Mini-rotation in Korea
Author: James N.
Location: Washington, D.C.
The AEDP gave me the opportunity to spend five months working with our actuarial colleagues in Cigna's Seoul, South Korea office. This mini-rotation experience provided an unbeatable opportunity to immerse myself in our South Korea operations. I left with new insight into strategic direction, distribution methods, competitive landscape, regulatory constraints, and actuarial challenges, as well as lasting friendships on the Korea team.
During my stay, I had a number of work experiences unique to an international assignment: I hired and managed a translator to help me navigate the office environment and interact with my colleagues, I visited a call center and met with the manager to learn about our telemarketing operation, and I participated in strategy discussions around budgeting for direct-response television advertising.
My work assignments were varied and challenging, ranging from traditional actuarial work to more strategic analyses. I built a new tool to analyze historical IBNR reserve adequacy, modeled ways to improve profitability on a life insurance product, and designed a framework for optimizing television advertising spend.
Our Korea office has a distinctive workplace culture, and adapting to cultural difference between our Korea and US offices was a valuable learning experience. Learning to adjust for and embrace these differences helped me grow as a professional. I participated in office social events, played in a company basketball league, and even took a field trip to make kimchi (traditional Korean pickled vegetables) with the other actuaries.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity. The international mini-rotation is one of many distinguishing aspects of the AEDP as an amazing opportunity for early-career development as an actuarial professional.