Monday, July 19, 2010

Something New (Update)

Regarding the previous post about my exploration in other areas, it might come to a halt at this moment as I just got an actuarial offer :) Well, at first I have some misunderstanding with the HR but after clarification with the Deputy General Manager and CFO, I have decided to give myself a try before moving to Enterprise Risk Management (which might be a very long way to go).

I am excited about my new job. Hopefully I can apply what I learned during my internship and my knowledge and skill.

Nonetheless, I am a bit worried as I will be the first staff in the department, I afraid I have too much things to do. There is no second chance to build the first impression, my coming two months will be critical as I will report directly to CFO until my superior coming in in Oct.

Is this the good news that I referred to in the previous blog?



I saw this in The New Strait Times,

"Is Today Yesterday's Tomorrow, or Is Today Tomorrow's Yesterday?"

What can I say is there are two sides of the same coin, but some might say these two can differentiate if we are optimistic or pessimistic. What do you think?


There are moments we find things boring and routine,
and we cannot do anything to it but to find some spice elsewhere.

There are moments we find things blissful and sweet,
and all we want to do is just to share them with our loved ones.

There are moments we find things stressing and frustrating,
and we cannot help but to weep even among the laughter of the crowd.

There are moments we find things remarkable and glorious,
and all we want to do is just to have a break dance to embrace them.

There are moments we finds things sudden and catastrophic,
and we cannot do anything but to be caught flabbergasted.

Many say that life is like a roller-coaster ride, being up and down. But I feel that life might not be that "thrilling" or "extreme", as both the going down and up can actually send shivers down our spine. As I come to realize, I think life should be likened to a beach with waves, sometimes it is smashed by the merciless wave, sometimes it is caressed by the soothing wave.

We are to experience different moments in our life, be it the exhilarating, hilarious, mundane, depressing, or sorrowful one. There are to be etched in our memories, deep in the bottom of our hearts, these moments are served as a nostalgia.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Historical Peace Agreement Reached Between SOA and CAS

I find this long-awaited resolutions to decades of in-fighting kinda amusing (this might only be able to crack jokes among actuaries). Below are the Summary of Societal Control and Items Remaining In Joint Societal Control published by Actuarial Review.

Summary of Societal Control

CAS: Double-breasted suits
SOA: "High-waters"


Exam Tools
CAS: The BA-35 and TI 30X II calculators
SOA: The BA30II and BA II Pkus calculators

Exam Website
CAS: Web-notes
SOA: Lots of pull-down menus

Data Formats
CAS: All data in triangular or parallelogram form, excluding rectangles
SOA: All data in rectangular form

Excel Tools
CAS: Pivot tables
SOA: Solver macro

Job Perks
CAS: High-paying job opportunities, Large Professional Designation certificates
SOA: Incoherent technobabble, Mechanical pencils that actually work well

CAS: Karaoke night
SOA: Scrabble champion training camps

Items Remaining In Joint Societal Control
Lengthy and effusive PowerPoint presentations
Jokes about actuaries being introverted or socially awkward

Okay, this might not be funny to you. =(

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Women Are Cleverer Than Men

This is the essay I was required to submit on the past Monday after the Maybank Investment Bank entrance test last week.

Let us start from the definition of the words in the subject. “Clever” means quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; whereas “woman” is defined as an adult female human, and, “man”, adult male human according to Oxford dictionary. The use of “adults” implies that women and men refer to fully grown and developed persons both physically and mentally. Hence, it is clear that the following discussion does not apply to young boy and girls, who do not meet the condition of being an adult.

There can be many measurements on the intelligence of a person. Commonly, we tend to measure the intelligence of a child by looking at his/her talent in music, sports, reading, etc. For students, we tend to measure the level of intelligence based on the exam results, the school activities, leadership skills and so forth. Since we are now discussing the level of intelligence of adults, I suggest that the caliber in career may provide us some insight on the subject topic.

I believe that women and men are born to be equally intelligent, but not in the same perspective. While many claim that it is a gender bias, I believe that men are born to be better in analytical, spatial and logical areas. Many scientific researches have been conducted to measure the intelligence of a person, and it has been proven that in general, men are more capable of enduring the frustrating calculation works and capturing the overview of certain projects or systems. Former Harvard President Lawrence Summers stated early last year that males have a higher intrinsic aptitude in science and engineering. The fact that most engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians are men might be a hint that the result is credible.

As for women, they are born to be better in social ability. It is usually the nature for women to be more caring, tender, and supportive compared to men. They are able to express their care, and lend their shoulders to those who need a listener. This causes women to appear to be more sociable, as it is easier for them to gain trust from others. Besides, women also tend to be more adept than men in language skills. This is embedded in the women’s nature: as they show their care to others, they unconsciously utilize their language skills in expressing their feelings.

However, we cannot overlook other aspects like upbringing, education, instinctual and societal influences as they have a lot to do with the seeming intelligence differences between the two sexes. We cannot deny that a person intelligence level is much affected by these factors as well. The culture, the tradition or the upbringing of a family can determine whether or not the children can shine in the future. In some countries such as China and India, men are the sole bread winner of a family, and women are the housewives taking care of the needs of the family. As such, the little girls were not only infused by their parents that they should not strive as hard as boys, but there are numerous models before them such as their mothers, whose function had clearly demonstrated how they would become in the future.

I think this reasonably explains why the numbers of top female executives, scientists, chefs, artists etc nowadays are not as many as male’s. Women were not given the equal opportunity as those given to men. Men are always trained to lead the family, whereas women are expected to be submissive. Nevertheless, as globalization is taking place, the idea of gender equality has been imbuing the mindset of the mentioned countries gradually, stressing that women should be treated the same as men. If we assume that males and females are equally clever, then the number of successful persons should be equally distributed between these two genders; and we see that it is happening- the number of successful women keeps increasing. Some good exemplars for this are emerging 21st century female prime ministers like Julia Gillard for Australia and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for Philippines, female scientists clad with Noble Prize honor like Chien Shiung-Wu who radically changed scientific views on behavior of nuclear particles and Rosalind Franklin who discovered the crystal structure of DNA, in major corporations, we see top female executives like Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods and Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO of Xerox.

Education plays a pivotal role as well. Back to a hundred years ago, females were not given the same level of education compared to males as well. In contrast, today we see that everyone has the right to receive standard education in almost every country, and in some countries, female students do outperform male students with a great margin. Also, in the business world, many women have proven themselves to be capable to hold important positions in large corporations. Examples of top paid female CEO are Carol Meyrowitz of TJX who earned USD 11.1 million in 2008 and Andrea Jung of Avon Products who took home USD 11.8 million in 2008. While these do not show that women are cleverer, they serve as counter examples to the saying that men are cleverer than women.

Last but not least, self discipline, self assessment, self improvement and emotional intelligence are key determinants of how successful a person is. If a person possesses a learning spirit, humbling oneself in learning as much as possible, success will be realized sooner or later. A person can be born to be extraordinarily clever, but if he/she does not give the best shot in everything he/she does, an ordinary person can definitely do better- with diligence, passion, and endurance. Men and women can both be very resilient; the unforgettable and respectable figures are Stephen Hawking and Wilma Rudolph, for example.

In conclusion, I believe that males and females may outperform each other in certain aspect, but overall they are equally clever. However, there is almost no way we can absolutely quantify the level of intelligence of a person, since most measurements are affected by other known and unknown, as well as dependent factors. Perhaps women are indeed cleverer than men; perhaps it is another way round. However I would say that gender is not a main factor to determine if a person is clever.

All in all, it does not serve the point to argue which gender is cleverer as male and female are created to complement each other.

Yea, this is the essay. Actually I thought of giving up this essay as I feel that they might not appreciate what I really write. But at the end, I did submit as I feel I am obliged to finish the task given.

My writing skill has been deteriorating so do comment, I wish I can improve this essay.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Something New

I've finally decided not to insist on actuarial anymore. However, I don't mean to give up the professional knowledge I have. It's dreadful to get injured/killed in the red ocean, if I insist to lock myself in this box, I can hardly achieve my dreams fast. Have my words, I am not escaping actuarial just because I cannot get into actuarial. The blue ocean I just found suits me not only for my studies but also my characteristics. I am not here to prove anything, I just feel that I can finally have a relieved breathe after I give myself a fully convincing answer.

Hopefully I can update the good news soon.