Passionate about insurance products

Sunday August 25 2019

Ernest Magezi Barusya has all pas

Ernest Magezi Barusya has all passion there is for insurance products. 

By JOAN SALMON

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Lately, my new born daughter wakes me up. I have no option but to play with her as I read through my schedule for the day. However, most of the time, I open all the windows for a fresh morning breeze and switch on the radio.

What is your best childhood memory?
Finishing my holiday work on the same day we got holidays was the highlight. Having spent most of my time with my dad in Mubende District where he worked from, the promise to take me to Kampala for holidays if I finished my homework fast was endearing. I took no chance of losing out on such an offer.

Who is your childhood hero?
My dad, he was and still is everything I ever want to be. He was always smart, and for everything I asked, he always had an answer.

Who was your first girlfriend?
I found it hard to date because girls often took me too seriously, even when I wanted to play a little bit. That was coupled with a little bit of shyness. It became worse, when I became School President at University as some girls who were supposed to be my peers, started referring to me as “Sir”, how do you make advances on such girls? I thank God I found a beautiful and loving person now, I will surely tie the knot in the coming year.

What was the first book you read?
I was never an intentional reader but became one in 2016.
The first book that caught my attention is Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell, thanks to AAR Reading club, where I served as a business analyst.

What was your first job and salary?
During my Senior Four vacation, I was among the first group of young people to market MTN Mobile Money. I championed the initiative to market to Owino Market and Makerere University for Shs5,000 per sale. Owing to its unpopularity, we gave up. Funny how it is popular now.

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What motivated you to do actuarial studies?
When I was in Senior One at Busoga College Mwiri, my elder brother at university had a friend who was part of the pioneer class of Actuarial Science at Makerere University. As soon as he graduated that year he got a job in one of the Caribbean Islands. I made up my mind to do the same at all costs.

Who is an actuary?
While I heard many people relate it to fisheries, an actuary is one who uses mathematical skills to measure the chance and risk of future events, and help their clients to understand the impact of these events to a business or an individual. Actuaries provide insights to governments, multinational corporations, businesses and also SMEs, in the line of information technology, insurance, healthcare, transport, banking, and in the service industry.

What keeps you going?
I always tell my peers, that if you cannot make it in Uganda, you might certainly not make it elsewhere. For example, in Uganda, almost 99 per cent of the potential insurance market is untapped, as actuaries, we have to keep thinking of developing real life solving insurance products to entice the mass to partake at least one insurance product. On the family side, I want to see my little one grow into a beautiful, modest and self-sustained young woman.

What do you love about your job?
There is a saying that goes, “from one to whom more is given, more is expected”, It keeps you to want to keep learning, innovating, making wiser friends, and wiser decisions. I also love it when the businesses you support see value, they feel a high level of loyalty and entitlement to the organisation.
To those who did not also know, actuaries are among the most highly paid professionals in the business world.

What you wish people knew about actuaries
Actuaries spend a lot of time buried into critical strategic thinking that peers think of them as proud or even anti-social. In my experience, they are some of the most outgoing people I have met. They are also the hardest working people I have known.
Your challenges?
Our profession is not so popular in Ugandan business and up to now some people still have limited understanding on the value addition actuaries bring into their businesses. Through the Actuarial Association of Uganda, where I serve on the executive, we continuously sensitise the business world about our services, and urge the youth to embrace the profession.

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