CAS Profile: Jake Akstins


Jake Akstins studies actuarial science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is president of the university’s actuarial science club, and was selected as a 2017 CAS Trust Scholarship Winner. Jake has spent the last two summers interning at CNA and will begin working there full time after graduation.

  1. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in the insurance industry?
    I believe in the mission of insurance – insurance is a social tool which indemnifies others to make them financially whole after experiencing a loss or accident. Insurance is a concept that allows people to help others through the insurance company which serves as a liaison. I want to help make these connections smooth and fair.
  2. Why did you decide to study actuarial science?
    I would’ve never ended up in this field if it wasn’t for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), my high school. Here, I was exposed to professors who taught me about the power of mathematics and what you can do with it. I am very interested in diversity and inclusion and social justice, and I find ethical questions regarding pricing and reserving (quantifiable discrimination vs. more accurate pricing) to be fascinating. I am particularly interested in confounding variables.
  3. What advice would you give to someone interested in studying actuarial science?
    Do your research, learn the lingo, and read-up on the industry. What’s a loss ratio? What’s a loss? What’s a claim? Use these questions to help you dig deeper to find your “why”. Studying to be an actuary is a lot of work, and I really, really wouldn’t recommend to do it just for the money.

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