Actuarial science students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln received a rare opportunity to hear from the presidents of both the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) at a special event at the Nebraska Union. SOA President Jeremy Brown and CAS President Nancy Braithwaite, both of New York City, spoke to two groups of actuarial science students and stressed the importance of life-long learning in order to be successful in the field.
“I got the bug in high school to enter the actuarial profession,” said Brown. “I wasn’t smarter than other students but I applied myself, and the actuarial science skills became a building block in the business environment. I had a lot of responsibilities in my 20s and 30s, and spent a lot of time learning about the pension investment business which set me up to be successful. I made a commitment to life-long learning with both the profession and the marketplace.”
Braithwaite also emphasized the importance of continuous learning in the actuarial science field. She believes it adds a level of enjoyment to the workplace.
“Nobody loves working all day every day, but if you stay up-to-date with the trends it makes the day more enjoyable which is one of my major themes,” said Braithwaite. “After you start your career you won’t be doing the same thing in five years. It’s important to know the profession and know what you enjoy doing because it will enhance your success and ability to learn.”
Tim Blaser, a senior finance major with a minor in actuarial science from Bloomington, Illinois, praised the professionals for their message. He graduates in May and then begins his professional career at Deloitte Consulting in Minneapolis, as a business analyst specializing in actuarial consulting.
“It was a cool opportunity to see both presidents,” said Blaser. “The timing of their message for me and several senior classmates was perfect. Both societies are adding an extra emphasis on predictive analysis. I knew it was becoming more important, but hearing it from the presidents made an impact in terms of reinforcing their theme of life-long learning.”
In total, more than 80 students attended the presentations which were followed by networking sessions where students could talk to the presidents one-on-one. Blaser, who is a CBA Honors Academy student, and a few fellow students also had lunch with the presidents at the College of Business Administration.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had both presidents here together,” said Sue Vagts, director of the actuarial science program. “It’s important for students to hear both the SOA and CAS speakers because ultimately they have to choose one path or the other. A lot of students don’t decide until the end of their time at Nebraska which path they will choose.”
To learn more about the Actuarial Science Program visit: http://cba.unl.edu/academic-programs/departments/finance/actuarial-science/undergraduate/