APR Junior Analyst Scheme
What is the Junior Analyst Scheme?
- As early as 2017, APR began recruiting highly talented school leavers who, whilst working at APR, studied with the IFoA to become Certified Actuarial Analysts (CAA).
- Our experience of taking school leavers on was overwhelmingly positive, with all of them thriving on client projects and some going on to pursue additional actuarial qualifications after attaining the CAA qualification.
- In October 2021, we were disappointed to hear that the CAA qualification was closed to new applicants. However, APR is keen to continue taking on school leavers as we believe that the traditional university route is not the best fit for everyone.
- Building on our analysts' successes over the last 5 years, we have since developed an internal school leaver programme, allowing successful candidates the opportunity to earn and learn while developing useful skills and experience.
Why Join APR?
- This is an opportunity to "earn while you learn" by developing both technical and professional skills without accumulating student debt.
- We place a strong focus on work life balance and strive to make sure that no one is overworked.
- We give you the chance to control your career and pick a specialism you enjoy, such as life insurance, general insurance, pensions or a non-traditional area.
- We know what differentiates the best actuarial students, and our industry-leading training will enable you to stand out from the crowd.
- We provide a comprehensive study support package to all actuarial students. Regular study leave and revision materials come as standard.
- We offer flexible working conditions from the start and after your first year with us we can discuss the best working arrangement to suit you
- We offer both a competitive salary and early participation in our bonus and profit-sharing arrangements.
- After joining the Junior Analyst Scheme you will undergo an intensive period of industry-leading induction training, covering topics such as Excel fundamentals, VBA and introductions to specialisms such as life and general insurance.
- During your first year at APR, you can expect to:
- Spend approximately 1 day per week in-house for formal training, after the induction training period. There will be a wide range of topics covering technical skills (R, Python and SQL), industry knowledge (reinsurance, Solvency II and IFRS17) as well as wider business skills (communication, project management and business development). You will submit exercises for review and receive feedback as you progress.
- Sit your first internal exams on actuarial mathematics and statistics to assess your progress and future development needs. There will be a generous study package available to support you, including exam materials and days for independent study.
- Undertake your first client project for APR, alongside another APR member of staff where possible.
- Contribute to various APR functions such as recruitment, training or the social committee.
- After the first year, you will have the opportunity to work towards additional professional qualifications in fields such as actuarial or data science, determined individually based on your interests and at the discretion of managers and APR partners.
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.
The Junior Analyst Scheme provides a great foundation for future career development and specialisation in your fields of interest. We look for talented, highly numerate school leavers or those with some further academic / work experience, who want to develop a career in areas that are in high demand such as finance, data analysis and programming.
Applicants are recommended to possess the following level of qualifications:
- 128 UCAS points (equivalent to one A and two Bs at A-Level)
- Grade A at A-Level (or equivalent) in a mathematics-related subject
- Grade 7 at GCSE in English Language (or Grade A under the previous system)
- CV and Application Questions – An opportunity to show us you’re qualified, motivated and want to join us. Note that we will not consider applications without answers to the application questions.
- 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 session either conducted virtually or at one of our offices. You will be asked to give a presentation on a topic of your choice, have a face-to-face interview and complete a technical assessment.
Our recruitment team has issued a guide for prospective graduate applicants which discusses each stage in greater detail and provides tips on how to prepare for them. While we do not require junior analysts to provide cover letters, the other assessment stages are identical and therefore equally relevant. You can access the guide here.
What personally attracted me towards this path was the values and principles that the job requires and develops. A few of these include critical thinking, attention to detail and response to change, all of which are transferrable to my personal life and across professions. After the initial in-house training, I have worked on a range of projects including software migration and data reconciliation. The fluency in the profession and shift of teams is something I have really come to value.
Additionally, I get dedicated days for studying which I can decide when and how to use. I have enjoyed the flexibility as it has allowed me to tailor my learning to what works for me and tackle my first exams with confidence.
University wasn't for me, but this didn't prevent me from entering the actuarial profession, as APR's initial training helps bring you up to speed with the inner workings of the industry. APR's study coordinators help with all your study needs, and in general everyone is friendly and more than happy to share their knowledge.
Notably, APR pride ourselves in doing what is right. This is evidenced by our countless charity initiatives such as the annual Charity Day, Give as You Earn scheme and sponsorship activities. Extensive work is also being done on sustainability, wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusion. Hence, there are many areas outside of standard actuarial work that you can get involved in, as you strive to become a more well-rounded professional.
I enjoy being able to make a tangible positive impact for clients, and I've had lots of opportunities to do so while learning from a wide range of highly experienced colleagues. The fact that the company is small (but rapidly growing) makes it easier for your efforts to be seen and appreciated, and there is a high level of trust given to each of the employees.
To thrive in this role, you'll likely need to have good problem solving and communication skills, in order to work effectively within your team and report clearly to managers and others involved in your project. Make sure you take every opportunity that comes your way - nobody is going to do it for you!