Che McGuire | Master of Actuarial Science

Che loved studying physics as an undergraduate, but wondered about employment opportunities. Career research led him to actuarial science, the perfect fit for someone with his mathematical and problem-solving skills.

A native Melburnian, Che began studying at the University of Melbourne straight out of high school. “I completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, majoring in physics,” he said. “My passion for maths and science drew me towards this degree; however, by third year I was unsure about future career options. Actuarial science piqued my interest due to the overlapping skillsets in problem-solving, statistics and mathematics.”

Equipped with a Melbourne Graduate Scholarship, Che entered the Master of Actuarial Science at Melbourne Business School (MBS). He appreciated that his program was both interesting and practical. “I was able to have fun at uni and learn about topics I enjoy, while simultaneously moving closer to my career goals,” he said. “My degree at the University of Melbourne provides me with a clear path towards becoming a qualified actuary. The subjects are designed specifically to meet the requirements for the foundation program of the Actuaries Institute, allowing me to gain exemptions from their exams.”

Although Che was new to actuarial science, he didn’t have any trouble settling in. “The problem-solving and maths skills I acquired from my Bachelor of Science carried over nicely into this course,” he said. “I completed my undergraduate degree in a completely different field, but the Master of Actuarial Science allowed me to work towards my accreditations, despite having no prior experience.”

Che McGuire, Master of Actuarial Science

In between classes at Melbourne Business School, Che was often found enjoying the student lounge or taking advantage of the events and opportunities on offer. One especially helpful MBS event Che attended was a networking session hosted by the Actuaries Institute. “The President, Naomi Edwards, gave an address that focused on her career journey, and advice on how to succeed in the field,” Che said. “I learnt a lot from this experience, and ended up leaving with several key takeaways that will benefit how I view my studies and future career.”

Che studied three subjects per semester, leaving more time for professional projects, extracurriculars and hobbies. He advises new and potential students to maintain a balance between coursework and experiences. “My advice is to do a wide range of activities and take advantage of every opportunity. While your studies should not be neglected, it is important to recognise when it’s time to take a step back and go part-time, whether this is to gain career experience through an internship, balance external commitments, or even just to prioritise your mental health. There is a lot to gain from university and life in general outside of the degree you choose.”

Upon completing his degree, Che hopes to begin working as a data analyst or junior actuary. Ideally, he’d like to get involved in scientific research or governmental consulting. “Most actuaries tend to work in insurance, and while this is a good option, I am more interested in the scientific field. My passion for physics is still strong, and there are many opportunities for actuaries to work with researchers. Consulting for the government is another appealing option that can bring about real change. As an example, a group of actuaries recently built a model to help the NSW Government identify the most cost-effective method of preventing homelessness.”