Fok Sing Tian is currently studying BSc Actuarial Science at London School of Economics and Political Science, and is graduating in 2021. This personal statement was part of his successful application to LSE, Heriot-Watt University, University of Manchester, Cass Business School and University of Kent for Actuarial Science.
Mathematics, to me, is a discipline that requires one to possess an analytical mind and sufficient critical thinking skills in order to truly comprehend its depth. My curiosity brought me to venture deeper into the world of Mathematics, and eventually, I caught myself dwelling on the link between statistics and uncertainty. After reading ‘How Long Is A Piece of String?’ by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham, I was particularly enticed by the feasibility of Benford’s Law and Kermack-McKendrick Model in detecting fraud and predicting the distribution of infectious diseases, respectively. My fascination for the versatility and practicality of statistics in the process of risk analysis ultimately led me to understand that a degree in Actuarial Science might suit me the most.
Further research on the career enlightened me on stochastic simulation. I was stumped when I came across the Monte Carlo simulation, which involves the computation of probabilities of different outcomes in an event which is influenced by random variables. Deeply intrigued, I discovered that this simulation is used in determining the premium price for term life insurances. I feel that this simulation has greatly contributed to the prediction of uncertainty through a more holistic approach and it compensates for the limitations of deterministic models. It is the eagerness to understand the principles behind predictive models that sparks my interest in Actuarial Science.
‘Probability: The Science of Uncertainty’ by Michael A. Bean, impressed me with the ingenuity behind the derivation of Law of Large Numbers, a fundamental principle in insurance. It was then that I finally understood that as more people become involved in loss sharing, the monetary amount that one must bear in the case of catastrophe becomes more certain and insubstantial. I believe that this law helps in formulating more stable premiums capable of accounting for larger variations and thus preventing credit risks. In the future, I look forward to obtaining further statistical knowledge and eventually run my own calculations.
My internship in an accounting firm gave me the opportunity to gain first-hand exposure to the financial world. During my tenure, I familiarised myself with Microsoft Excel for bookkeeping, data entry as well as calculating taxable income and depreciation of assets. Furthermore, I learnt how data collected were analysed to ascertain company performance and had the chance to witness the process of auditing a client. This experience allowed me to hone a meticulous attitude and adopt some soft skills, in addition to greatly contributing to my overall confidence in my decision to pursue this path.
My interest and proficiency in Mathematics propelled me to join numerous competitions. I was awarded the Prize Certificate in Australian Mathematics Competition and clinched the Honourable Certificate in National Mathematics Olympiad. I also won the Best Year 10 Team Award and the Individual Bronze Award in Malaysia Asean Science & Math Olympiads. These competitions helped me to improve my problem-solving skills and maintain a critical thinking process even under stressful environments.
As the Vice President of Mathematics Club, I equipped myself with leadership qualities and management skills by organising activities and competitions for students. Being part of the Model United Nations enabled me to practise essential communication skills in a variety of situations. Moreover, I am learning basic coding through Udemy courses as I am aware that programming plays a big role in easing the tasks of an actuary, such as in data massaging.
I envisage myself to be a part of the actuarial team which devises effective statistical models and utilises them in risk analysis. Having secured a scholarship from the Central Bank of Malaysia, I look forward to embarking on an intellectually rewarding journey in world-renowned institutions in the UK that will aid me in achieving my goals.
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