“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” –Henry Ford
This is one of my most favorite quotes noted on the back of my career coach’s business card. It always motivates and inspires me. When I was an applied math student three years ago, I realized my career goal was to become an actuary, not just any actuary, a great actuary. I knew this profession would be very challenging but I told myself: “I can do it and I will.”
Like many other actuarial students, I started searching for internships upon my graduation. More than once during the internship search, I reminded myself to stay positive and to embrace the unknown. Like any career track, the actuarial profession has its own set of challenges.
Thinking of the time that I searched for my internships, I remember my daily routine was all about applications, resumes, interviews, companies’ profiles, thank you notes, and especially, the waiting process. I was certainly not the only student who was going through this internship search experience; however, the experience varied among people – some students secured internships faster than others and some students experienced a longer process. I myself spent eight months on my internship search and I felt thankful for that period of time.
While applying to and interviewing with many companies, I was able to strengthen my knowledge about these firms and what exactly they do in the insurance industry – brokers vs. carriers, life/health vs. property and casualty. In addition, the internship search experience gave me the opportunity to continuously improve my resume and interviewing skills. During the waiting process, I sought guidance from professionals to proofread my resume or to do a mock interview with me, and provide me their frank feedback for improvements.
Time after time, my resume and my interviewing skills improved. Thanks to my internship search experience, I enhanced my professionalism and I learned to become more patient and positive. I finally got an internship from a company that felt right for me; I had a meaningful internship experience and truly began to understand what it meant to be in the right place, at the right time and with the right people.
About Ahn Van Tran:
This past year, Anh Van Tran was vice president of career development at Temple University’s Gamma Iota Sigma Professional Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science Fraternity. She joined AIG headquarters this summer as its fulltime actuarial analyst.