I started looking for a job during the summer before my final year. By Christmas, before the Christmas exams, I had secured a role in EY. I started working in EY the following September where I attended a whole host of training courses on "how to become a consultant". After a few weeks of training and induction, I started working in the Non-Life actuarial department.
From November to May my job is to audit major insurance companies under new EU regulation, mostly Solvency II. As boring as this sounds, it's really not. The actuaries almost always get the interesting work where we get to calculate reserves and capital requirements, which require a lot of statistical testing and numerical calculations.
From June to October I can be working on a host of different advisory engagements, depending on what clients we have. Some of these engagements involve creating models for banks to predict bad debt, assessing implications of future regulations on clients and pricing insurance contracts for insurance companies.
Throughout, I am studying towards my professional actuarial qualification.
The point is, once you get in to a big company, like EY, you can gain a lot of valuable experience which will be a great foundation for your professional career. Even if you don't necessarily want to become an actuary, having a mathematics degree from Maynooth will give you the option to try any financial services area that you are interested in.