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Mmamorelana Mangena

BSc. Degree, Actuarial Science (year 2), University of the Witwatersrand

My name is Mmamorelana Mangena, an Actuarial Science student at the University of the Witwatersrand who is passionate about leadership and the world of finance. I enjoy reading, listening to music as well as hanging out with my friends. I am the third born out of 4 girls and I come from the beautiful province of Limpopo. In high school, I was privileged enough to be elected as the school’s Head Girl where I was responsible for ensuring the student body’s voice was heard as I was the bridge between students and staff members.

1. Developing the passion for Mathematics

Throughout high school I was active in both academics as well as sports as much as possible.

As I was a driven student throughout high school, I always pushed myself to perform at the best level I could in all areas of school. In doing this I discovered my strong capabilities in Mathematics along with encouragement from my Maths teacher I began setting higher standards for myself when it came to maths. Slowly but surely Maths became my passion.

2. How I chose Actuarial Science

In the process of growing my passion for Mathematics while at an extra class I had a conversation with the teacher about his daughter who was a brilliant student in Mathematics and was studying Actuarial Science.

As Mathematics was one of the few subjects, I had a strong passion for, I went home that day and started researching about the field (Actuarial Science) and from that day onward I made the decision to pursue Actuarial Science as my career. From the limited information I had about the field it appeared to me as a course which would put my problem-solving skills to good use, and it showed the potential of having a wide range of possible career opportunities. I am glad I chose Actuarial science as my experience has been challenging yet rewarding. It has taught me the importance of time management and fully immersing yourself in the course material.

3. The role of SAADP in my actuarial journey

Through this challenging course, it has been extremely helpful to have contact with our SAADP tutors who guide us with challenging concepts and are very willing to help. Being able to contact our tutors enabled me to get one on one advice on my unique gaps in knowledge and I believe it has made a difference in my understanding of certain concepts. I would 100% recommend SAADP to other students as not only does SAADP provide funding but personally it has given me extra motivation to perform well. The standard in which SAADP treats us as students is amazing. It gives a benchmark on the level which is expected of me and has pushed me to expect more from myself.

4. My future ambitions

My future ambitions in the actuarial space is to qualify as soon as possible as an actuary and be one of South Africa’s black female actuaries. At the moment I am interested in investment banking, however, I am keeping an open mind into the many possible opportunities I will still learn about in the coming years.

5. Advice for aspirant black Actuaries

I am extremely happy with my choice to study Actuarial Science and would encourage anyone considering the field. Initially, I was not provisionally accepted into the course, but I am now doing very well academically. I can confidently say as long as you put in the work, focus on the end goal, and make sure you gradually improve; you too can make it. Actuarial Science will challenge you more than anything you have experienced academically but that makes it more satisfying once you persevere. I look forward to upcoming challenges and all that the actuarial field has to offer.

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