A Student’s Perspective on Succeeding in the Actuarial Profession

By Jack Richards
Posted on

My name is Jack Richards, and I am a senior actuarial science student at Drake University in Des Moines, IA! After my graduation in May, I’ll be joining Deloitte Consulting as an actuarial analyst in their Human Capital practice. I have interned at a variety of different companies (Deloitte, Travelers, and Sammons Financial), and am fortunate to have experienced the P&C, Life, and Health industries!

Back in high school, I wanted to explore a career that sat at the intersection of math and business, and one of my neighbors recommended that I explore the actuarial profession. I was intrigued by the high level of respect the actuarial profession has, along with the wide array of opportunities that an actuary’s career can take. Through my internship experience, I’ve been surprised by the wide variety of skills an actuary employs in their day-to-day work. Many people stereotype the profession as very introverted, however, I could not disagree more! I have been amazed at the amount of teamwork in projects and relationships with other business partners that actuaries exercise on a daily basis. This excites me about the profession, as actuaries continue to be empowered as trusted business advisors and experts. Moreover, the volunteer culture that drives the CAS forward is a professional environment that values everyone’s contributions, something that I’ve appreciated during my time volunteering for the CAS.

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Throughout my time in college, I’ve used a variety of different resources to find success in exams and internships. CAS Student Central has valuable resources that students can leverage as they strive for success in the profession. As a Student Central member, I’ve benefited from the free practice exams from the Infinite Actuary, the internships in the career center and the scholarship listing. I’ve watched informative webinars each semester, and attended in-person networking events at CAS meetings to continue to learn about the profession and build my network as I begin my career.

Both Gamma Iota Sigma and Drake University have played a pivotal role in my college experience. GIS has enabled me to surround myself with other students passionate about the profession, challenging me to grow as an individual and as a leader. I’ve built a national network of students and industry leaders through GIS’s conferences and programs, and this has opened many doors!

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Additionally, Drake’s excellent actuarial program has provided a foundation for success. Through rigorous academic courses that line up with exams, and leadership opportunities in conferences such as the Drake Symposium, I’ve benefited greatly from Drake’s actuarial program.

For students considering a career in the actuarial profession, I encourage you to take the next step. Join your university’s GIS chapter and/or actuarial club, or start one if it isn’t available. If you already belong to these organizations, I challenge you to take on a leadership role and begin shaping the experiences of other members. Through demonstrating your capabilities and commitment to the profession, I hope you’ll find success as you pursue the actuarial career!

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