Young Actuaries Advisory Board – The year that was

Queenie Chow, 2021 President of the Young Actuaries Advisory Board (YAAB) recaps the highlights, greatest achievements and noteworthy events from the past year and gives thanks to all the volunteers who have given up their time to build up the actuarial profession.

As we draw close to the end of 2021, it is with great gratitude that I reflect upon the fulfilling year of activities that the inaugural YAAB has achieved despite having to work within the virtual world. I want to thank the Council for its visionary move in giving a voice to young members and enabling a forum for discussions through the YAAB and its initiatives. Representing more than half of our membership, YAAB has been thrilled with the chance to shape the future of our profession. It continues to be the vision of YAAB in acting as the bridge connecting the diverse views of young actuaries – both traditional and non-conventional – to the wider professional community!

In communication, one of the highlights of the year is certainly the launch of our Young Actuaries LinkedIn channel group (with almost 650 members) and vodcast series targeting young actuaries’ audience and engagement. YAAB also made regular submissions to Actuaries Digital on topics and issues faced by young actuaries. Articles submitted included The Actuaryland Project, A young actuary in a non-traditional role – a growing trend and the YAAB Under the Spotlight series.

YAAB has also acted as the voice of the young members in the profession and advised Council on matters relating to young members. Apart from presenting at the Council meetings throughout the year, young volunteers have also actively participated in the election to Council, Nominations Committee, thought leadership on Space, institute’s marketing strategy as well as presentations at the Summit on Brand Actuary. It is encouraging to observe a greater number of young volunteers, including university students, giving up their time in building up our profession.

Actuaries thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. The YAAB also provided continuing professional development activities targeting students and newly qualified members with a focus on mentorship and networking, presentation, and innovation skills training. A series of engaging your audience seminars were followed by a series of ‘Toastmasters’ style workshops targeting university students. An inaugural cross-university innovation competition will also be launched in 2022 where teams compete to identify, assess, and solve problems creatively facing the actuarial profession – stay tuned on this new initiative!

Networking has also been a key focus in many of our initiatives. In our virtual speed-networking session, younger members were given the opportunity to connect with eight leader hosts on any professional / career-related topics through small rotating groups. The inaugural coffee roulette also attracted a high volume of interest with 90 participants signing up within a few days of the pilot launch! Of course, Young Actuaries Programs (YAP) of the four regions – Asia, NSW, QLD and VIC – have offered our members many wonderful networking and insights sessions throughout the year. Finally, YAAB also finished the year with a successful Young Actuaries Conference which has returned for the fifth year.

In enabling a stronger strategy and collaboration, discussions also took place across Young Actuaries Programs (YAP) in different locations with a best-practice guideline developed to ensure consistency. YAAB representatives also sat on the Horizon 2035 working committee and Diversity & Inclusion Working Group (DIWG) representing young actuaries.

For me, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work and meet young actuaries within the profession. I have loved working with all the young actuaries through YAAB and am continued to be inspired by each and everyone’s talent, intelligence, creativity, and most importantly the great energy within the group! Finally, I want to thank our hard-working committee for bringing together all the initiatives this year. If you wish to participate with our young actuaries’ initiatives, stay connected with us on our LinkedIn group. In the meantime, keep safe and wish you all a very happy new year to 2022 soon!

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