An athlete in a sport where no communication is possible, to a profession that requires communication to be great, Sheena Soh shares her personal and professional journey.
My interesting/quirky hobbies…
I enjoy all water sports but am currently hooked on underwater hockey. It’s a game that originated in the 1950’s in the UK as a means for naval divers to keep active during the winter months.
It involves two teams competing to manoeuvre a weighted puck into each other goal’s using a short stick. The game is played at the bottom of the pool and requires players to hold their breath on the bottom. This means that communication is virtually impossible during a game and lots of training and teamwork is needed in order to execute the team’s strategy.
Not many people know this but I… Represented the Singapore Underwater Hockey Team (Women) in the most recent 2019 South East Asian Games held in Manila. The Singapore Men’s and Women’s team won Gold in all four events.
What I find most interesting about my current role… My current role involves servicing clients from different countries in the region. This exposes me to the unique challenges and risks faced by each insurer in their home country. It also exposes me to the different product innovation in various countries and makes me think about how we can bring together these ideas and innovation to best help our clients.
My vision on Asia… There are so many areas of opportunity for growth in the Asia market and I look forward to exciting innovations happening in the Asia insurance markets that will bring about a change in the way insurance has been done.
My view on cultural differences is…
Respect and understanding. Having worked with clients in different countries in Asia, I’ve learnt that there are subtle differences in the way that we work. This does not necessarily mean that a method is better or worse, what is most important is that we take the time to understand the motivation behind it and respect each other.
The most valuable skill an actuary can possess is… Good communication skills. I’ve learnt that it is easy to explain actuarial workings and concepts to actuarial colleagues, but the best actuaries are the ones that can concisely explain those steps in simple layman terms to non-actuarial colleagues. This way, actuaries will be able engage various stakeholders in more meaningful conversations, in order to bring the business to the next level.
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