Guy, currently an Actuarial Associate at Punter Southall, tells us about how his involvement with the PSC during his time at university has helped kick-start his career.
When did you graduate from St Andrews and what was your field of study?
In the Summer of 2015, with a MPhys in Astrophysics
Could you describe your current role/typical workday?
Typical hours: 9-6. About 50% working on spreadsheets, programs and documents on my computer. About 50% of my time is spent talking to colleagues, followed by paper work and meetings. The work is very diverse as it’s a consultancy. I’m often doing around 10 different tasks each day which keeps it interesting.
Which qualities proved most useful in securing your current position?
- My strong mathematical and analytical abilities
- Programming/IT skills
- Written and oral communication
- Ability to communicate difficult concepts at all levels
- The fact that I am both team-oriented and comfortable working independently
- Good time management, particularly when there are conflicting deadlines
What prompted you to embark on the PSC curriculum?
Wanting to be more well-rounded.
How well did the professional skills programme prepare you for a corporate environment?
It really helped with interviews, especially improving my answers to competency based questions. Beyond that it was moderately helpful in general.
What advice would you give to final year students who are unsure about their career paths?
Fake it ’til you make it. Chances are you’ll feel as clueless as you do now long after you graduate, but that’s OK, so does everyone else. If you haven’t already, you need to learn to manage those feelings and just play the game for a while. Success will come.
To find out how you can get involved with the Professional Skills Curriculum visit https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/careermatters/professionalskills/programme/
Find our latest events here: https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalSkillsCurriculum/