Marla Strykowski, FCAS, MAAA, is an actuary at Plymouth Rock Assurance. She graduated from Bentley University with a double major in Mathematical Sciences and Liberal Studies, with a concentration in Actuarial Science.
Why would you recommend a career in the insurance industry to current college students?
Learning about the numerous aspects of the insurance industry is fascinating, relevant, and a satisfying component of being an actuary. I love knowing that my work in this field ultimately provides people with help, and the support they need for the unexpected circumstances in their lives.
Why did you become an actuary?
I’ve always liked math and when I discovered actuarial science in college, I knew it was the profession for me. Besides the work itself, the uniformity and structure of the exam system, which measures all candidates on the same scale, really appealed to me.
What drew you to a career in property and casualty insurance?
Property and casualty insurance is so essential to everyday life that it’s easy to overlook, but that doesn’t make it any less important. From drones to earthquakes, there is a lot of variety. There’s always something new to discover, which coincides with my desire to be a lifelong learner.
What can students do now to prepare for a career in the industry?
Gaining an understanding about the insurance industry in general, such as becoming familiar with standard insurance policies, is a great place to start preparing. For actuarial students in particular, passing some of the actuarial exams is definitely an advantage. I’d also recommend taking a variety of statistical, computer/coding, and economics classes to gain a broad modeling and analytical background.