Jonathan Sisa Khabusi
- Course: Actuarial Mathematics BSc
Jonathan Sisa Khabusi is a final year Actuarial Mathematics BSc (Industrial) student.
Jonathan chose to study at Leeds because of the flexibility the course provided. He said: “Not many universities allowed the option to include a year in industry after joining. I also liked the on-campus and city blend that the university had, which made me definitely feel like a part of the student community without being tucked away in the middle of nowhere.”
“I wanted a course that allowed me to think globally, as well as open those global opportunities. I found that the actuarial path was well-respected and allowed people to travel around the world for work without having to necessarily worry about redoing their qualifications. Most of the modules I had focused on applications in the future, and I found this very interesting.”
Mathematics and sustainability
Jonathan studied a wide range of modules, gaining research and programming skills. His favourite module was his final year project, researching the impact of climate change in Niger, Africa. He said: “I enjoyed the Project in Mathematics module, simply because of the tangible skills I have built like programming and research.”
“It also gave me the freedom to explore my interests in the latter stages, and doing something I was 100% interested in definitely helped me push through the hurdles. My focus on climate change in Africa taught me that there is a lot of room for mathematicians to help towards sustainability in the future.”
My focus on climate change in Africa taught me that there is a lot of room for mathematicians to help towards sustainability in the future.
“I chose a case study of the Sahel Region and specifically Niamey in Niger, focusing on the combinations of hazards and the chances of them occurring in the future. I used climate models (CP4 and R25) to compare current and future rainfall, wind and temperature data. I concluded that during the rainy seasons in the Sahel region, the winds would be relatively stronger and colder in 100 years.”
“This project is aimed at farmers and local leaders who would find these insights most useful, simply because Niger depends on rain-fed agriculture and preparing themselves for these changes would help maintain good yields. Preparing stakeholders for future events is a very important section of an actuary’s job description so this project ties in quite nicely.”
Year in Industry: Gaining experience in the insurance industry
Jonathan developed professional skills during his year in industry in London. He said: “I worked as an Underwriting Assistant in the Transactional Real Estate team at MX Underwriting in the City of London. This gave me a great insight into the insurance industry as well as its vibrant and fast-paced nature.”
“I quickly became a part of the team and even won the February Contributor of the month award for going above and beyond in team projects, which was very rewarding and affirming. I also had the chance to grow professionally and develop skills that I could apply in my personal life such as time management, collaboration, and communication. A key takeaway is the lifesaving tool which is the Calendar.”
This gave me a great insight into the insurance industry as well as its vibrant and fast-paced nature.
“I intend to develop my career as an actuary, however I am also open to working in any role that promotes the use of my numerical and analytical skills, preferably a role that is tech-adjacent.”
During his time at Leeds, Jonathan joined Tennis Society, the Big Open Party society and East African Society. He said: “Where do I start? I have joined multiple societies, with an aim to try something new each year.”
“I currently am a part of Tennis Society specifically the improvers cohort, the Big Open Party society that embraces different cultures and activities, and finally the East African Society because of my Ugandan heritage.”
Jonathan liked spending time on campus, adding: “I think the campus is well balanced and has so many interesting parts such as the Roger Stevens pond which is a home to cute ducklings, and the rabbits across the lawns are a great watch in spring.”
“The accommodation is also varied, with options for people with different needs. In my first year, I lived in iQ Student Accommodation which was very sociable.”