Jacky Ng Ching-leung got his actuarial internship at Manulife with help from the programme leader of his bachelor’s course. His role, which involved liaising with different departments, enabled him to see the inner workings of the company. Ng tells Wong Yat-hei he is confident his internship is crucial to his becoming a professional actuary.
What is your academic background?
I’m majoring in insurance, financial and actuarial analysis, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
How do you start your day?
I greet my colleagues, and see if I can help with what they’re working on. If not, I look at the electronic logbook and continue working on my tasks. My main area is doing special quotations.
What does your job entail?
For the special quotations, I have to create illustrations and do reports. I have to obtain data and approval from other departments, giving me the chance to communicate with and learn from colleagues. As a result, I have learned about our company’s product features and work tools, and to properly present my findings to agents and clients. Apart from preparing special quotations, I’m also occasionally involved in building Excel spreadsheets, assisting in user-assessment tests and other ad hoc tasks.
What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?
Since I seldom deal with computer codes in my studies, computer programming is my greatest obstacle. Though the complicated codes are frustrating, the support from my colleagues has cheered me up. With their guidance and my efforts, I manage to finish all the related tasks and my programming has improved a lot.
What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?
Good communication, presentation and technical skills are crucial. The internship has deepened my understanding of real-life actuarial practice. It has strengthened my analytical thinking and helped to hone my technical and problem-solving skills. My immediate plan is to do more business courses and then take the actuarial exams. I also want to do a master degree after getting several years of work experience. I wish I can take up a management role with a bank or an insurance company.
Any advice for potential interns?
The eagerness to learn is of utmost importance. No matter what problems and difficulties we have to face, we should grab every precious opportunity to equip ourselves for the future.