Register for the CAS Student Conference at the CAS Spring Meeting in Atlanta, GA!

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The Casualty Actuarial Society is pleased to offer a FREE student conference at this year’s Spring Meeting in Atlanta, GA on May 7, 2024. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. University students interested in pursuing an actuarial career are invited to participate in this one-day conference!

CAS Student Conference Attendees Will:

  • Connect with CAS Members and Participate in a Speed Network Session
  • Learn More About the CAS and the Property and Casualty Industry
  • Attend Professional Concurrent Sessions and Student-Specific Sessions
  • Take Professional Headshots

Registration is open to members of CAS Student Central. Students not yet members can easily sign up online, and then register to attend the event.

There is no cost for students to register to attend the CAS Spring Meeting Student Conference. However, attendees are responsible for any travel costs incurred including transportation and lodging (if applicable).

Agenda

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Registration and Headshots
8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction to the CAS
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Break and Transition
9:45 a.m.– 10:45 a.m. Concurrent Session
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
11:15 a.m.– 12:15 p.m. Actuarial Pricing Cooking Show
12:30 p.m.– 2:00 p.m. Lunch and Speed Networking
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Wrap-Up and Group Picture

If you have questions, please contact CAS University Engagement Manager, Margaret Gaddy, at MGaddy@casact.org.

The 2024 CAS Spring Meeting will be held at:

Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland St NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


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Watch Now! Introduction to the CAS Student Central Summer Program

Have you heard about the CAS Student Central Summer Program? Are you curious to learn more about the program and how it can help foster your career growth? Watch the recently recorded CAS Student Central Webinar and learn how participating in the CAS Student Central Summer Program can expand your knowledge of the property and casualty actuarial industry, build your network, and enhance your resume.

Watch Now!

Topics Covered

  • Overview and Background of the CAS Student Central Summer Program
  • What to Expect in a Typical Week
  • Application Process
  • Program Impacts
  • Mentor and Student Perspectives

Not yet a member of CAS Student Central? Join this free membership program today and access the CAS Student Central Webinar Library!

Meet the Presenters:

Jason Nikowitz, FCAS, CPCU, CSPA
Jason Nikowitz is an Assistant Vice President and Actuarial Manager for Zurich North America’s National Accounts Reserving department. He has previous experience in planning and claims-level predictive modeling and, prior to becoming an actuary, was a high school math teacher. He holds degrees from Purdue University, Harper College, and North Central college and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and a Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics (CSPA). Jason has been involved in the CAS Student Central Summer Program since 2021 and is the current volunteer chair of the CAS Student Programs Task Force.

Kyle Bartee, ACAS, CSPA
After a short career in teaching, Kyle went back to school to get an Actuarial degree, and has been a practicing Actuary for a little over a decade. He now works at an Insurtech startup, and is pricing RV insurance for all 50 states. Kyle was a CAS Student Central Summer Program mentor in 2021 and 2022, and hosted mentor trainings in 2023 for fellow mentors during the program.

Aarif Baksh, Student
Aarif Baksh is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln working towards a master’s degree in actuarial science. Aarif was a 2023 CAS Student Central Summer Program participant, and his team won the panel 5 case competition. Aarif is also currently participating in the CAS Student Central Scholars Program.

Christa Benitha, Student
Christa Benitha Ingabire is an undergrad student at Hamilton College, set to graduate in December 2024 with a major in Pure and Applied Mathematics, and a minor in Studio Art. Benitha plans to pursue a career in Actuarial science and was a 2023 CAS Student Central Summer Program participant. Her team won the panel 4 case competition, and she is currently participating in the CAS Student Central Scholars Program.


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Applications Now Being Accepted for the 2024 CAS Student Central Summer Program!

Applications are now open for the 2024 CAS Student Central Summer Program! Developed by practicing actuaries, this free eight-week program will support university students’ career growth by providing technical and soft skill development, as well as mentorships and networking opportunities.

Since its inception in 2020, this educational program has rapidly gained popularity among CAS Student Central members. Hear firsthand what a former participant has to say about the program and how it has positively impacted their actuarial journey:

“I genuinely believe that the CAS summer program is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to dive deep into the world of actuarial science. It’s not just about academics; it’s about building a network, gaining practical exposure, and shaping your future in a dynamic field.”

2024 Program Details

The program will run from Monday, June 10 – Friday, August 2. Over the course of the eight-week program participants will:

  • Complete weekly modules that focus on a variety of property and casualty actuarial topics including pricing, reserving, and data visualization.
  • Connect and network with mentors for weekly discussions as students advance through the program.
  • Build important soft skills, such as presentation skills, resume/interview prep, professional courtesies and more!
  • Work on teams with other students on a case competition addressing a real-life actuarial problem, and present their final projects to a panel of practicing actuaries. There will be  prizes for the winning teams.

Participants will spend approximately 10 hours a week participating in the program and are expected to attend the program in its eight-week entirety. Presentations and materials will be in English. Participants who successfully complete the program will be awarded a digital badge by the CAS documenting their accomplishment.

Who Should Apply?

The program is geared towards university students who are interested in gaining actuarial experience and knowledge of the property and casualty insurance industry. It is an exciting development opportunity for students who do not have an internship lined up for summer 2024.

We encourage students at schools without actuarial programs, as well as those who recently learned about the actuarial career, to apply. This program will also be beneficial to students who attend an actuarial program but have had limited exposure to property and casualty topics or limited access to actuarial internships.

The CAS strongly encourages students that identify with groups historically under-represented in STEM professions, including Women, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, to apply.

The CAS is committed to providing universal access to all of our programs. Any accommodation requests can be submitted during program enrollment process once admissions notifications have been circulated.

If you are located in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, please apply to the East Asia Summer Program here: CAS Student Central East Asia Summer Program

Application Information:

Interested students should submit an application form by April 10. Please note, we require one recommendation submitted within the application.

Applicants will be notified no later than May 1 as to the status of their application.

For those that are looking for a flexible schedule and have limited capacity to attend weekly cohort meetings, we will also offer the CAS Student Central Independent Summer Program, a self-paced alternative covering the same materials. The independent program includes an online forum for participants to pose questions, connect with each other, and obtain guidance. It excludes the case competition, and weekly mentor discussions. The program will run from June 24-August 2. Applicants interested in applying specifically for the CAS Student Central Independent Summer Program should also complete the application form above.

Questions? Please email us at studentprograms@casact.org


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Save-the-Date: CAS Student Program at the CAS Spring Meeting in Atlanta, GA!

The Casualty Actuarial Society is offering an in-person Student Program at this year’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA on May 7, 2024. Members of CAS Student Central are invited to participate in this FREE program.

Registration will be open to all members of CAS Student Central. Students who are not yet members can easily sign up online.

More information and registration details are to come! If you would like to be the first to be notified when registration opens, please complete this form.

Location:

Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


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CAS Student Central Profile Rachel Hunter, FCAS

CAS Profile: Rachel Hunter, FCAS

Rachel Hunter is a Career Changer.CAS Student Central Profile Rachel Hunter, FCAS

In what field or actuarial concentration do you work in now?
I most recently worked in pricing for small commercial lines.

What job did you do or industry did you work in before becoming an actuary?
During the late 90’s, I was part of the dot-com boom building websites at a handful of different startup companies.

Why did you decide to change careers and become an actuary?
Working in technology wasn’t a career choice for me as much as it was a very easy job to get at the time if you had the basic skills to do it and ability to learn more.  At first I only planned to do it for a while deciding whether to go to graduate school in some field of Biology (my undergraduate major).  In 2001, after leaving a startup in CA and moving to Seattle, WA without a job, I started looking at long-term career options.    I took an online version of the MAPP career assessment and it suggested I be either a writer, architect or actuary.  I had been considering both writer and architect but knew it would be a lot of time to get to the point of having a stable income and that both required continually selling my skills.  So I decided to take the first actuarial exam and apply to the local companies in Seattle that had actuarial entry level roles.  Within the first week on my job at Safeco insurance, I already had respect from senior executives and it was such a welcome change in terms of culture  from my technology jobs.

What advice do you have for others who are considering a similar career change?
The hardest part of the change for me was exams.  Be ready to set progress goals for yourself and try to find a study group to keep you on track.


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Student Central Profiles Nick LaPenta

CAS Profile: Nick LaPenta

Where do you work and what is your position?Student Central Profiles Nick LaPenta
I have been part of Travelers Insurance for 16 years. Currently I am an AVP in Corporate Actuarial where I lead our work on annual and quarterly financials related to reserves, catastrophe reporting and competitor analytics.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?
During my senior year of high school, I was invited to attend Travelers’ first annual high school day, which introduced the actuarial profession to top math students from around Connecticut. The event featured senior leader speakers, an actuarial student panel and a presentation by BeAnActuary.org. At the time I was just looking for a day off of school; little did I know the day would introduce me to an exciting career! Travelers continues to hold the event annually and I’m proud to have been involved with the event in numerous roles over the years, including as a past chair of the event.

What aspects of the field do you love?
I’m lucky that I get to work and volunteer with the most talented and innovative people day in and day out. My position is unique in that I get to work with reserving actuaries across all areas and facilitate the exchange of ideas and information between them; ultimately drawing out the bigger picture to help guide management’s decisions.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Both in life and at work, always leave things better than how you found it. People will notice and respect you even more for it.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Work on refining what studying method works best for you and gives you the best shot at passing. For me, I learned that exams are tough, but they are especially tough to do alone. Find a group to study with to supplement your individual efforts. You’ll notice that it helps fill the gaps in your studying that you didn’t know you had. Also, the exam process is rewarding but it can be mentally exhausting. Make sure to take time for yourself. I always tried to take some time off to travel after each exam as a mental break and to help pass the time waiting for results.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
When I was nearing the end of my college career, I wasn’t ready to stop learning but at the same time I didn’t want to continue on for a Masters or PhD. A career in the insurance industry offered the perfect amount of continuous learning, growth and development for me. There’s a wide range of diverse opportunities with a mix of analytical skills, innovation, technology and communication. I also enjoy the community aspect that insurance companies share by being able to make a meaningful impact by helping individuals and businesses manage risks.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
There are so many things students can do now to prepare; networking with professionals, attending industry events (CAS, GIS, etc), gaining relevant skills through courses, internships, staying updated on industry trends and so much more. My biggest advice though is don’t go in and try to tackle them all. It’s a lot and you’ll end up getting burned out. At the same time my second piece of advice is to do something, anything. Pick a few with the goal of really committing to them and getting everything you can out of the experience. Don’t treat them as a check box.


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Student Central Profile Melissa, Huenefeldt, FCAS

CAS Profile: Melissa Huenefeldt, FCAS

Melissa Huenefeldt is a Career Changer.Student Central Profile Melissa, Huenefeldt, FCAS

Where do you work and what is your position?
Consulting Actuary, Milliman

In what field or actuarial concentration do you work in now?
Property & Casualty reserving for large deductible/self-insured organizations.

What job did you do or industry did you work in before becoming an actuary?
I double-majored in math & psychology, hoping to find a position in quantitative research.  After a year, I started on my master’s in applied math.

Why did you decide to change careers and become an actuary?
After I couldn’t find a position in my initial field of choice, I took a job with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.  After almost two years there, I had a friend send me a newspaper clipping for an Actuarial Specialist position at Missouri Farm Bureau. I got the position, and I started taking exams at the age of 26! (I finished my Master’s while taking exams).

What advice do you have for others who are considering a similar career change?
It’s never too late!  While a degree in actuarial science may have been nice, I feel like my circuitous path has made me a well-rounded actuary.


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Student Central Profiles John X Potter, FCAS

CAS Profile: John X Potter

Where do you work and what is your position?
I work as a manager in the Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services practice of EY.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?
When I was applying for college, I had no clue what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted it to be math-related. I had originally planned to be a high school math teacher, but the field was saturated in my area at the time. One of my family friends recommended looking into actuarial science, as the field at the time was ranked consistently in the Top 10 jobs for low stress, high pay, and high job satisfaction. I looked into it and liked the balance of analytical, technical, and communication skills that are required on a daily basis.

What aspects of the field do you love?
My favorite aspect of the field is the variation in the type of work you can do. At first, it may seem like just pricing and reserving but as you progress you realize there’s also a need for actuaries in other areas like regulatory, ERM, or catastrophe modeling. And then there are nuances based on line of business, what company you work for, or who your underlying insureds are. And once you really think you understand everything, there’s something that comes along (Covid-19, inflation, unprecedented CAT event, legal/social changes) and you need to react, many times without a blueprint because it’s the first time the issue is arising. I really love that it doesn’t just come down to the data, but the story underlying the data and how you address that story. My other favorite aspect is the amount of different avenues to volunteer. Whether it’s mentorship, participation on a multitude of working groups or task forces, exam writing/grading, or speaking at an event, there’s so many ways to get involved. You’re bound to find something that you’re interested in and can network with others who share that interest. The CAS has a lot of members who really want to give back, and I’m proud to be a member of a group with those values.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?
I’m probably butchering the original quote, but it was something like “People will forget you saying you don’t have time for an extra task, but you’ll certainly remember failing your exam because you took it on.” Basically, learning to say no when you have too much on your plate is a great skill to learn early. I found that most of my exam fails while working came from accepting a lot of work leading up to the exam and not wanting to decline or offload anything. When I changed my mindset and got better at communicating, I was able to strike a nice balance between being available at work while also getting my study time in. It was difficult at first, but I found my co-workers very receptive and understanding to my study time needs; after all, most of them had to go through it too.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
I would strongly recommend forming a study group with your peers for each exam sitting. It of course helps if you’re taking the same exam, but even if you’re not, the group can help keep you honest about the hours you’re putting in to study each week. I feel like there’s also a stronger camaraderie built when you’re struggling together to memorize this formula or understand that solution. It’s also nice to have a team to cheer you on through the passes and cheer you up through the fails.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
I’d recommend a career in insurance because it’s a constantly evolving industry, which keeps your work interesting. As time goes on, new risks emerge and insurance for those risks follow shortly after. When building these products to help protect against risk, you get to balance the analytical side of quantifying the cost of risk with the creative side of creating a product that people want to buy. Also, there’s plenty of opportunity for professional development, whether that’s learning about a new line of business/geography/market or gaining a deeper understanding of your own.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
One thing I would suggest is to start reading about what’s happening in the industry. This doesn’t have to be completely comprehensive, but once a month I’d recommend spending an hour looking at new companies entering the market, legal changes and their effects, trends, emerging risks, etc. This can help students to build up their knowledge early on and start them off with more insight when they’re beginning their career. This also has the added benefit of being something you can speak to in an interview when applying for a job.


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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. It’s a nice feature of the actuarial role that I enjoy, and it has been an important part of nearly every role I’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. It’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?
I’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: “finding your jam”). 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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Student Central Profile Ari Moskowitz, ACAS

CAS Profile: Ari Moskowitz, ACAS

Where do you work and what is your position?Student Central Profile Ari Moskowitz, ACAS
I’m currently Group Chief Risk Officer at Everest, a global P&C insurance and reinsurance company headquartered in Warren, NJ.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?
I majored in actuarial sciences in college because I really enjoyed math and wanted to eventually be in the financial sector. But I decided to start my career as a teacher before I moved into the actuarial field. Teaching was a passion of mine and I loved my years teaching, but ultimately the actuarial career path did provide greater stability and long-term viability for me and my family.

What aspects of the field do you love?
I love the problem-solving nature of what we do. While I can geek out with math problems all day, I more so enjoy putting the tools to task and making a strong business impact.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Don’t view your career path as linear. Many entrants into the field think that career trajectories are clearly defined paths where each subsequent step is perfectly predictable. I’ve found my career takes many different forms from insurance to reinsurance, reserving to pricing, and individual contributor to departmental oversight. But the steps weren’t necessarily down a specific pathway that I traversed through and sometimes the opportunities arose in my peripheral vision. It’s important to be at a company that supports non-linear career paths and ultimately can give you the most opportunities. I’ve personally spent over ten years working at Everest within which I’ve had many different zigs and zags, included moving away from being the Chief Pricing Actuary into roles beyond traditional actuarial such as Chief Operations Officer and more recently Group Chief Risk Officer.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Always offer to be involved with different projects at work. Raise your hand if someone needs assistance with something and if they don’t need assistance then raise your hand anyway! Opportunities don’t just fall onto your desk and sometimes you need to put yourself out there to find them. This includes being willing to stretch outside your comfort zone to be involved with new types of work which may require new skills or doing work which may not seem as exciting but will allow you to see aspects of your company that you wouldn’t have seen in your role otherwise.

Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students? 
The insurance industry is constantly evolving as the world’s risk environment constantly shifts and the method of transferring risk via insurance also changes. This offers great opportunities for future actuaries to blend strong technical skills with creativity for problem solving and innovation.

What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
Since actuaries work with people across many parts of a company, it’s good to complement your math skills with other important business needs like finance, economics, programming, and communications.


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