Michael Flanagan


Michael Flanagan - Xafinity

Occupation: Actuarial Assistant
Degree: BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science & Risk Mgt
Joined Xafinity: 2017
Location: Belfast

My Degree

I chose to study the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree at Queen’s University in Belfast as it seemed like a perfect way to combine mathematical problem solving skills with an interest in the wider financial world. As well as being well regarded for actuarial science, Queen’s had the added benefit of providing up to eight exemptions from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ professional exams. This has given me a great head start on the road to qualifying as an actuary.


Choosing Xafinity

My degree also had the advantage of having a compulsory placement year. This enabled me start to think about where I could see myself working in the future. From speaking with previous placement students and meeting current employees at local events and Career Fairs, I knew the culture at Xafinity would suit me perfectly. I heard from many people about how Xafinity’s reputation in the industry was growing due to a desire to evolve and embrace new ideas. My placement interview was relaxed, allowing me to speak openly and convey my personality and why I felt I was right for the job. I was delighted to be offered a role in the actuarial team and after working here for over a year, I never had any doubts that I wanted to return to Xafinity in a graduate role.


My Job

Each day my job presents something new and challenging. In my short time with Xafinity, I have had exposure to a wide variety of work, from calculating the value of an individual member’s pension, to helping qualified actuaries to prepare for client meetings. I have had the opportunity to work closely with every member of our actuarial team, allowing me to learn from many experienced and knowledgeable actuaries. 


Professional development at Xafinity

The world of pensions can be very complicated so we aim to carry out several short training sessions every month. These can be related to updates in legislation, training in a new software or improving soft skills such as report writing. Each member of the team also has a quarterly review with their manager to evaluate their recent work and set targets to ensure everyone is enjoying what they work on and knows what they need to do to progress. Xafinity also offer a generous study package, providing me with all the required study materials and allowing me time off in the lead up to exams.


Life at Xafinity

The main reason I wanted to return to Xafinity following my placement year was because of the people I had worked with and become friends with over the year. Everyone has always been happy to answer my questions and they take a genuine interest in ensuring I understand work clearly. Outside of work there are regular social events such as barbeques and pub quizzes. These are the times you can really get to know your colleagues. It is the relationships with my colleagues that have allowed me to really enjoy my time with Xafinity so far and I am truly looking forward to my future here.

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