I come from a unique perspective. My focus is on insurance within financial services, specifically, as an actuary working in the Canadian insurance industry. This means that I am very data-driven to begin with; I’ve provided a range of property and casualty actuarial insurance management and enterprise risk management consulting services for clients across the industry spectrum and I am well versed in using data to manage risk. However, being a part of the eminence program, my education in data has not been new so much as different. The eminence training has helped me take a step back and understand gross domestic product (GDP), consumer behaviour, and other macroeconomic levers that play into C-suite decisions. I’m now able to speak and add value at that level. This changes the audience of who I can relate to and has given me a much broader perspective on data.
I applied to the program a few months after joining RSM Canada as a director. I was looking to up the game of the insurance practice as one of the senior analysts for financial services. As a mature industry, insurance doesn't always grow as quickly as other industries and the program gave us an opportunity to elevate ourselves.
Once accepted, a kick-off meeting sets the stage for the three-year program. This meeting still stands out to me as one of the most memorable experiences of the entire program. I remember this was a big “aha” moment for me; I realized the extent to which the eminence program would transform my career, as well the firm, and this meeting set the bar for all of my experience thereafter. The investment RSM makes in its talent is industry-leading and truly inspiring.
Senior analysts gain access to the Bloomberg terminal, which provides data feeds from the world’s markets, all live and accessible in one platform. We were also assigned readings that pushed our understanding of what it means to be a service provider in the new economy. I gained in-depth knowledge of everything from crowdfunding to machine learning, as well as changes to the professional services industry. At the end of year one, my class attended a 3-day intensive on effective public speaking training at Carnegie Mellon, which normally forms part of their MBA program. Since then, I’ve been interviewed by major business media outlets, including CNBC. The training has helped my colleagues and I frame ourselves mentally as thought leaders, spokespeople and public-facing subject matter experts.