Actuarial Career Panel - Fall 2017

Thursday evening was a memorable one for me. I had the privilege of hearing from actuarial analysts from different companies around the bay area in different fields speak bits about their careers, their day-to-day, and tips and advice as to how to move forward in the actuarial career path.

Moderated by EVP Jackson Meyers, CAL held a discussion with company representatives from Mercer, Willis Towers Watson, Oliver Wyman, Milliman, Aon, CSAA, Rael & Letson, Capital Insurance Group, Nicolay Consulting, and
Delta Dental. Many of the speakers were Cal graduates and were able to answer specific questions and provide insight specific to the process of pursuing an actuarial career out of Cal.

At the panel discussion, I directed the following questions to the actuarial analysts:

  1. Actuarial science is one of the highest-rated careers for many factors and reasons, mainly cited for it's low-stress and higher happiness levels. In your personal cases, do you agree with that? What were situations like where there were more stressful moments on the job or projects?
  2. For everyone who went to Cal, which were the most useful classes in terms of preparation for entry-level projects, whether technical or nontechnical, and VEE accredited or not?

The event introduced me to a good baseline of questions, including:

  • What sorts of experiences as a student do you think were most valuable? what things did you wish you did before entering?
  • What excites you about this position? Is that the same as what convinced you to join? Is there a project you've done that sticks out in your mind?
  • What project experience was the most valuable for you and why?
  • Could you talk to me a bit about the positions that are available, and what I might do in one of those roles?
  • How much would I be interacting with you if I were an intern?
  • How do interns get placed on projects? Do interns ever work together?
  • What experiences best prepared you for your job?
  • What are the core components of your job?
  • Could you describe a typical day in the life of Company X?
  • What's the most challenging part of your job?
  • What kind of problems do you face on a day-to-day basis?
  • What's it like to work for this particular company?
  • What's a typical career path in this industry?
  • What're some qualities and skills that you value in an intern? Are there any concrete actions you'd recommend I take to develop those right away?

Extremely blessed to have this opportunity to hear from, speak with, and get to know a little more from these actuaries from different fields. I'm excited to see what's ahead in store at CAL. I know this organization has a lot going for it. On a personal note, it's been an incredibly busy week for me, but it's been keeping me grounded continuing forward.