If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? Why? What would you change?
If I could do it all over again, I would still choose the actuarial profession. It’s a great profession because of its job stability, high pay, and great work environment. When I was in college, I knew I was good at math, but I wasn’t sure what kind of job I could get. Then I heard about being an Actuary and I felt that was what I wanted to do.
Any regrets? Well, I actually completed my path to fellowship exactly as I planned it out. I wanted to be an FSA by age 30, then I wanted to start a family after that. Passing all the exams is a tough journey, but I enjoyed everything along the way. I was obtaining knowledge to help me solve actuarial problems and I was rewarded if I passed the exams through salary increases.
Since I found out about the profession while I was a freshman in college, choosing a college with an actuarial science program was not on my radar. If I would have known about actuaries while in high school, I might have attended an actuarial science program. Is this a regret? Not really; I feel my liberal arts education has given me advantages. It’s important for an Actuary to have strong math skills, but just as important is knowing what is going on around us (e.g. Political Science, Religion, Economics, Science). Our actuarial models are based on assumptions about what is happening out in the world.
One regret I do have is this. When I was applying for actuarial internships, I did not have any technical skills in Excel, Access, VBA, SQL, and SAS. I was lucky to get an actuarial internship with a health insurance company, but I spent a large part of the internship learning the very basics of Excel. That first month was not very productive by my current standards. An internship is your chance to show what you can do. During a job interview, they may even ask you to demonstrate your technical skills.
You need to be ready to work from day one. Don’t make the mistake I did and learn those technical skills now through the Technical Skills Course. I created this course for you to mitigate this risk. Over 350 aspiring actuaries have already enrolled in the course.