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15 Jul 2021

Declan Barrett, a Victoria University of Wellington student has been awarded the 2021 Cigna Victoria University Actuarial Scholarship.

Launched in 2015, the scholarship has supported six recipients to date into careers as actuaries or roles within the wider finance industry. The scholarship includes $5,000 and a three-month internship over the summer of 2021-22 at Cigna.

Michael Bartram, Cigna New Zealand Chief Actuary says: “Cigna recognises the importance of encouraging the development of new talent within this small and specialised profession. 

“The actuarial profession is a lesser-known career option which suits people with strong technical, numeracy and data science skills who also hold an interest in finance and commerce. Actuaries are in high demand and play a crucial role assessing risks and helping formulate insurance policy for companies such as Cigna”.

Declan, aged 20 is in his second year at Victoria University of Wellington and is studying a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and Mathematics. He’s already showing great promise having made the Dean’s List for the Faculty of Science in recognition of his academic performance in 2020. Declan’s also previously received the Victoria Tangiwai Scholarship and the Taranaki Scholarship Trust Board Award for his academic performance at NCEA Level Two.

Declan says becoming an actuary is his ultimate goal. “My pathways adviser at school steered me towards the profession. I’ve always enjoyed and have been pretty good at mathematics, economics and accounting so it feels very natural for me.”

“I was over the moon when I found out about the scholarship. The chance to work at Cigna is priceless. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to get a look into the industry, to dig a bit deeper into actuarial science and work alongside some top minds.”

Michael says “Declan has demonstrated a sound understanding of insurance and actuarial science.”

“We hope this scholarship will encourage Declan and other aspiring actuaries to continue in this highly sought after and important field of work. I look forward to working with Declan and will watch his career with interest.”

More about Victoria University of Wellington’s Actuarial Science programme

The Cigna Actuarial Scholarship was established in 2015, coinciding with Victoria University of Wellington starting its actuarial science programme, and has provided students a strong start in their actuarial careers.

You can find out more about Victoria University of Wellington’s Actuarial Science programme here.