CAS Profile: Dalesa Bady, ACAS

Where do you work and what is your position?
I currently work remotely out of Dallas, Texas as a Pricing Actuary for GuideOne Insurance.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?
My introduction to the profession began as a senior in high school spending an afternoon with a Chief Actuary working for a life insurance company. At that particular time, I recall being very confused on the things he relayed to me about his role as an actuary. Although I was eager to sit down with him that afternoon, I barely knew what questions to ask or things to say to contribute to the conversation, so I just listened with the occasional nod and smile to signal I was still present in the dialogue.

Despite those feelings, what I do remember from that interaction was the level of excitement he had for his work. It seemed to just ooze out of him in a way that was contagious.

It was at that point I decided to lean into the actuarial profession.

I wanted to have that same contagious feeling about my work and career.

I suppose it also helped that I enjoyed math in school and was fascinated by problem-solving, too.

What aspects of the field do you love?
I love the business facing aspect of the actuarial profession. Itโ€™s a nice feature of the actuarial role that I enjoy, and it has been an important part of nearly every role Iโ€™ve had over the last 12 years in the actuarial field.

As actuaries, we are in a unique position to be at the forefront of insurance problems, and our skillsets afford us the opportunity to approach these problems through a different lens. Itโ€™s both a privilege and exciting to be part of, particularly as the world around us becomes more complex and involved.

I also love the mentorship aspect that comes with working in the actuarial field. I have met a number of people through volunteerism and have been fortunate to work with some great people over my career. This has had a positive impact on my personal and professional development. I enjoy giving back to others through coaching and mentorship as well.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Iโ€™ve received good career advice from a variety of people over the last 12 years. One of the more consistent themes has been:

Allow your interests and/or passions to dictate your movement in your career.

I have found that the more we embrace this, the more we end up leading fulfilled careers. We are more engaged in our roles and more likely to add significant value through our work. The ripple effects are powerful and can have a lasting impact on the people and things around us.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice centers on two things:

First, try as many things as you reasonably can early on in your actuarial career.

For example, if you are interested or curious about data programming, find people and other resources that allow you to explore that particular path or interest. The more you try different things in your career, the more well-rounded you will become and the more likely you will find what motivates or energizes you at work (what I like to call: โ€œfinding your jamโ€). Not only will this expose you to a variety of work in your career, but it will also help influence projects, roles, and other potential opportunities that come knocking at your door.

Lastly, seek out someone who can mentor and/or coach you in your career.

At times, this may happen naturally with people we go to for work advice outside of our boss/manager. In order for you to optimize this type of relationship, you have to be intentional. Ask questions, be curious, reflect on your strengths and what you want to do in your current or future role, etc. Having a small, diverse network of people that you trust and can lean on for guidance can have a significant impact on your professional life.

It certainly has on mine up to this point in my career.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Insurance is one of the most stable industries in the country. There will always be a real demand for insurance in the U.S. With that said, you can build a long career in insurance and develop a wealth of experience and skills tackling a variety of problems.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
Find time to connect with others in the industry. The industry is huge, use that as an opportunity to start building a network and learning more about different fields and practice areas.

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