Anne MacKayWhat program are you in?

I’m currently doing a PhD in Actuarial Science.

Why did you choose to study actuarial science at the University of Waterloo?

I had previously studied actuarial science at the undergraduate and graduate level and I was looking to expand on this and pursue a PhD. I chose Waterloo due to its high rankings and research success.

What are your career goals?

I want to work in academia and become a professor.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a graduate student so far?

There have been a few rewarding moments as a graduate student so far. The most rewarding moment was presenting my research at a conference in Germany. It was inspiring to see such a large amount of established professors interested in my research.

What is the most challenging part of life as a graduate student?

The challenging parts have been completing the comprehensive exams and learning discipline. A PhD is very research centered and researching requires setting your own deadlines. The most challenging part is actually completing your research. After spending so much time on a single topic you tend to get bored and lose motivation.

What has been your favourite course or project in graduate school?

My favourite course was Theory of Probability 2. I enjoy learning about Stochastic Calculus.

Can you describe any practical or hands-on experience you’ve had during your studies?

I have had multiple opportunities to work for various banks in Toronto but ultimately turned down these opportunities for a chance to research and teach.

How do you spend your time outside of school?

I like to run, practice yoga and travel.

Do you have any words of advice for people considering or planning graduate studies at the University of Waterloo?

Go for it! Waterloo offers so many opportunities and not just for pursuing a career in academia. I also suggest speaking with professors. Contrary to undergraduate beliefs, professors are real people and they want to help you.

Do you have any words of advice for students considering actuarial science?

Remember to do your accreditation exams!

Faculty Joint PublicationsMap of Faculty and PhD Students backgroundsDavid Sprott Distinguished Lectures

Faculty Research Chairs

Actuarial Science

Johnny Li
Munich Re Chair in Insurance

Ken Seng Tan 
Sun Life Fellow

Ruodu Wang
University Research Chair

Tony Wirjanto
University Research Chair


Richard Cook
Math Faculty Research Chair