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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