by Fiona Moran
The Roosevelt University Career Center hosted a career fair for actuarial science majors on Thursday, Sept. 20, in the Congress Lounge of the Auditorium Building, in order for students to network and learn about future opportunities and career paths in actuarial science.
The event began with a speech from senior associate at Pricewaterhousecooper Kendria Boddie. Later, industry representatives, Roosevelt University graduate program and career counselors set up booths and mingled amongst students and faculty, exchanging resumes and career advice.
This was the fourth consecutive year hosting the career fair and the largest attended, according to Juli Rowen, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Science at Roosevelt University. “I think the interest and the knowledge of the fair just continues to build each year,” Rowen said.
Companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allstate, Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment and Mercer, among others, had booths along the wall and were taking resumes and questions from actuarial science students. Approximately 30 to 35 students were in attendance, as well as faculty members and company representatives.
At the Blue Cross Blue Shield table were two BCBS actuaries and Roosevelt alumni of the program, Vincent Dang (Class of 2015) and Stephen Lowe (Class of 2014). “It’s gotten a lot better since I was a student. There’s more people that hire actuaries here,” Dang said.
Eric Penland, representative of Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment, said he was happy to represent his company due to the passions of Roosevelt students. “They’re all very assertive and already have made a lot of progress for students in terms of outside of the classroom gaining practical experience and internships,” Penland said. “They’re all really excited to talk about it, some have given me their resumes and I can see that even though they’re young they have pretty extensive backgrounds,” Penland said.
Most commonly employed by insurance companies, actuaries are professionals that use mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk. “I’m a firefighter of data” – is the phrase Boddie said she used to explain her job to kids.
Senior actuarial science major Shawn Lee said to get a job in the field, students must pass professional exams. “All the companies require you to get at least one professional exam… I don’t think they really care about your resume until you pass at least one exam,” Lee said. These exams include entry levels to more advanced positions.
Assistant professor of mathematics, economics and actuarial science, Wanwan Huang, said she was happy to see interested students attend the fair. “They learned a lot from the employer, what they expect from the candidate… Two to three exams plus a summer internship would be perfect,” Huang said.