Under the Spotlight with Alyssa Dai

Sparked by the Morrisby Test’s career recommendation, President of the Young Actuaries Program Victoria, Alyssa Dai’s journey into the actuarial field has been marked by determination, empowerment and a fervent passion to inspire and uplift others in their pursuit of actuarial excellence. 

For those in our community who may not know you well, could you introduce yourself and describe your journey so far?

My actuarial journey began in high school – Year 10 to be exact – when actuary was listed as a top career suggestion on my Morrisby Test.

The Morrisby Test is a personalised list of potential career paths based on abilities and characteristics. Unfamiliar with what an actuary was, I did some research online.

I became extremely excited when I discovered that actuaries were in high demand, well-regarded and well-paid. Like most actuaries, maths was my favourite subject at school and I was even more excited to discover that the profession utilised advanced mathematical skills.

Passionate about the complex problem-solving nature inherent in actuarial work, I joined the Actuarial Services Team at EY Melbourne following my graduation from the University of Melbourne. Over the past three years, I’ve become a specialist in banking and capital markets and achieved my FIAA and CERA qualifications in 2023.

In 2021, I started volunteering with the Actuaries Institute in Young Actuaries Program (YAP) Victoria and I’m honoured to now be serving as the President of YAP Victoria.

Alyssa with 2024 Actuaries Institute President David Whittle at the Melbourne Graduation Dinner

Why are you proud to be an Actuary?

I am proud to be an Actuary as the profession is centred around using data for good by leveraging datasets, models and problem-solving skills to help organisations manage risk and move forward.

Being in a continuously changing environment, actuaries are on a lifelong learning journey to refine our toolkits, address new challenges, and make a positive impact on businesses and society.

What inspired you to join the Young Actuaries Advisory Board?

The wish to give back to the community.

During university, I was fortunate to receive invaluable support and guidance from actuaries working in the profession. Their mentorship was crucial in helping me navigate my career path, develop essential skills, and step foot into the profession. I am deeply grateful for the guidance and am committed to paying it forward by helping others just as I was.

I’m dedicated to engaging young actuaries and fostering a connected community through the initiatives of the Young Actuaries Advisory Board (YAAB) and YAP.  

What do you enjoy the most about being involved with YAAB?

I enjoy connecting thoughts and discussing initiatives with other passionate young actuaries who are enthusiastic and open to new ideas.

It is exciting to be part of a diverse group of actuaries who are motivated and strive towards a common goal of enhancing engagement amongst young members, both locally and internationally.

At YAAB, we not only have the chance to raise ideas and express our opinions, but we are also involved in the end-to-end process of projects and witness our strategies come to life, seeing the impact first-hand.

Why do you think it’s important for younger members to be involved with boards and committees like YAAB and YAP?

According to the Actuaries Institute Year in Review in 2023, young actuaries under the age of 35 make up 48% of the member base. However, many are uncertain about the role we play and the contributions we can make within the community.

This might be due to several factors:

  1. unfamiliarity with the opportunities available to us;
  2. no close networks engaged in similar positions; or
  3. lack of understanding of the positive impact we can create as young actuaries.


As the next generation of actuaries, there are numerous opportunities for us to be involved, voice our thoughts and create tangible impact. We can:

  • attend YAP events organised by NSW, VIC and QLD to connect and bond with like-minded people;
  • join YAP or YAAB committees to become the representatives of our peers;
  • get involved in practice committees to grow professionally;
  • connect with industry professionals; and
  • be at the forefront of leading actuarial discussions and developments.


Getting involved with the Institute community can help us stay close and stay strong. For those interested in being involved, I would recommend regularly checking the Volunteer Hub for vacant opportunities.

Alyssa in her spare time enjoying nature

What are the highlights and challenges of your current job role?

Working as an actuary in a non-traditional actuarial space gives rise to many opportunities to keep up with new practice areas and the emerging risks faced by clients.

It is fascinating to leverage the technical toolkit we possess as actuaries and apply them to the growing trends in the industry, for example, building climate risk models for banks.

In addition, working in the consulting industry provides a wide variety of exposure, and the unpredictability is such that my workday tomorrow could be entirely different from today – which is exciting as it continually brings new sets of challenges and learning opportunities!

When it comes to reviewing models and putting on an auditor’s lens, it is truly rewarding to play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and functionality of models and their outputs. Nonetheless, the weight of the responsibility cannot be understated.

Even a minor oversight or failure to identify an error could lead to significant implications; one single percentage point could make a substantial difference. Actuaries need to possess the ability to grasp the broader context and understand the big picture, while also being able to dive into the specifics to ensure comfort and familiarity with every detail.

Which skills (actuarial or otherwise) are the most important for your field of work?

One of the most valuable skills an actuary can possess in their toolkit is the ability to break down abstract concepts and explain them to a non-technical audience. This skill is especially important when working in a non-traditional actuarial space, where most of the stakeholders we interact with may not come from an actuarial or technical background. This requires us not only to understand the underlying technical details inside out, but also to be able to simplify and summarise complicated concepts into structured prose in deliverable reports, flowcharts in presentation decks, or simple analogies that can be understood by anyone.

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