Year in Review – Daniel Bartlett

In June we celebrated the one-year working anniversary of our very own Daniel Bartlett. We took some time to ask Daniel about what the journey at McGing has been like so far. Here is what he had to say.

Q: What has working at McGing over the past year been like, compared to your expectations?

A: To summarise, it has well exceeded my expectations in almost all aspects. From the type of work I would be involved in, the trust and responsibility the company has given me, the learnings and exposure I have gained, and the enjoyment of the work itself. I knew coming into the job that McGing would be a great place to work, but I underestimated just how great it would be.

Q: What sort of projects have you worked on over the past year?

A: I’ve been involved a large number of projects including:

  • Building and reviewing financial models and assumptions
  • Financial asset and liability valuations and projections
  • Risk Management Framework and regulatory compliance reviews
  • Financial and risk advisory projects

What has surprised me more than anything has been the number of different types of companies I have been working with. When I first arrived at McGing I expected I would be largely servicing superannuation and life insurance companies. However, over the past year alone I have been involved in projects for:

  • Superannuation funds
  • Retail funds (wealth managers)
  • Not-for-profits
  • Life insurers and friendly societies
  • Legal firms
  • Regulatory authorities
  • Religious institutions
  • Education institutions
  • Sports and entertainment associations
  • Consultants

The insights I have gained by working with clients across a broad range of industries has been invaluable. It also makes work that much more exciting and enjoyable.

Q: What else do you like about working at McGing?

A: Aside from the enjoyable client work, I love that I get to be involved on the business development side of things as well. In the past year I’ve been given responsibilities such as:

  • Writing and editing articles and posts for advertising and business promotion
  • Assisting in the development of our new company website
  • Being involved in the company photo and video shoot
  • Assisting in writing proposals to obtain business
  • Being in charge of the recruitment process for hiring new staff (advertising, shortlisting and interviewing candidates etc.)
  • Being involved in business goals and strategy discussions

There is a real sense that the team values my input and trusts in my decision making. Rather than being just a cog in the big machine, McGing has made me feel like I am an active and essential element of the business itself.

Q: What have you liked about working with the wider team at McGing?

A: Well the team is really diverse in many respects; skills, interests, aspirations, backgrounds and culture. It makes for great conversations in the office.

Mostly what I like about the team is that they are all really friendly and supportive. Each of us are either fully qualified actuaries or somewhere on the path, there is a respect for that journey that we all share together and it makes for a really nice working environment.

I often say to people that it doesn’t feel like Sean and Neekhil are my bosses, it feels more like they are my friends and mentors. They go out of their way to make sure I develop and succeed, and because of that, I want to do my best to make sure that they succeed too by producing the best work I can. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they are very motivating leaders rather than authoritative managers, and I’m proud to work for them because of that.

Q: What have been the challenges over the past year for you?

A: The lockdowns in Melbourne have been a challenge socially. Workwise we have managed to transition quite well as we had the systems and functionality in place to work from home well before the first lockdowns. Aside from that, trying to maintain the balance between study and wellbeing has been the greatest challenge. I want to obtain my actuarial qualifications as soon as possible, but also need to be mindful of looking after my physical and mental health at the same time. Sometimes I probably try and push myself little too hard on the study front, but I am grateful that the team at McGing really supports my wellbeing and assists in various ways to shift the balance back to keeping myself motivated and healthy.

Q: How would you say you have progressed your skillset and career over the past year?

A: Well, I’ve definitely come a long way skillset wise. My Microsoft Excel skills have improved significantly, as well as my data wrangling and modelling skills. Much of the technical theory I learned back in university has crystalised by getting opportunities to apply that theory in various projects over the last year. I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge on things that they didn’t teach us at university – laws, prudential requirements, and regulations that we need to consider and apply in our work. I’ve also spent some time working on my professional writing skills – writing reports and presentations for clients, etc.

On the career front, I feel like things are moving pretty quickly too. I’ve gone from assisting on projects to managing some myself; presenting results through reports and letters to presenting in person to our clients. I’ve begun building a network of colleagues throughout the industry and have started to get involved in professional development opportunities; Sean and Neekhil have been great in finding and encouraging us to get involved in these opportunities.

Q: What are your goals for the next year?

A: Well my career goals would be to finish my remaining exams to obtain associateship qualification with the Actuaries Institute, and to further develop my consulting skills so I can better service our clients and the business. My personal goals are to buy my first home; and once my exams are finished, use the extra time I’ll have to get fitter and maybe explore a new hobby, or pick up an old one again.