View Full Version : question
11-30-2001, 11:36 AM
Laffit Pincay, Jr.
11-30-2001, 11:51 AM
I think the fact that you had an internship counts more as a plus in your interviews for a full-time actuarial position than any possible reference that it may provide. Don't use the manager as a reference if asked for references, you pick those yourself.
As long as you have some exams passed there is no reason why any potential employer would contact your intership since it was only for a summer. The interviews will cover more on what you did during your internship to see if you are able to communicate on actuarial work topics.
11-30-2001, 11:54 AM
In the actuarial world, never underestimate the smallness of the world. It is likely if you are applying for jobs in the same town that the prospective employers will know people at the internship. If the first 3 or 4 jobs inexplicably give you the cold shoulder, take it off your resume.
11-30-2001, 11:55 AM
Sorry for the tangent, but I once had a summer intern who worked under me use me as a reference without asking. I was totally caught off guard nearly a year later when someone called and told me I'd been put down as a reference. I really didn't appreciate it, and didn't know what to say. If you're asked to give references, do yourself a favor and ask the references first if it's ok to use them.
11-30-2001, 12:00 PM
This Message was edited by: palatka on 2001-11-30 12:03
11-30-2001, 12:08 PM
Most employers don't really respect an internship as real experience. I don't think it helps you that much, especially if you are not getting good references.
Situation - you interview with my firm
If I have any buddies at the company you interned at, I call them up and ask what you're like, etc. My buddy either doesn't know who the heck you were, which is ok, or he says let me ask <<the manager>> and I'll be in touch.
On the other hand, if I like you, I disregard what the dousche bag has to say about you and hire you anyway, but you don't need that aggravation.
Just because you are not naming the person doesn't mean that people won't find out. Off the record, you tell me who it is and I'll take a ride over with you and we can both kick the crap out of him. (if its a her we'll mess up her hair or something) :smile:
11-30-2001, 12:09 PM
sorry - I forgot to log in. That last anonymous was from me.
11-30-2001, 12:10 PM
I really wouldn't worry.
No offense, but it's very, very unlikely that a prospective employer is going to all this background check and such at an entry level position. If you were boasting a FSA, CFA, EA, MBA and that the work you did in the past saved countless insurance companies, than a background check would be in order.
When I switched jobs, I always made sure they did not contact my old employer as I wanted to keep my searching secret (this is common and understandable). The truth, of course, is because I thought I was less than stellar and didn't want that getting past on by an old boss...
11-30-2001, 12:11 PM
To the person who was urked by being used as a reference...
Are you so uptight that you can't go a yard out of your way to help out someone who worked for you? What is the big deal??
I'm a little testy today. :grin:
11-30-2001, 12:46 PM
Companies today have strict rules against letting managers say anything about former employees, since the companies are afraid of being sued. A prospective employer will ask you to name your former managers and to give permission to contact them to verify your employment history. You should not be afraid to provide that information. References are something else. Those are former colleagues whom you expect to say nice things about you. You should have a few references lined up, with their permission.
11-30-2001, 04:27 PM
I'm the one who didn't like the surprise reference title. Actually I wasn't that impressed with the circumstances under which this intern left. To be honest, I could have said some not-so-nice things, and I didn't appreciate being put on the spot. I didn't know the legal ramifications of being honest, so I sort of felt pressured to say vague niceties that weren't necessarily true. If I had been asked ahead of time, I would have made up some excuse for why the company doesn't allow us to act as references for former employees or something. I'm just saying you better make sure your references are as eager to be your references as you are to have them as your references. Some people might have taken a different route if put in my shoes, and it could have cost this intern who knows how many jobs... Better to be safe than sorry, and make sure your former boss is ok with being asked about your performance.
11-30-2001, 04:54 PM
I can see that point.
I guess if the person didn't leave on good terms, they are a fool for putting you down as a reference. The person deserves what they get, I guess.
Normally, when I read threads on interviews, I just nod my head as I agree with one piece of good advice after another, but this time I have to take a contrary view to some of the suggestions that have been made. (There were some good points, especially those about smallness of the world, getting permission to use somebody as a reference, and references being afraid to say anything bad for fear of being sued.)
I'm assuming that your past experience consists of non-actuarial jobs and one or two actuarial internships. If this is true, I would not recommend leaving the actuarial internship off of your resume. When looking at an entry level student, it is a definite plus to know that they have worked in a business environment, and especially an actuarial environment. Also, it would not be that unusual for an interviewer to ask why you had not tried to get an internship or a summer actuarial job, and then you'll be in a very awkward position of either having to lie or explain why you left it off the resume.
If you have had several actuarial positions, the interviewer probably won't go to the trouble of checking back with your internship employer. But if that's the only actuarial experience you have, I would definitely want to talk to them. I would be suspicious if I didn't see them on your list of references, and I would specifically ask if it would be OK to contact them.
Don't underestimate the importance of references, even for an entry-level student. While it may only be a summer job, it may still be the most important reference available for the potential employer to check. I'll probably learn more about your ability to be an actuary from your summer job at an insurance company than I will from your four years flipping burgers. (OTOH, your burger boss will probably have looser lips than your actuarial boss when it comes to spilling the beans on you - you'd be :eek:'d at how much personal dirt these people will spew in response to a business question!)
Finally, I'm surprised nobody offered this piece of advice: talk to your former boss from your internship. You sound like you're not 100% sure how this person really felt about you or what he would say if somebody asked him about you, so ask him! As a side benefit, you might learn something about yourself that will help you in your next job. Who knows, maybe your boss actually liked your work, but just wasn't good at expressing himself, or liked your work but your personality just clashed with his. But you need to know for sure if you can trust him as a reference. If you can't, you're right about leaving him off your reference list.
Understand, though, that a good interviewer will pick up on this, so be prepared to discuss your situation with this former employer IFF the interviewer asks. For example, you may be asked why you and your boss had different opinions about your performance. Know how you're going to address this without suggesting that "he was a poor manager", as you stated above. If that really was the problem, just give the interviewer some concrete examples that would show that this was the problem, and let the interviewer reach that conclusion on his own.
You can't always sweep the problem of a clash with a former boss under the rug by leaving him off the reference list or deleting the job from your resume. And you generally don't want to raise the issue if the interviewer doesn't. But you need to be prepared in case it does come up. Good luck with your job search!
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 42 on 2001-11-30 20:35 ]</font>
11-30-2001, 09:53 PM
Apart from learning about the actuarial profession, the only reason why a student would want to participate in the internship is to be able to demonstrate this experience in the future to the prospective employer. The pay isn’t all that attractive and the job is not the most exciting one. By hiring an intern the boss should sort of expect to be used as a reference so he shouldn’t be surprised when a while later somebody is calling to verify that reference. I don’t see why it would be so much trouble for the boss to just answer whether or not that intern worked for him. Do you really have to ask your boss for permission to be put as reference? Does he need some sort of “preparation” before being asked about his employee? If the acquirer called you at a bad time, just ask if you could call back, get your thoughts together, and call back!
And what could be the possible “bad” circumstances under which the intern left the job? I mean it’s just an internship. Apparently the intern didn’t think that those circumstances were bad if he used you as a reference, and it would be immoral (if not backstabbing) to deny any knowledge about the intern or to negatively describe him.
11-30-2001, 11:53 PM
I actually think that having an internship is a very valuable experience. The work can be dull at times, but I learned a lot about fitting into corporate culture, politics, and all that crap which everybody hates but that you have to know how to handle. I also learned technical skills. I also disagree that the pay is crappy - $15-20 an hour is much better than any other summer or school year job would pay!
I have a question: I had a former manager tell me that it was against company policy for him to write me a letter of recommendation for a scholarship. Do companies really have policies like this, or was he just trying to diss me without being blatant about it? The company gave me an offer to come back the next summer, FYI. In retrospect, that doesn't say much - I've worked with complete idiots who got offers.
12-03-2001, 04:02 PM
Aces - My boss at my last company also informed me that due to company rules he could not provide any information other than the fact that I worked for him and the dates of my employment. FWIW, I think this is absurd, but with so many sue-happy people out there, companies are forced to CYA.
He was nice enough to offer a "personal" recommendation with no reference whatsoever to the company he worked for.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited for my horrible spelling by: Fletch on 2001-12-03 16:02 ]</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Fletch on 2001-12-03 16:03 ]</font>
12-03-2001, 04:23 PM
Aces - believe your former manager. A ridiculous number of companies now do this. My former employer required me to do this when I managed actuarial students. All I could do was confirm dates of employment.
(as stated by others, a "personal" recommendation without reference to your employer was possible, for whatever it was worth)
It rose up to bite my former employer, since they had to dismiss a manager for sexual harrassment who apparently had a history with his prior employer that they were not informed of. But they didn't inform his next employer.
12-03-2001, 05:30 PM
Bad circumstances = up and left in the middle, little notice, just sort of disappeared with rather lame excuse for leaving. I'm not a manager, was surpervising this person for the summer. I did not hire the intern, and have not had experience serving as references, so I did not know what I could/should say about the person. It was more than "did this person work for you". It was questions about how they worked, what type of projects they did, etc. Rather detailed. Bottom line is, it was dumb of this person to use me as a reference b/c after walking out on us they should not have been expecting glowing reports of performance.
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