With a strong belief in the importance of protecting people and organisations from catastrophic financial disaster, Jason Jiao believes the role of the actuary is more relevant than ever. Now as a member of the McGing Analyst team, Jason is applying his actuarial nous and experience to a range of projects for Australian super funds and insurance companies.
Problem solving and modelling are Jason’s key strengths and were never more evident than in his search for an actuarial role. Completing both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in actuarial science taught Jason to apply those skills to challenges.
“I applied for a role at McGing when they were in fact looking for a Principal Consultant. I figured first the Principal Consultant would be hired and then the team would expand. I applied for a role that didn’t quite exist just yet and the rest is history.”
The ability to analyse what is in front of him drives Jason daily.
“Insurance and superannuation are very important for modern society. Without superannuation people would retire without enough money and without insurance many businesses would not exist. I know that as an actuary I can help people and organisations avoid the negative outcomes and this is what motivates me every day.”
In fact, the motivation to share his insights has seen Jason kick off a communications and leadership journey with Toastmasters Australia.
Out of the box problem solving
A lifelong problem solver – think of a young boy tackling puzzles every chance he got – today Jason collaborates with clients and colleagues to answer the traditional and not so traditional problems he is tasked with solving. This recently included bringing in the IT team for a client’s project to protect the creation of the project.
“Sometimes it is the unexpected problems you need to solve for clients that give you the most satisfaction. Connecting with people to all work in the same direction can be very motivating.”
With a strong academic background in actuarial science, Jason has built a new consulting skillset. Working within estimated times for projects has fuelled his drive to meet deadlines without compromising the quality of actuarial projects and in turn has influenced how he manages his daily life.
“It’s quite funny as I am so used to thinking like a consultant now! I find myself planning how to allocate my personal time. It’s become second nature to estimate tasks and manage time from going to the gym or taking a snowboarding run on holidays.”
How music keeps it real
A key driver for Jason is his love of music. A classically trained pianist, he feels the rigours of music are now paying off both professionally and personally.
“I have played the piano for over 20 years – starting when I was really a small child. Those early days were frustrating and performing was also terrifying at first. However, I now have developed patience, the ability to manage my emotions in any situation and it’s become a great stress release for me. It doesn’t matter what life can throw at me now, playing the piano and particularly my favourite piece by Chopin – Fantasie Impromptu – just washes away any stress.”
And when he’s not at the keyboard, Jason is planning his next snowboarding adventure.
“I love snowboarding and the thrill of the calculated risk of each run. I know it’s probably not what you expect from an actuary, but my annual snowboarding trip is also teaching me to address my fears. One day that big jump will be mine!”