CAS Profile: Eva Zhang, FCAS

Where do you work and what is your position?
Iโ€™m a pricing actuary with Ryan Specialty.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?
I went to a math and science high school (for NUS High we fight!), but I was definitely better at/more interested in math than sciences. I was looking for a math-related major and actuarial science popped up serendipitously.

What aspects of the field do you love?
I love that there are many flavors in the actuarial profession. Even though I have only been in the industry for less than 5 years, I am lucky enough to have worked at an insurance company, in consulting and now in the MGU space. Each role taught me so much about the different aspects of the actuarial profession, and helped me identify my strengths and areas for growth.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Be your authentic self. I have always been described as a very bubbly and sweet person, and occasionally it can feel like Iโ€™m the odd duck in the corporate world. We all have unique backgrounds and voices, and there is nothing wrong with adding your own shine and sparkle into the profession. Even in the face of unpleasantries, it’s important that we stay true to our values, be humble and respectful expressing our views, while being our stupendous selves!

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Itโ€™s great to ask a lot of questions and itโ€™s okay to make mistakes. Questions help you understand both the technical and the business aspect of your work, and mistakes help you identify your blind spots. What’s truly important is that you learn from your mistakes, focus on your own growth, and grow into the professional that you aspire to be.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
The concept of insurance has always been fascinating to me, since we rarely think about risks or fortuitous events when the days are good. Itโ€™s about thinking ahead, which can be a new and interesting concept. A career in insurance gives you more insight into such events and the strategies used to handle risks, allowing creative thinking and development of problem-solving skills. It could be both challenging and rewarding at the same time!

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
Speaking through the lens of an actuary, internships can offer significant insight and provide more specific context on the day-to-day work of an actuary. Connecting with fellow students in your major, sitting for exams, and going to networking events can also all be great opportunities!

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