Niamh Margalit

Reserving Actuary in the London Market
BSc Theoretical Physics & Mathematics
MSc Mathematics

Current Status

Reserving Actuary in the London Market

Why did you study Mathematics at University?

I’ve always had a flair for maths and wanted to study in an area where I wouldn’t be regurgitating information. I wanted to develop my ability to think logically and analytically and to open my mind to a more abstract world. A degree in maths fitted these criteria exactly.

Describe what you do now and how mathematics is useful to you.

As an actuary, I solve financial problems using mathematics. It is not a case of adding up numbers or using particularly mathematically based theorems, but rather that I apply the logical thinking that I developed during my university years to derive solutions. The manner in which I was taught to approach a problem and to analyze it in a critical way is what has stood to me the most as a result of my studies.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of doing a degree in Mathematics?

If you are considering studying maths in university, you should be aware that there is very little numerical problem solving involved. Unlike the Leaving Certificate, it hones in on developing your ability to think critically and analytically rather than teaching you how to solve variations of the same problem. Studying maths at a high level in university is intellectually satisfying as you learn the valuable skill of being able to think independently and in a logical and concise manner. I would recommend that you have a natural aptitude for maths and a curiosity about the subject as you will find that you enjoy your studies so much more and reap so many more benefits from your education.

Would you recommend that people study Maths in Maynooth?

I would highly recommend Maynooth University as a university to study maths in. The size of the department affords the student both sufficient personal contact and the independence desired of a third level student. The lecturers are willing to offer support in all areas of your educational development and are particularly interested in your growth as a mathematician. The environment in the maths department is stimulating and was a pleasure to be a part of for four years.