My internship in actuarial analytics: Chalani Wickremasinghe

Chalani Wickremasinghe

What did you do during your internship?

I was involved in a number of different projects during my actuarial analytics internship with the Hiscox Re & ILS team. My main task was an exposure management research project, where I researched different ways to use Python (a computer coding language) to solve a problem that the team were faced with. After researching the different coding methods I could use, I selected the three methods which I thought were the best, presented my research and recommendations to the team and wrote the code to use these methods with our own data. It was an interesting and challenging project that provided real value to the business.

I also worked with the other interns on a group project with Next Gen – the Hiscox employee network designed to guide new joiners through the world of Hiscox and insurance. This project helped us develop the soft skills needed for working in a professional environment - we were required to collaborate, polish up our research and writing skills, improve our presentation skills as well as network and work with different departments.

What was the most enjoyable part of your internship?

I really enjoyed getting to know other actuaries – and hear about their roles, responsibilities and experiences. One of the main reasons I applied for this internship was to confirm whether an actuarial career is the right path for me. I had done research on the role previously and was interested in the profession, but I also wanted hands-on experience.

Hiscox was the perfect place for someone in my situation. I got to speak to pricing, reserving, capital modelling as well as risk actuaries. I learnt in detail about their career paths, experiences, their daily tasks and future aspirations. I was also able to learn about underwriters, catastrophe modellers and various other roles in the industry.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing an internship at Hiscox?

I wanted to spend my summer in a company where I would be given challenging work, an opportunity to develop valuable relationships and explore my career options. I got a perfect blend of that at Hiscox. If you are looking for a similar experience, this internship could suit you too.

My internship gave me an opportunity to develop skills that will be extremely useful in any industry or role. Hiscox employees are encouraged to be innovative - I found people were always seeking ways to do their work more efficiently or effectively. This mindset is extremely valuable in any work that you do, and if you’re interested in developing this way of thinking - which I think most students are - this is a great place to do that.

Many students are unsure about what to do after they graduate and somewhere like Hiscox is a great place to explore career options and understand what fits your skill set and interests. From connecting with a range of people from those on the graduate scheme through to CEOs, I now have a good understanding of many roles in the industry and how all the roles are interconnected.

How would you describe the culture at Hiscox?

Hiscox employees are friendly and helpful. I felt that I could reach out to anyone if I needed to clarify points or gain advice. I also felt that I could be honest and straight forward about my opinions.

A unique aspect of the culture is how employees are encouraged to think of Hiscox as their own business. Successes are celebrated, and mistakes are considered an opportunity to learn and improve.

The work will challenge you and push you to learn fast, but also  you will have time to reflect on what you’re doing.

What surprised you about working at Hiscox?

What really surprised me was quite how much I enjoyed it! I have heard many stories of internships at other companies where either there was nothing to do, or far too much to do. My experience however was completely different. I was given challenging work and responsibility, but I also had time to reflect on what I was learning and to enjoy the summer. A key focus at Hiscox is work-life balance, and I think this enables you to be able to do your best at work.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your internship?

I believe that being passionate about what you do is a huge part of being good at what you do. I met many employees who have had long successful careers at Hiscox, were passionate about their work and were happy to talk about their experience and give me advice – they want to see newcomers to the industry succeed. So the most important lesson I have taken away from this internship is to always do what you genuinely think is interesting and you will succeed.

Find out more about an internship at Hiscox here.