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The beginning.

Posted 01-19-2009 at 02:11 AM by rrbest

I thought it would be a good idea to begin my professional blog on my journey to becoming an actuary. The purpose of this blog is to set goals, track my progress, get insight from interested people and develop good will with other actuaries and hopefuls.

A little about myself:

I am 22 years old living on the west coast. I am expecting to graduate in summer of 2009 with a BA in finance. Originally, I wanted to become a stockbroker or something similar, more specifically a day trader if I was so lucky. I have experienced some work in the finance field, as an investment advisor representative, and realized it wasnít really what I expected and my personality did not fit the job. I have above average communication skills and am not afraid to get in front of a crowd; however, the work I tend to enjoy most is the kind that requires deep thought and analysis. It turned out the job I signed up for was mostly a sales job.

I am also an entrepreneur. I am always thinking of new business ideas and ways to improve products, and I do find it humorous that many of ďmyĒ ideas have existed for many years, I only hadnít known about them. I also believe I am an excellent salesperson when it comes to products I am knowledgeable about and passionate about.

But letís get on with the introduction.

My interests since the age of 14 have been centered on probabilities. From day trading to playing poker, it was the probabilities and statistics of trading that drew me so closely to these hobbies. I set up a small group of people interested in learning how to trade currencies and together we helped each other improve our abilities. I also played poker for a living for several months. Maybe someday I will tell you about it, but not today. I feel through these experiences I have discovered more about who I am and where I want to be. The opportunities that have come to me have developed me into a more intelligent and thoughtful person, with more direction and drive than I would have had they not approached me.

So why do I want to be an actuary?

I feel the next step in my life is to pursue a career as an actuary. The profession continues to draw me to it in much the same way as my other passions have. It is a curiosity, but a curiosity that is built on a much stronger foundation than my previous interests. Now that I know more about myself, the reason it appeals to me is not superficial. As for the basic reasons why anyone would want to become an actuary, I love probabilities, I love math and I am good at it, recently I found I may even love insurance products. Sure, they may be boring to those who donít think deeply into it, as I once thought, but they are really complicated instruments that require complex infrastructures to succeed. Each insurance product is its own business: by developing insurance products I can be an entrepreneur/engineer.

How will I get there?

This answer still needs to be more clearly defined. I intend to study for the first exam through TIA, and that will hopefully be done before I graduate. However, I will put my graduation ahead of the exam in case things get challenging at school as I near the finish line. Upon graduation, whether or not I have the exam complete, I will seek out an internship at a local life or health insurance company. I believe this to be the best approach. It will allow me to develop my skills as an actuary before I have the full responsibilities of a career actuary. This may change of course, because it sounds as though the actuarial field functions a little different than other professions, and I may find that my employer supports me more than I expect.


I hope those who took time to read all this will feel free to actively participate in my blog. As I said in the beginning, I would love your support, insight and friendship. I will attempt to make this blog useful so when this and following posts are years old, newcomers can benefit from the knowledge and mistakes I have come across since then.

Feel free to comment.
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  1. Old Comment

    Definately like the blog idea, right now I don't have much work so I stumbled across it but in the future I will probably keep up with it and see how you're doing. I am a 22 year old actuary on the east coast and I am about 7 months into my first actuarial job. Good luck with everything, hopefully I can give some useful advice along the way.

    Posted 01-19-2009 at 11:56 AM by UltiActuary UltiActuary is offline
  2. Old Comment
    cromdalekid's Avatar
    Great idea. Hopefully you pass that exam because finding an internship without it will be difficult.

    All the best.
    Posted 01-19-2009 at 12:01 PM by cromdalekid cromdalekid is offline
  3. Old Comment
    campbell's Avatar
    You will find for entry-level actuarial jobs, whether internship or more permanent positions, exams passed is question #1. Check out the career advice section of the AO for more on that.

    Best of luck in your endeavors. There's definitely room in the actuarial world for an entrepreneurial mindset...and there are plenty of poker players here, too (there's a poker subforum on the AO as well.... maybe you should steer clear of it while studying for exams.)
    Posted 01-20-2009 at 10:39 AM by campbell campbell is offline

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