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An interview with Anna Barker-Hodges IRMCert Projects and Risk Management Analyst Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asks its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they'd share with people looking to move into the industry.

Risk in Focus: Projects and Risk Management Analyst, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 

An interview with Anna Barker-Hodges IRMCert

Projects and Risk Management Analyst

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

How did you get your job?

In one form or another I’ve been working in risk for a long time! In my previous work, I managed risk with regards to people in the Charity sector, then I moved to my current work place in the Education sector where I had a variety of roles and moved into the Project Management Office and my role is to primarily to look after the risk aspect.

What’s a typical day like as a Projects and Risk Management Analyst

Risk is all about anticipating and planning for the unexpected, so there is no typical day as such, it is a bit of a juggling act, working with all the organisations Heads of Department helping to manage their risk register and also dealing with Risk Events and Business Continuity Plans with some Project Managing added in for good measure!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the variety of working with different people and deciphering all the ins and outs of different departments. In one meeting I’ll be discussing cyber risks and the next meeting discussing impacts on customer service.

Most of all I enjoy the resolution of risk events; investigating, solving a problem and the reduction of risk impact and its occurrence. These are very varied so you are constantly learning about different areas of the business – it’s always a fresh challenge!

What are the challenges?

The challenges are the different constraints we all experience when we’re trying to solve a specific risk or problem; but this can make the job more interesting by thing outside ‘the box’.

In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?

My IRM qualification has helped me understand a variety of approaches and applications of risk and seeing a wider range of examples. It is a step in the right direction to become fully qualified and hopefully one day CRO.

What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?

It’s opened my eyes to what is out there and the different approaches you can take, whilst still having the same intention of reducing risk.

If you are considering the qualification route you do need to be disciplined and allow plenty of time to study to allow for a good balance of work, home life and study.

My top 3 tips for a risk professional would be;

  1. Be a chameleon – you’ll need to be adaptable and comfortable with change
  2. Learn to juggle – you will be involved in lots of different aspect of the business so you will need to be organised
  3. Cast a wide net – You will need to be able to have your links within the organisation to gather, retain and share information.
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