Cigna 2018 actuarial scholarship has life experience balancing risk
Whanganui student 20-year-old Clarissa Nowak is the 2018 Cigna Actuarial Scholarship winner.
Balancing risk is something Nowak has always been passionate about, from the surf to the classroom.
Nowak has been a surf lifeguard for six years, assessing different levels of risk on a daily basis.
“I believe that my strengths are my ability to think critically and to apply mathematics in real life circumstances,” Nowak says.
Currently in her third year of her Bachelor of Science with a double major in Actuarial Science and Mathematics, Nowak was included on the Dean’s List for academic excellence in 2016 and 2017.
Nathan Thomas, Head of Customer Propositions and Value at Cigna, was impressed not only by Nowak’s academic ability as an A+ student but also her well-roundedness.
“Apart from being an outstanding candidate academically, Clarissa showed through her community involvement that she’s passionate about helping others and making a positive difference,” Thomas says.
“She’s a good communicator and her involvement in the community really impressed us. We think an actuarial career will be a great fit for Clarissa.”
The Scholarship grants up to $5,000 towards the current year’s tertiary fees. Nowak says: “The Scholarship will allow me to continue focusing on my studies exclusively. I am extremely grateful for this privilege and will be able to complete my degree to my full potential.”
The Scholarship is intended to encourage students of Victoria University to consider the actuarial profession as a career path. Many students are unaware that this is even an option – Nowak didn’t even know about the actuarial career until she had already started university.
“Although I was always aware that Mathematics is a natural strength of mine, the opportunity to study Actuarial Science alongside this only became apparent at Victoria University of Wellington,” Nowak says.
“The Scholarship is of great value for me not only financially. The insurance sector in New Zealand is extremely promising and Cigna is one of the central operators in this industry.
“Furthermore, the longing for innovation and team spirit in the company is a great motivation to enter the insurance market and become part of the Cigna team.”
More information about Victoria University of Wellington’s Actuarial Science major is available here.