CAS Profile: Kelly Cusick
Name of college/university attended: University of Notre Dame
Current employer/job title: Managing Director at Deloitte
Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Working in the insurance industry is a way to be on the front lines of making a social impact. The industry is designed to help individuals and businesses manage life’s uncertainties, by responding with services and financial support when people are impacted by unexpected events. It is also a stable industry, which has operated without significant disruption for hundreds of years!
Why did you become an actuary?
I wanted to find a career that would allow me to apply math and problem solving in the business world. I’ve always liked puzzles, mysteries or detective stories, strategy games… being an actuary is kind of like applying those skills to figure out what to do in a business scenario. That’s what makes the actuarial exams both rewarding and sometimes frustrating – it’s not just about memorizing facts and formulas – they also train you in critical thinking and synthesizing information to find a solution.
What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
I loved the variety and fast pace of change in the property and casualty insurance sector. I sometimes joke that P&C is the “everything else” insurance industry. We cover things from cars and buildings… to doctors and lawyers… to satellite launches and hole-in-one golf contests. And the risks faced are constantly evolving, like cyber risks or weather patterns or workforce shifts, which makes for interesting problems to solve as an actuary.
What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
In addition to a strong math and statistics foundation, complement your schedule with a mix of business classes, and get involved in activities that build your communication skills. Great actuaries aren’t just good at technical work, they translate their analysis into insights that stakeholders can understand and act upon with confidence. My other advice is to network, network, network! Seek out and take advantage of any and all opportunities to interact with working actuaries – that is the best way to get a better understanding of what it’s like to be an actuary, and what type of employers might be a good fit for you.