Michelle is a Senior Actuarial Analyst who started at Pacific Life as an intern more than two years ago.
I went into college majoring in math but wanted a career path that was more defined. I stumbled upon Actuarial Science and after doing some research, it seemed like a great fit! I joined the Actuarial Association at University of California Santa Barbara where they walked me through all the ins-and-outs of becoming an actuary. I passed two actuarial exams before getting my internship at Pacific Life and I was lucky enough to get a return offer to come back full-time with the same team.
I am part of the Pension Risk Transfer Pricing Team where I help manage all our current policies. This includes all pricing exercises that happen post-sale such as reprices, reporting, and post-win deliverables. A typical day includes attending meetings for my team or other key stakeholders, re-running pricing models, and data manipulation within Excel.
There are always competing and shifting priorities so I must remain flexible and agile. It’s not uncommon to log on with my to-do list ready, only to be working on something entirely different by end of day! I’m lucky that I’ve established open lines of communication between my team and other key stakeholders which makes it a lot easier to adapt to an unexpected roadblock.
Pacific Life does a great job at supporting a healthy work-life balance. One thing that I admire about my team is that we are always focused on automating processes so that we can be more efficient. This focus on efficiency allows us to work smarter, not harder! Pacific Life also has many programs that encourage us to live a healthy and balanced life, from Rejuvenation Days to our Wellbeing Reimbursement accounts.
Pacific Life offers several formal programs for actuarial students that help accelerate careers. We have a Mentor & Advisor program which helps students navigate through critical points in their career. Pacific Life also provides a generous study program for actuarial students where employees get exam support in the form of study hours and study materials. Finally, my team culture cultivates my career and professional development through regular one-on-one meetings with management and regular goal setting.
Exams are important during your early career, but I think it’s also important to learn about the business and focus on the value you add to your team and enterprise.