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30 Aug 2020

Cigna New Zealand (Cigna) is delighted to award 21-year-old Victoria University of Wellington student Shiqi (Sabrina) He with the 2020 Cigna Actuarial scholarship.

Actuaries are the heartbeat of the insurance industry and are essential to assessing risks and helping formulate insurance policies. Cigna’s scholarship aims to help encourage the next generation of talent into the actuarial profession.

The scholarship win grants Sabrina $5,000 towards her university fees and a summer internship working in the Cigna actuarial team.

Sabrina, who hails from Lower Hutt is in her final year of a Commerce degree, majoring in Actuarial Science and Finance.

She was selected as this year’s recipient due to her strong CV which showcased her leadership, ability to work as part of a team and consistent high grades through university.

Michael Bartram, Cigna New Zealand’s Chief Actuary said, “in her interview she was professional, personable and had a lot of depth to her answers. Helping young talent to exceed is important to us and for the future of the industry – so it’s great to see someone with such passion and motivation joining us.”

John Smeed, President of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries says continuing to have high quality graduates joining the profession is very important.

“It's great to see Cigna supporting the actuarial science programme at Victoria University. This is an important pathway for those university students who are interested in pursuing an actuarial career.

“The actuarial profession continues to grow in New Zealand with membership of the Society of Actuaries growing by 7% over the past three years and the number of Fellows (fully qualified actuaries) increasing by 11% over this period,” says Smeed.

The ex-Hutt Valley High School student’s goal is to become a qualified Actuary, with this opportunity set to provide her valuable experience while working with some of Cigna’s established Actuaries.

Sabrina says, “I’m particularly interested in the life insurance sector as I know this type of insurance is important for customers in many life stages. What appeals to me about working for Cigna is the range of policies they offer which can meet a huge range of customers’ needs.

“I look forward to becoming a member of the actuarial profession in the future and working with a team of smart people,” says Sabrina.

This isn’t the first big achievement for the future actuary. She’s received awards such as the 2018 ACC Jonathon Nicholls Actuarial Scholarship at Victoria University as well as being included in the Victoria Business School Dean’s list in 2018 and 2019.

“I’d like to welcome Sabrina to Cigna’s actuarial team and I look forward to working with her,” said Bartram.