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  #31  
Old 10-25-2019, 01:38 PM
eastla_student eastla_student is offline
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Originally Posted by Cows! View Post
That's what helped me get my first actuarial position as a career changer. I did get another interview or two on my own, but the job I landed came through a recruiter (and so did several other interviews).

I also know that at a prior company we hired EL positions almost exclusively through use of recruiters because we weren't in a major metropolitan area where you could just go grab an aspiring actuary from a local university.
Curious to know how you went about getting a recruiter's interest? I didn't even consider that they would look at ELs
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  #32  
Old 10-25-2019, 02:03 PM
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at large companies, I think we primarily shop for EL at a set of predetermined schools, getting most candidates from career fairs. If you applied online only here, its likely your resume wouldn't even be seen by some one that mattered. we pretty much screen and know who we want based on post fair interviews at the schools. Even outside the fairs, we likely get another 300 apps from other candidates. And really thats just for intern hiring, we get most of our ELs from past interns.

for candidates that didnt go through a spoon feeding school, its harder to enter the field, but still very possible. EL pension analyst, small shops that dont play the strict college recruiting game, non actuarial insurance jobs, Genworth, remote areas without local schools, really anything to get into the door. I was once a 26 yr old EL with no experience; it was all uphill to get started.
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  #33  
Old 10-25-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DataDan View Post
at large companies, I think we primarily shop for EL at a set of predetermined schools, getting most candidates from career fairs. If you applied online only here, its likely your resume wouldn't even be seen by some one that mattered. we pretty much screen and know who we want based on post fair interviews at the schools. Even outside the fairs, we likely get another 300 apps from other candidates. And really thats just for intern hiring, we get most of our ELs from past interns.

for candidates that didnt go through a spoon feeding school, its harder to enter the field, but still very possible. EL pension analyst, small shops that dont play the strict college recruiting game, non actuarial insurance jobs, Genworth, remote areas without local schools, really anything to get into the door. I was once a 26 yr old EL with no experience; it was all uphill to get started.
Yikes, that is really depressing news regarding the feeder schools. How did you get your first gig?
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  #34  
Old 10-25-2019, 04:55 PM
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As you go through the process, exams get more and more expensive and the GENERALLY the more exams you have, the more you are entitled to be paid. Like you said, more exams are not necessarily better and especially for me now, if i was unemployed, no way i'm paying for 1500 US exam (i'm canadian lol) myself.

If you're open to it, you could try applying to other applicable jobs like stats, analyst... etc that value actuarial skills but where you're not necessarily applying vs other canadidates with more experience.
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  #35  
Old 10-25-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by eastla_student View Post
I'm curious as well. I don't know anything about insurance aside from what I learned from the exams. How did you prepare for the underwriting interview?
For the underwriting position no one asked me anything about actuarial so I didn't mention it. I just prepared for it like I would for any other interview. At this point I didn't have actuarial exams or anything so nothing on resume indicated I wanted to be one. I just said I was looking to make a career change and thought insurance would be interesting. I got the UW job then start taking actuarial exams. During my one on one with boss about 1 year later I mentioned how I was interested in actuarial and she encouraged me to go for it. After passing third exam started applying for jobs all over Canada including my current company internally. Got 4 offers (1 pension consulting, 2 life,1 P and c. And stayed with my current company (P and c)

Last edited by underactuary212; 10-25-2019 at 05:29 PM..
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  #36  
Old 10-26-2019, 01:37 AM
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Certainly keep applying to EL actuary positions but with your exams passed and software background you will make an attractive data analyst candidate. I have said this before but there are plenty of analyst roles which say "provide data ... for the actuarial department". This can get your foot in the door of the insurance industry, pay pretty well and a couple of years of finding out about insurance data will be beneficial to any future actuarial career. Once you have 12 months or so of such experience you can apply internally or to other insurance companies.

You may need to brush up on your software skills. Perhaps you can get certification/accreditation in a language or skill to show that you have updated your skills.
That is very interesting. I didn't think my exams would send relevant signals for data analysis.
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  #37  
Old 11-08-2019, 04:36 PM
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I completely agree with Knoath's advice.
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  #38  
Old 11-08-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Getting a job in underwriting, broking, claims, data analyst etc. will give you industry experience that ought to be considered at least as good or better as an internship. You may not need to go that route to get an actuarial option, but it's a viable option for people who are struggling to get that first actuarial job.
This. At my prior company, we had several EL actuarial students working in underwriting, analytics, or the regulatory / filing area. Many of them ended up getting jobs as actuarial analyst. The key is to get your foot inside the company.
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  #39  
Old 11-08-2019, 05:52 PM
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I completely agree with Knoath's advice.
for the record, ^^ is not me.

But, hey, eastla_student, here's my advice.

Stop taking exams. I know you're totally invested in the learning process, but a 4th exam will "knowledge" you out of the EL market, and "underexperience" you for the 3-4 exam market. Focus on getting an insurance-type job somewhere. If you're open to moving, even better.

For data-sciencey type projects, look at Kaggle. If you can place well in a project or two, you can put that on your resume. That will attract attention for both actuarial and non-actuarial roles with overlapping skill sets.

Not sure why you're so gung-ho on the actuarial route, but I suspect it's because of the exam process. You like learning, and teaching, or else you wouldn't have pursued college professorship. Be warned: much of actual practice isn't the same as the theory you learned on the exams. It's often spreadsheet management, software infrastructure limitations, and documentation.

If you're looking to actually develop new learning models or to continually be challenged, you'll end up being disappointed with actuarial work eventually. If you progress through all the exams you'll be something like a middle manager doing a lot more review than development, and if you're okay with that, great! Go for the actuarial jobs. But if you want something with continuous learning and advancement, data science or urban planning or software modeling is going to be your better route. Always new questions, always new solutions in those, whereas insurance is almost fully solved, and the work of the next two decades is mostly going to be managing those solutions put in place over the last three.

Good luck!
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  #40  
Old 11-12-2019, 02:47 PM
eastla_student eastla_student is offline
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Originally Posted by Bro View Post
for the record, ^^ is not me.

But, hey, eastla_student, here's my advice.

Stop taking exams. I know you're totally invested in the learning process, but a 4th exam will "knowledge" you out of the EL market, and "underexperience" you for the 3-4 exam market. Focus on getting an insurance-type job somewhere. If you're open to moving, even better.

For data-sciencey type projects, look at Kaggle. If you can place well in a project or two, you can put that on your resume. That will attract attention for both actuarial and non-actuarial roles with overlapping skill sets.

Not sure why you're so gung-ho on the actuarial route, but I suspect it's because of the exam process. You like learning, and teaching, or else you wouldn't have pursued college professorship. Be warned: much of actual practice isn't the same as the theory you learned on the exams. It's often spreadsheet management, software infrastructure limitations, and documentation.

If you're looking to actually develop new learning models or to continually be challenged, you'll end up being disappointed with actuarial work eventually. If you progress through all the exams you'll be something like a middle manager doing a lot more review than development, and if you're okay with that, great! Go for the actuarial jobs. But if you want something with continuous learning and advancement, data science or urban planning or software modeling is going to be your better route. Always new questions, always new solutions in those, whereas insurance is almost fully solved, and the work of the next two decades is mostly going to be managing those solutions put in place over the last three.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. Regarding the actuarial route, I guess it is that I've already put in a significant time and $$ commitment with the exams and also taken time to familiarize myself the the industry. But I see your point.
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