APR Graduate Actuarial Scheme
Why choose APR?
- Industry-leading training and a competitive study package, which has allowed APR staff to consistently achieve an exam pass rate far above that of the industry average.
- A wide range of clients and projects, giving you the opportunity to gain experience in many different areas of the industry.
- Given responsibility early on at client projects, maximising your learning and development.
- Be part of a small company, giving you the chance to work closely alongside some exceptional actuarial talent in an environment which champions mutual success.
- A competitive salary with a developing benefits package, including early participation in our bonus and profit-sharing schemes.
APR are a specialist actuarial employer providing both resourcing and consulting solutions to our clients, who are primarily life and non-life insurers but may also be in less traditional areas.
After joining the Graduate Scheme, you will undergo a period of induction training, during which your skills and interests will be continuously developed and assessed to identify the best client projects for you. The projects themselves span a large range of areas of actuarial work but typical projects include:
- Providing specialist skills in short supply, such as model development or coding in various languages such as Excel, VBA, R and SQL.
- Working on major change projects, for example:
- Those driven by regulatory developments.
- Those stemming from strategic business decision.
- Backfilling of BAU work, for example financial reporting, pricing support or capital management - great for developing core actuarial skills and knowledge.
For future client projects, your development goals and preferences will be considered to ensure that you get the variety of work and technical exposure that you expected when you joined APR. By investing in key transferable skills like modelling, coding and data, it is easier for staff to apply their skills across all actuarial sectors rather than being pushed into a particular specialism early in a career.
When not on client project, you will work between home and one of our London, Edinburgh or Dublin offices. A key focus in such periods is on your technical development which is likely to mean significant time developing higher-order skills in areas like Excel model development, data and coding skills, and other proprietary actuarial modelling software. However, there is also the opportunity to get involved in wider areas of the business such as recruitment, training, business development and marketing.
Even with staff being assigned to many different clients and projects, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate within APR - our close-knit team is something we are very proud of. This collaboration might take the form of getting involved with internal APR work, attendance at training days or internal CPD events, or taking part in social activities.
APR's general philosophy on working practices is to be as flexible and pragmatic as we are able to be. A copy of the working practices policy will be provided during the offer stages of APR employment, but to give potential employees an idea of our approach we have summarised here the arrangements in two key areas:
- Location: we have a range of working practice bases available, each of which sets out the minimum expectations in terms of travel to client sites and attendance at APR offices. Feedback from our existing staff is that these different bases provide them with a welcome degree of freedom to operate in a way that works for them while meeting APR's business needs. Note that in most cases, we would expect entry-level staff to work under an arrangement that requires a reasonable level of office attendance, reflecting the greater benefits of face-to-face contact in these early career stages; after this period, we would review whether moving to another basis is appropriate.
- Working hours: APR has a flexible approach as far as it is practical to do so. For example, one constraint is that some clients may have set working patterns or specified core hours of working, which we are required to honour.
As a caring employer we recognise that some staff may have specific reasons why they are unable to be as flexible as they or we might like, and we are committed to applying our policy in a way that is fair for all.
- CV and Cover Letter – An opportunity to show us you’re qualified, motivated and want to join us. Note that we will not consider applications without a suitable covering letter.
- Online Test – A mainly numerical test to let you show us your mathematical competence and knowledge. We have provided a few sample questions to give an idea of what this test will involve – see here for details.
- Telephone Interview – A discussion with a senior member of staff on your reasons for applying to APR, as well as industry and technical knowledge.
- Assessment Centre – An intensive two-hour virtual session (but in-person is able to be carried out too). You will be asked to give a presentation on a topic of your choice, have a face-to-face interview, and take another technical assessment.
Our recruitment team has issued a guide for prospective applicants which discusses each stage in greater detail and provides tips on how to prepare for them. You can access the guide here.
Having worked in both Life and General Insurance projects since joining, I’ve also been able to start building a varied network of external colleagues. It has been great to branch out and meet new people in this way while having a supportive base through APR.
As we’re a smaller, growing business, I’ve had many opportunities to contribute directly to the progression of the company. I’ve been involved in several aspects of the recruitment functions for both graduates and interns, and jointly took charge of coordinating our monthly staff update which was an effective way to become familiar with some of the internal workings of APR.
Since joining APR in 2021, I have been exceedingly happy with the amount of autonomy I have on improving my technical and soft skills – it is rare to not learn something new each day and I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon.
I was also involved in many different aspects of work outside of my client project, while prioritising my actuarial exams and maintaining a strong work life balance. Through my role in APR’s wellbeing team, I can confirm that the latter is a top priority for the management team.
Having graduated from a degree in Actuarial Science, I was uncertain about which area to specialise in. Thus, I was particularly attracted to APR because its wide variety of available projects gives me control over my career.
Since joining I have found that there is a strong sense of community within APR, as everyone is very approachable and willing to share knowledge or advice when needed. The Dublin office’s regular socials and the opportunity to visit our London/Edinburgh colleagues helped in quickly integrating and feeling like a valuable team member.
I joined APR in September 2022, and I’ve really enjoyed my time so far. APR is an employer where rewards are meritocratic, and there is a strong emphasis on the company’s values. The size of the business means that I’ve gained a more general commercial awareness and responsibility than I’d expect at this stage of my career.
In addition, the scope of projects that APR take on will allow me to gain a wide range of actuarial experiences, and give me the ability to specialise later down the line.
APR’s culture is very open and friendly, which helped me get used to the working life during the COVID-19 pandemic as a fresh graduate. The company offers lots of opportunities for not only client projects but also non-standard actuarial work – for example, I implemented a new automated processing system for our graduate role applications early on in my career here. APR has also ensured that I get the study time and support needed for the professional exams, without feeling too pressured to balance them with my client work.