Hana Drake

Programme: MSc Actuarial Management (2017)

Current role: Actuarial Managing Consultant, 4Most

In 2011, I finished my Master’s in Actuarial Science in Slovakia and went on to work in the insurance industry in various countries, finally settling into a role in London. One of my professors told me quite early in my studies that actuarial roles are a combination of science, communication, professionalism and ongoing education. I wanted to grow in all of those areas, delve deep into the actuarial subject and gain a wider picture of the financial services industry. As a result, I decided to study for another MSc in Actuarial Management in London.

I chose the Business School (formerly Cass), as it offers one of the most well-known programmes for actuarial education in the world. In addition, because of its location in the City, the school offers strong links to industry and attracts fantastic industry support.

The professional services staff and professors were great. They were all very encouraging, treating us as partners and providing all the resources to enable us to reach our potential.

The programme really stretches your boundaries, and though it pushes you to work very hard, it’s also extremely rewarding. There’s lots of creativity going on, and the learning has a practical focus, ensuring all the coursework and projects were quite close to reality or from real-life scenarios. The MSc is also thought-provoking and pushes you to discover what you can do or what you want to do.

There’s also plenty of scope to broaden your horizons. For example, the professional development skills training was very practical and helpful, and I still use the skills from the Presenting with Impact session today. My favourite non-actuarial subjects were Marketing, Strategy or Ethics in Business, which you wouldn’t normally get as part of an actuarial science programme, but it really helps you to become a well-rounded business professional.

My highlight of the Business School was the people. All the classmates, all the staff, all the professors, all the professionals, the mentors – they all give you new perspectives. We also got insights from the many guest lecturers, who, as industry leaders, were very experienced and driven, and provided plenty of inspiration.

The international cohort was very diverse. Some of my best memories are from the toughest moments before the exams – all the desperate times in the library, studying together and driving each other along were actually some of my happiest moments.

I’m very proud of my time at the Business School . I’m very grateful. It provided me with a degree from a very well-known institution, great contacts and lots of good memories.The experience changed me professionally and personally in the best way possible, giving me skills, knowledge and confidence, which I use in my day-to-day job.

Today, I work with the largest risk analytics consultancy in the UK, 4most, as an Actuarial Consultant, using the skills I developed.

As the Business School means a lot to me, I’m still in touch. I’m now in the process of enabling some current students to do research projects and internships at 4most. We’re going to do various career related and technical talks for students as well, so I’m hoping that in the future I can give back something in return for everything I gained.