Dan Palomeque BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Finance graduate

"I started at the University of Plymouth studying towards a BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Finance degree. My first two years provided a great base in a wide range of mathematical principles with an even split of pure and applied topics taught by lecturers who are experts in their respective fields. In my third year I was lucky enough to obtain a year-long industrial placement with Volkswagen Group UK as a Data Analyst. This opportunity was predominantly down to the support I had from the placements team and my lecturers.

After a successful year obtaining invaluable real world experience I returned to University with a wide variety of modules to choose from. After the holistic understanding gained over the first two years, the final year structure allowed me to specialise in statistical and financial applied modules which suited the area of work I was hoping to go into. During the first term of my final year I started applying to actuarial graduate schemes with, again, the support from my lecturers and the University careers team. With the knowledge I gained from my studies and the experiences gained from my industrial placement, I was lucky enough to be offered a place on the graduate scheme at Zurich Insurance as an Actuarial Trainee.

In addition, in my final year I completed a group project focussing on financial modelling. This project allowed me to explore a topic that interested me and would be beneficial for when I started my graduate career. We were given a project tutor who was always happy to help explain complex principles that we were looking to apply. I recently graduated with First Class Honours in Mathematics with Finance. I have now been at Zurich for nine months and have just successfully sat and passed my first two actuarial exams. Alongside that I have applied the knowledge I have developed through my time at university to interesting projects.

My degree has prepared me for the actuarial exams by teaching fundamental statistical and mathematical concepts well, and also giving the opportunity to study more complex topics that can be applied to finance. These topics have had direct links to the actuarial exams I have studied for and passed, and, in addition, the later exams which I am studying for now and will continue to study for into the future."