For this blog post, I wanted to reflect on my experience entering the actuarial field. I was a junior in college and I knew I wanted to be an Actuary. Like many of you, I was in search of my first internship.
I submitted multiple job applications to various companies. I finally received an offer a couple weeks into the process. But the offer was not my first choice. It would have been an hour commute each way from my house. Either I drive that every day or I would have to move out there for the summer. The company was a Property and Casualty insurance company with the actuarial department in another state across the country. In fact, I don’t think I would’ve actually been doing “actuarial work.” Instead, I would answer phone calls from policyholders. Then I would fill out paperwork regarding their claims.
The pros: I would get experience with an insurance company, I would learn about claims and policyholders, and I would learn about the business and its systems.
The cons: I would have to commute far every day, the position was not an actuarial internship, and I would likely have to move out of state to work in their actuarial department later in my career.
Once I pondered the pros and cons, I called my “first choice” company and asked where they were in the process. Luckily, they sped up the process and I was hired for their actuarial internship. Plus the commute was minutes away for me.
The point is, the decisions you make can easily shape your future path. Make sure to be “self-aware” of what you want to be. If the answer is that you want to be an Actuary, set your game plan to achieve that goal. Pass your exams, learn your technical skills, network, and know exactly what you want. It takes “self-regulation” to say no if an opportunity doesn’t fit into your game plan.
I believe that if I accepted either position, I would have gained a lot of experience. My drive and determination would have eventually landed me in an actuarial position.
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