump from one academic environment to another very smoothly, so this bodes well for when I shall make the step up from school to university study.

Outside of the classroom, I have been preparing myself for my career and study. I undertook an internship last summer at a major money market and foreign exchange broker. I handled major transactions and shadowed top professionals from whom I learned how to price complex financial products and how they use mathematics to calibrate the interest rates of products so that each party to the deal can benefit. The experience only strengthened my ambition to become an actuary and gave me a taste of the day-to-day reality of my chosen profession. To gain an even more detailed knowledge of the business, I plan to do an internship at a major insurance firm this coming summer.

My love of mathematics extends beyond the classroom. I am the elected president of the school’s maths club. In which role, I organise a maths week, write maths quizzes for students and attempt to instil a love of the subject into other students. I have also been elected president of the ping pong club for the last two years. I organise the training schedules and inter-school tournaments, an experience which has greatly improved my leadership and organisational skills. On top of all this, I captain our house’s marching band, from which I have learned how to motivate people, a skill which should be of use later in my career. Given all my commitments, I have had to learn how to manage my time very efficiently. I wish to join and hopefully lead the maths and ping pong clubs at university so knowing how to juggle academic and extra-curricular commitments is very important.

In the little spare time I have, I love to read books on economics, such as The Secret of Economic Indicators and The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. I also enjoy fixing and selling on faulty iPhones. The work calls for great patience and precision as one false move can damage the phone irreparably. These are qualities that should be of great use to me as an actuary.

My academic success is in part the result of ‘study smart’ techniques I have developed. At university, I should like to organise study sessions with other students with whom I could share my techniques and from whom I could learn myself.

For, at university, I should like to help foster a mutually supportive study environment so that I shall be able to cultivate a similar atmosphere when I enter the world of work.