CAS Profile: Matthew Cairo

My name is Matthew Cairo and I work as an Actuarial Analyst at State Farm in the Homeowners Pricing Unit. I graduated from Florida State University (Go Noles!) with a double major in Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance. I held the title of Vice-President of the Iota chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma while I was in school.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
I recommend a career in the Insurance Industry because it is constantly changing. Every day new risks are emerging and it is up to insurance professionals to come up with solutions to deal with these risks. Especially in the actuarial field, this opens the door to innovation and creativity which creates an environment where you can use your knowledge and skills to make an impact. Along those same lines, the insurance industry has so many different professions within it, such as, Underwriting, Finance, Claims, Sales, etc. which leads to opportunities where you can learn new things and enhance your career.

Why did you become an actuary?
While in college I knew that I wanted to end up in the insurance industry because of the great opportunities that were available, but I wasn’t sure what field to focus on. I actually had no clue what an actuary was until I was a sophomore in college sitting in an Insurance Operations class. Through the course I learned the basics of what an actuary did and this caught my interest. I decided to meet with the head of the FSU Actuarial Department to see if it was a good fit for me. After the meeting I knew this was the career for me. I knew I would be challenged to continue developing my skills and that I would be involved in all of the different areas of insurance.

What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
I chose the property and casualty side because I felt that’s where my studies primarily focused with my Risk Management & Insurance degree. Beyond my studies, I think I also felt more connected with the property and casualty side of the business especially coming from a catastrophe prone area in Florida. I was excited to be a part of an industry that is constantly driving innovations in safety for people and their assets. Having the opportunity to learn and utilize technology such as drones to assess damage after a hurricane, or models to help predict the path of a storm really drew me to this field. Knowing that my work is helping people protect their assets and caring for them when disasters happen is a rewarding feeling.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
I believe building insurance knowledge is the most important part of being successful in this industry. Despite being an actuary, I think I use more knowledge that I gained in my Risk Management & Insurance courses on a day to day basis than what I learned in all of my math courses. Being able to learn different roles in an insurance company and how they all come together will go a very long way when starting a career. On the actuarial side there is a big focus on the exam track which is very important, but I think it is equally as important to gain actual exposure to the day to day work. Internships and shadowing opportunities are abundant and I think they are a great way to prepare for a career in this industry.


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CAS Profile: Cory Ortiz

Cory Ortiz works at State Farm as an Actuarial Analyst in the Homeowners Pricing Unit.  Cory graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Actuarial Science and a minor in Business Management.  He was born and raised in Central Illinois and is back in his hometown after graduating from BYU.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Insurance will always be needed in society.  Not only is that cause for job security, but it also shows the importance of the work that the industry is doing.  Insurance gives peace of mind to those who suffer or are in risk of suffering a disaster.  Being able to be a part of helping someone in distress is a good feeling even if we as actuaries aren’t on the front lines.

Why did you become an actuary?
My love of sports is what drew me to statistics at a young age.  From there, I knew I wanted to pursue a math-related career.  My high school calculus teacher suggested that I look into actuarial science and the rest is history.  I became an actuary not only because of the math knowledge I get to apply, but also because of the work-life balance, incentives, benefits, and work environment.  I am also a competitive person and so having exams to work through really pushes me to grow my knowledge.

What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
As I was deciding which field I should work in, I was more intrigued by the P&C side of insurance because of the tangibility of the assets that are insured.  Also, there is a wide spectrum of assets that are covered in this industry.  The industry is also constantly changing thanks to new technology and ideas including autonomous vehicles, and ride-sharing.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
The first thing a student should do to prepare is to gain basic insurance knowledge.  Having this knowledge will help immensely when starting an internship or a new job.  I would also encourage students to start taking exams as early as possible.  I didn’t take my first exam until I was a senior in college and that is my biggest regret.  Lastly, as the world becomes more data-driven, I would advise students to also get as much coding experience under their belt as they can.  This will impress employers, and those who have a coding background will have the ability to take on more projects.


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CAS Profile: Kinsey Turk

My name is Kinsey Turk I am a junior in the actuarial science program at Arizona State University. I anticipate graduating with my 4+1 degree in actuarial science in Spring 2021 for a total of four years. Last summer I passed IFM and interned full time at Optumas. Additionally, I have passed P and FM.

Outside of my academic career, I am passionate about the Spanish language and culture. Currently, I am pursuing a minor in Spanish and while still learning, my most played songs are all Reggaeton. In addition, when I am not busy using my “left” brain, I love to explore my artistic side by drawing. I am always creating special birthday or holiday cards for friends and family.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Most people’s first impressions of insurance as a career is that it is boring. This could not be farther from the truth! The insurance industry is incredibly diverse; even during my time as an intern no two days looked the same.

Why did you become an actuary?
I chose to begin the path of becoming an actuary because I love math. However, I wanted to do more than just math. I wanted a career where I would use a variety of skills such as business knowledge, programming, communication, and leadership. The job of an actuary combines all of these and much more.

What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
Property and casualty insurance offers me flexibility to try different areas of the P&C sector and decide where I fit best. I can choose from admitted lines, excess and surplus, or even consulting. Within these areas the diversity continues with the lines of business and the parts of the ratemaking process I can choose to experience.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
Get ready to mingle, network, and chat! Communication is not a skill everyone has but it is one that everyone can learn. So much of a career in the insurance industry relies on your ability to interact with your peers and superiors.


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CAS Profile: Carlo Lahura

Carlo Lahura works as an Actuarial Consultant with EY where he has advised a variety of national and international clients since 2017, and obtained his FCAS credential in 2019. Carlo graduated as Valedictorian from the University of Waterloo in 2017 with 7 actuarial exams, president of various clubs, and nearly 2 years of actuarial internships.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Insurance is what enables society to advance forward without worrying about large risks that may cause significant financial problems – that provides my career with a tremendous sense of value. As an actuary, I enjoy working on complex math puzzles every day to better serve my clients, all the while enjoying rewarding benefits and comfortable work conditions.

Why did you become an actuary?
I liked math and was good at it, so I wanted to base my career around that. What keeps me here is the engaging nature of the work and the community of actuaries – it’s a friendly and tight-knit group!

What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
I did 5 actuarial internships in college, with only the last one being a P&C internship. The short-term nature and larger variety in our products were what convinced me that P&C was the right fit for me.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
First, learn to code as big data is a real thing and is playing a key role in the modernization of the actuarial profession. Second, actively seek out presentation opportunities as actuaries with public speaking skills are highly valuable. Third, get through your exams as fast as you can. I obtained my FCAS early by front-loading the exams, and I have absolutely zero regrets from that grind. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out directly to me on LinkedIn!


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