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Chubb Life scholarship winner

International student Lyla Dang has capitalised on her university “twinning” programme by winning the 2023 Chubb Life Victoria University Actuarial Scholarship.

Tuesday, October 3rd 2023, 9:30AM

A twinning programme is an innovative educational path giving students exposure to different academic environments in two countries.

For Lyla, this meant completing 18 months’ study at the University of Economics in her home city Ho Chi Minh before transferring to Victoria University in Wellington to major in finance and actuarial studies.

Lyla’s natural curiosity about risk management, coupled with her passion and ability for numbers provides perfect alignment for a career as an actuary.

“For me, the most interesting part of my studies has been understanding how you quantify risk. Normally it’s not tangible or something you can see with your eyes, but for insurance companies it’s essential to help with premiums and pricing,” says Lyla.

“There’s risk and uncertainty in everyday life and I want more people to understand the importance of insurance and having the right policies. Insurance reduces the financial and emotional burden if the unexpected happens, and greater understanding will help communities.”

Chubb Life’s scholarship gives Lyla three months’ hands-on experience in the actuarial team and a $5,000 cash prize.

“Practical experience is very important alongside study. This internship will help me with future exams and to develop real-life skills on the job. I’m excited to be working in a professional environment for the first time and looking forward to making meaningful connections in the team and industry,” Lyla says.

The Chubb Life Actuarial Scholarship was established in 2015, coinciding with Victoria University of Wellington starting its actuarial science programme. Lyla is the eighth recipient of the scholarship which has provided students a strong start in their actuarial careers.

Michael Bartram, Chubb Life’s Chief Actuary, is delighted to award Lyla with the scholarship.

“It’s pleasing to see a talent like Lyla in our field, which is considered quite specialised. I was impressed with her passion and dedication to excellence,” says Michael.

“This scholarship is one way of supporting the actuarial profession which is such an important part of the insurance industry. It’s great for students to get the opportunity to connect and apply their knowledge to real world concepts.”

When Lyla isn’t studying she’s busy volunteering at the Wellington SPCA and working part-time at a local café.

“I feel most grateful to be receiving the scholarship and my family are very happy and proud. I would like to stay in New Zealand as long as I can; I really like the culture and the people – everyone is so friendly, and I’d love to see more of the country. Wellington is so different to Ho Chi Minh, I like being surrounded by nature and getting into the outdoors.”

Lyla commences her internship on 13 November 2023.

Tags: Chubb

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