Renaud Million

Country of origin: France

Actuarial Consultant, Ernst & Young

The degree which Renaud studied, MSc Operational Research and Management Science, has changed its name to MSc Business Analytics.

I did the MSc in Operational Research & Management Science in order to complete my MSc in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Arts et Métiers ParisTech and to therefore gain the double competence (business and technical) qualification.

Looking back 12 months after completing my degree, I see this MSc as a real practical bridge to a professional career.

During the programme, in March 2010, I was fortunate enough to get an offer from Ernst & Young to join their general insurance actuarial team the following September. Considering the fact that I did not have any break between the end of the Masters and the start of my first job, I really enjoyed my new life in London. One of the nice things offered by this MSc is to teach a variety of skills applicable to many different areas. Talking to my former classmates, almost all of them are doing a different job, which is fantastic!

Now, retrospectively, I also realise that my performance at work would not exist without the foundation that I acquired during my year at Lancaster – i.e. when dealing with complicated problems involving huge databases and other massive spreadsheets, I always know what I am doing!

For instance, the Excel course gives the confidence you need to manipulate every spreadsheet you will encounter at work. Once you know how to access and correctly display data, courses related to problem structuring, solving and other analytical skills show you how to consider, interpret and judge the options available to you in specific situations. I also frequently use the skills provided by the statistics, stochastic and forecasting courses in different insurance models in my job with Ernst & Young.

Sometimes, I can replicate exactly what I learnt during the MSc: other times I need to learn about a new statistical distribution and all its inherent properties. No matter what the scenario, I do believe that after completing the MSc you are able to think outside the box and add some bricks to the initial foundation.

Finally, to maintain the growth of my learning curve, 20% of my time is dedicated to the study of the UK actuarial qualification. And, once again, thanks to the broad scope provided by the MSc, I see this actuarial qualification as an extension of what I learnt.

Making students and alumni happy and proud of their education is one key achievement of the different teaching teams at LUMS. My experience is definitely one example of success in this way, and I say thank you to all the people involved in running the MSc Operational Research programme – great job!