6 Tips for Landing and Excelling at an Actuarial Internship
3 Tips for Landing an Actuarial Internship
1. Stay Ahead of the Game: The timing of when you get your resume out to
a company is critical. It’s important to know that most companies tend to finish hiring in December for the actuarial summer intern positions. This means you should plan to update and polish your resume soon after you return to school in the fall. Many companies will be posting positions in August and September, so be on the lookout for the positions you want at your top prospects.
2. Know the Company: It’s extremely important to always know information about the company with which you’re interviewing. It’s quite apparent in interviews when a candidate hasn’t done any research on the company and skirts any questions about why they’re interested in working at the company. In contrast, when candidates do look into information about the company and share what they find interesting, it shows a deep interest in the company. This can go a long way.
3. Remain Professional: Remember to always keep a professional demeanor. Some interviewing processes entail interviews with younger or newer actuaries at the company to help facilitate easier conversations. This is a great time to ask questions you might have forgotten to ask in the more ‘formal’ interview, but remember this time is still being used as an interview and being professional is still crucial.
3 Tips for Excelling at an Actuarial Internship
1. Stay Up to Date on Current Events: Before and during your internship, it’s important to stay on top of the news and what’s happening in the world. I don’t mean just staying current in the worlds of sports or celebrities, but rather the worlds of politics, finance, healthcare, technology, and so many more. All of these can impact insurance companies since insurance touches almost every industry. In addition, issues around the world can affect the company at which you’re interning as a result of increased reinsurance and increasingly global companies. I’m not saying you need to be an expert on all things, but having a general understanding of the major news of the day will serve you well.
2. Network: Developing professional relationships with coworkers can benefit you both during and after the internship. It’s important to develop a few strong relationships. Most companies will pair you with a mentor to help you answer your day-to-day questions, while your manager might meet with you weekly. Use these meetings as an opportunity to showcase your work efforts, your ability to be a team player, and your interpersonal skills. It’s also important to build a network with other actuarial interns and new hires at the company. This group will be seeing a wide range of actuarial roles across the company as they’re learning and being trained in different capacities. By asking questions about the work they’re doing, you can expand your knowledge of what other actuaries do and start formulating ideas on which actuarial function most interests you for a future internship or a full-time starting position.
3. Utilize Feedback to Grow Professionally: Take advantage of a mid-summer review. Your summer internship will fly by quickly. Internships usually range between 10-12 weeks, and by the time you get settled in, it’ll seem like your end date is right around the corner. Your mid-summer review can help you to hone in on the skills that you still need to develop during your time with the company. Your manager might schedule one with you but if not, I suggest asking your manager if he/she would conduct one with you to give you feedback on how the summer is progressing. Most managers will discuss how your first few weeks have been going, and point out a few places you could grow and develop. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking those development suggestions to heart and trying to improve. An important attribute of a great employee is being someone who can accept constructive criticism and respond by making positive changes.
Anthony Pragovich, ACAS, is a senior actuarial analyst at Zurich North America. In addition to his role in pricing, he is a member of Zurich’s core actuarial recruiting team.