jessica melville

jessica melville
MEET Basil Al Hatoum

Actuarial Analyst

(former Retirement Graduate)

basil al hatoum

Team Retirement

Segment Human Capital and Benefits

Location Toronto, Canada

Experience level Graduate

University University of Western Ontario, Bachelor’s degree, major in Actuarial Science

Personal interests

Playing sports, cooking and reading. I was in the Canadian Navy, so I learned a lot about sailing.

Please tell us about your current role

I am a member of multiple client teams. As the most junior person on the team, I am generally responsible for preparing data, doing benefit calculations for our clients, setting up processes in our programs that reflect the plan we are working with, preparing deliverables for clients, and much more.

What was your greatest challenge or learning in this role?

The key challenge for me, especially at the beginning, was learning about all the different pension plans that clients set up for their employees. They are all unique either in their plan benefit formulas or their assumptions, or in the benefits they offer. While the basic idea of a pension plan is simple, clients’ needs vary greatly and their plans will reflect that.

What is your proudest achievement since joining Willis Towers Watson?

Definitely my first in-person client meeting. I was given the opportunity to deliver a portion of the presentation that we had prepared. The senior consultants on my team had faith in me, and that gave me the confidence I needed to deliver calmly under pressure.

How would you describe the culture at Willis Towers Watson?

People who like to work hard and are self-motivated will do very well at Willis Towers Watson. If you put your hand up and ask for interesting new projects, you will get them! The more you put into your work, the more opportunities you’ll have to lead new projects or work on things that interest you. People here are very supportive and like to have fun as well. I’ve had the opportunity to play sports in many corporate leagues with my coworkers, not just from Retirement but from the entire Toronto office.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

Definitely the people. My colleagues are supportive of my work and have become great friends as well. We regularly go out for lunch, play sports outside of work, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Also, the business casual dress code of ‘dress for your day’ is amazing!

What is your hope for your career in the future?

I would like to continue to grow within our company. I don’t think of progress as a role or a title, I’d like to get to a point where I’m using my experience to simplify problems for my clients. I’d like to solve real world problems.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

Obviously the technical skills are very important, but what recruiters are looking for are great people they can connect with. Having a meaningful conversation with a recruiter where you can demonstrate your people skills is a great first step.