What is a typical day like for you? What are some of your challenges?
It varies, depending on the project at hand. At a high level, I’m responsible for overseeing the product design, pricing and reinsurance initiatives in Canada. On a given day, for example, I could be reviewing the product design and pricing of a brand-new product, or adjusting an existing product to adapt to changes in the competitive landscape or economic environment. My role is both exciting and challenging because it is dynamic and interacts with the real world. Our business is highly affected by the external environment and must respond to changes quickly.
Within the Sun Life Actuarial Community, I’m co-chair of the AVP Talent Council, which oversees actuarial talent management for Directors and new Fellows. Our main objective is to help Sun Life develop a world class Actuarial Community.
I also volunteer for the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and Society of Actuaries (SOA). I am currently a chair of the project oversight group for the CIA retirement risk survey and a vice-chair of the Life Product Management Exam.
How did Sun Life help you advance your career?
Sun Life has helped me advance my career through the opportunities I have had to try different areas and tackle challenges within each area. I started at Sun Life as an analyst and over the course of my career, every role has provided additional responsibilities and new challenges that have helped me develop a broad skillset. I have had the opportunity to build and lead growing teams and take part in high-profile projects.
Sun Life also has a great coffee chat culture, which has helped me expand my network and get to know other actuaries and leaders at the company. Having this opportunity has allowed me to ask questions, talk through different challenges and get advice from others.
How do you feel that the co-op and new grad programs contribute to Sun Life's pipeline and overall success?
The co-op and new grad programs are very important to Sun Life. We invest a lot in both programs because we see them as our pipeline for future leaders of the company. Many of the actuaries in the company actually started at Sun Life as co-op students or new grads, and some of them have progressed to very senior positions within the organization.
I also find that these programs contribute to Sun Life’s overall success through the fresh perspectives they help bring in. As a leader, this is something I highly value because co-ops and new grads often offer diverse views and new ideas that challenge the way we do things today.
Can you offer some tips to students or recent grads who hope to start at Sun Life?
Take the time to build a network. Over the years, I’ve found volunteering to be a great way to do this. Through my volunteering, both within Sun Life and externally, I’ve been able to find mentors who have helped me through different challenges and navigate to where I am today.
Sun Life is a large company with many different areas and types of roles available. Talk to past co-ops and current employees to learn more about the opportunities at Sun Life. As you start on your career, be open-minded and do not be afraid to take on different roles or new opportunities.