Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Careers - Employment
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

Browse Open Actuarial Jobs

Life  Health  Casualty  Pension  Entry Level  All Jobs  Salaries


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-27-2017, 03:25 PM
IacceptTheTerms IacceptTheTerms is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 125
Default How can I get the most of a networking event?

So I just subscribed for a networking event and there will be mostly actuaries of the field. I am currently looking for a job as you may have seen in my other post (3 exams, one internship, 3 GPA). How can I introduce myself to other people to let them know I'm looking for a job without really sounding annoying? This is just a networking event and I will probably be the only one with no experience with other ASA's and FSA's. How can I catch their attention?

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-27-2017, 05:05 PM
Westley's Avatar
Westley Westley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 29,451
Default

First, kudos for being smart enough to ask this. This is an opportunity to make some connections which can be incredibly valuable. Going in unprepared and without a strategy is really poor form.

I'd say the first part of your research (you may have already done this) is to google. There's lots of good advice online for these types of events. I would spend some time on them. There's not a big difference, from your perspective, between an actuarial event, an engineering event, and a marketing event, so start looking for advice online. Some of the advice will feel fake and phony, which doesn't mean it's bad advice but perhaps means that it doesn't fit your personality - just go to the next article and see if that's a better fit.


My personal advice for this type of event (which also may not be a "fit" for your personality, which is fine):

The "really annoying" part is where you keep asking me to help you find a job. So, don't do that. If I know you're looking for a job and I have some thoughts, advice, or an opening on my team - I'll say so. Make sure I know that you are looking to enter the field and currently do not have an actuarial job; then move on to something else because anything after that is probably annoying (if I tell you I know of an opening, follow-up questions are normal and appropriate).

If it's possible, get a list of attendees. You may have "targets" that you can seek out - people at companies you are very interested in, fellow alumni, etc. You might be able to find their pictures online or spot their nametags at the event and make sure to approach them; even if that doesn't work out, you can benefit from having an idea of which companies have people there - if you walk up to somebody and they say they work for insurer X or consultant Y, you can at least benefit from having heard of the company. If there's any true connection - especially if there's a fellow alum and you're from a small/specific school, then you could even consider an intro email before the event and ask to meet.

Be ready with your "elevator pitch". Don't lead with that, but if somebody throws out "what are your qualifications" and you respond with "um, well, like, I'm smart and stuff" then you are the weakest link, goodbye.

I'd say a great approach is to walk up to somebody, tell them who you are and what you're trying to accomplish, then start asking them about what they do. Ask if they have any advice, which is flattering ("You're so smart and wise, kind sir"). Thank them for their time and suggest that you might contact them in the future, ask if that's ok (if you only talk to them for a minute this is a little annoying, but if you have a good chat then a follow-up connection is natural). If hey give you a card, that's great - otherwise suggest that you'll connect with them on LI.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-27-2017, 06:23 PM
IacceptTheTerms IacceptTheTerms is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 125
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
First, kudos for being smart enough to ask this. This is an opportunity to make some connections which can be incredibly valuable. Going in unprepared and without a strategy is really poor form.

I'd say the first part of your research (you may have already done this) is to google. There's lots of good advice online for these types of events. I would spend some time on them. There's not a big difference, from your perspective, between an actuarial event, an engineering event, and a marketing event, so start looking for advice online. Some of the advice will feel fake and phony, which doesn't mean it's bad advice but perhaps means that it doesn't fit your personality - just go to the next article and see if that's a better fit.


My personal advice for this type of event (which also may not be a "fit" for your personality, which is fine):

The "really annoying" part is where you keep asking me to help you find a job. So, don't do that. If I know you're looking for a job and I have some thoughts, advice, or an opening on my team - I'll say so. Make sure I know that you are looking to enter the field and currently do not have an actuarial job; then move on to something else because anything after that is probably annoying (if I tell you I know of an opening, follow-up questions are normal and appropriate).

If it's possible, get a list of attendees. You may have "targets" that you can seek out - people at companies you are very interested in, fellow alumni, etc. You might be able to find their pictures online or spot their nametags at the event and make sure to approach them; even if that doesn't work out, you can benefit from having an idea of which companies have people there - if you walk up to somebody and they say they work for insurer X or consultant Y, you can at least benefit from having heard of the company. If there's any true connection - especially if there's a fellow alum and you're from a small/specific school, then you could even consider an intro email before the event and ask to meet.

Be ready with your "elevator pitch". Don't lead with that, but if somebody throws out "what are your qualifications" and you respond with "um, well, like, I'm smart and stuff" then you are the weakest link, goodbye.

I'd say a great approach is to walk up to somebody, tell them who you are and what you're trying to accomplish, then start asking them about what they do. Ask if they have any advice, which is flattering ("You're so smart and wise, kind sir"). Thank them for their time and suggest that you might contact them in the future, ask if that's ok (if you only talk to them for a minute this is a little annoying, but if you have a good chat then a follow-up connection is natural). If hey give you a card, that's great - otherwise suggest that you'll connect with them on LI.
Thanks Wesley for the tips
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-27-2017, 08:23 PM
ShivamS's Avatar
ShivamS ShivamS is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
College: Yep
Favorite beer: Sweetwater Blue
Posts: 3,664
Default

In addition to what Westley said, here are a couple more tips:

1. Figure out your strengths and play to them. For example, I didn't have any Excel skills when I started looking - so my sales pitch was all about growth and potential. If I knew the first thing about pivot tables and vlookups, my story would have been completely different.

2. Ask good questions that flow with the conversation. Don't sound like you're reading from a mental checklist by jumping from one.

3. Have a good answer for why you don't have a job yet (you have 3 exams and an internship. Most would expect you to have a job). This answer shouldn't sound like whining.

4. Get practice by talking to people/recruiters you aren't interested in first. You can replicate situations by rehearsing with friends, but it's inevitable that you'll be nervous the first time you're in a real situation.



Also: We have been killing it with career advice lately. Way to go, guys.
__________________
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agadefe View Post

Physical violence as acceptable reaction or outdated masculine bravado as a positive quality is definitely not something the country should be moving towards or qualities we want to see in a President.



Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-27-2017, 09:07 PM
IacceptTheTerms IacceptTheTerms is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 125
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShivamS View Post
In addition to what Westley said, here are a couple more tips:

1. Figure out your strengths and play to them. For example, I didn't have any Excel skills when I started looking - so my sales pitch was all about growth and potential. If I knew the first thing about pivot tables and vlookups, my story would have been completely different.

2. Ask good questions that flow with the conversation. Don't sound like you're reading from a mental checklist by jumping from one.

3. Have a good answer for why you don't have a job yet (you have 3 exams and an internship. Most would expect you to have a job). This answer shouldn't sound like whining.

4. Get practice by talking to people/recruiters you aren't interested in first. You can replicate situations by rehearsing with friends, but it's inevitable that you'll be nervous the first time you're in a real situation.



Also: We have been killing it with career advice lately. Way to go, guys.
Thanks guys, appreciate it
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-27-2017, 09:19 PM
yoyo's Avatar
yoyo yoyo is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 23,725
Default

good questions OP - your thread is now the latest entry in the best of Westley thread!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-27-2017, 10:59 PM
Old Actuary Old Actuary is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 455
Default

I suggest making your own business cards and asking to exchange cards with everyone you talk to. This gives you accurate contact info and gives the contact a tangible reminder that he/she met you.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-28-2017, 08:53 AM
Harbinger Harbinger is offline
Notes Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,416
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IacceptTheTerms View Post
So I just subscribed for a networking event and there will be mostly actuaries of the field.
As opposed to actuaries of the pasture? Perhaps the farm?

What field?
__________________
har·bin·ger (här'bin-jer): One that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-28-2017, 09:04 AM
Westley's Avatar
Westley Westley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 29,451
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Actuary View Post
I suggest making your own business cards and asking to exchange cards with everyone you talk to. This gives you accurate contact info and gives the contact a tangible reminder that he/she met you.
You sound like an old actuary.

Ten years ago, you would exchange cards. Now you just ask if they have one - take one if they do, but don't worry if they don't. Either way, the next sentence is "It was nice to meet you and thanks for telling me about your company (or whatever), I hope it's OK if I look you up on LinkedIn?" Not everybody is on LI, but most are and it's a good way to connect because if they have a job opening later they don't have to try to remember where they put your card.

Cards aren't a bad idea really, but LI is more important and I wouldn't bother with the cards - they won't expect you to have some. That said, they're super-cheap to get a 100-pack, probably $10 for some basic ones (which is ok for your position).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-30-2017, 09:19 AM
act2106 act2106 is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,304
Default

I think there's some excellent advice in this thread for this type of event. The business card idea is interesting to me. What would a business card of an unemployed recent graduate say? Would it basically be a very condensed resume on a card?

IacceptTheTerms
2017 Graduate of My College
3.75 GPA
Passed P, FM, C

I can't think of a way it would seem more helpful than cheesy.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.52189 seconds with 9 queries