Being a Buddy
31 Jul 2018 - Estimated reading time: 1 minute
When new graduates start with us they usually sit next to their “buddy” for the first 6 months or so. The buddy is typically someone who’s worked for a year or two years in the firm.
I enjoyed being a buddy and also welcomed the extra responsibility that the role gave me.
It was my job to help the new graduate with any questions about their work projects, studying for the exams or the firm generally. This helped me solidify the knowledge I’d gained in my first year of work and made me realise how much I’d learned since I was a new graduate the year before. Even if you think you understand a calculation or report, the real test is whether or not you can explain it to someone else! Having someone ask you questions about any piece of work can help you to shift your focus so that you really understand why you’re doing it, not just how to do it. This deeper understanding of day to day actuarial work has been very beneficial to me in terms of my own progression at work.
It’s really rewarding to be able to explain technical concepts to somebody, and see them understand and be able to apply their new knowledge to different pieces of work and different clients. However it’s not just technical-based help - one memory that stands out for me is when I helped my buddy prepare to speak to a client on the phone for the first time. I could remember being incredibly nervous for my first conversation with a client, and so I was pleased to use my own experience to help my buddy gain confidence in this nerve-wracking area of our work!
It was also part of my role to help the new graduate manage their workload by helping them learn to prioritise urgent work in busy times, and helping them to find projects to get involved in in quieter times. Developing these management skills has really helped me in my own job, and I know that as I progress in my career I’d be interested in becoming a manager more formally.