Actuary and I > My Path

Financial Crisis 1997

1997, was an unforgettable year for most Malaysians. It marked the full stop of a 10-year GDP growth of more than 8% and signaled the start of a long-term recession. Within few months, Malaysian stock index KLSE dropped more than 50%. Many people experienced losses of more than half of their wealth and the development of Malaysia was 20 years backwards.

Also in 1997, I graduated from high school and it was time to pursue a post-secondary education. Many colleges in Malaysia started to offer twinning program, which allowed students to study one or two years of university locally and continue the remaining years in its partner university overseas. This was a great news for those who wanted to pursue a foreign degree in the middle of the financial crisis.

I started to research for a twinning program in Actuarial science because I knew with my family financial ability, there was no way I could afford a four-year oversea program.

Twinning Program

During that time, there were quite a few colleges that offered twinning program in actuarial science. And their partner universities were all recognized by Society of Actuaries. After comparing the tuition and living expenses, I decided on one university which required the lowest tuition and living expenses among all.

Bachelor of Commerce major in Actuarial Mathematics

I was enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program majoring in actuarial mathematics. As far as I know, there are only a few universities in Canada offering actuarial major in a commerce degree. Besides actuarial mathematics, statistics and probability, we also learned marketing, business law, accounting, human resources, finance and investment.

At the beginning, I always complained about why we had to study these business subjects and not concentrated more on math and stats? But it is only until when I started working that I realized combination of actuarial study with business actually provided a great advantage because actuarial is all about business application. Actuaries are not math expert but business expert! we need all the business knowledge such as marketing, accounting, human resource, and so on in our daily business decision.

Until today, I am still very proud of this "investment". Lowest cost with a big return! TOBA rock!