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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Rick Gorvett - Director, Actuarial Science Program
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:21 PM
LDrinkwater32's Avatar
LDrinkwater32 LDrinkwater32 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Studying for Exam P
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Posts: 8
Default Four year plan

Hi all, I'll be attending Illinois this fall as a freshman, really excited about it. I was wondering if anyone could talk about their own four years of undergrad. When did you start test studying? When did you pass what tests? When and how did you get internships/jobs? Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it.
You've gotta get through the if you want the
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 PM
AvidLearner AvidLearner is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 259

Get the best GPA that you can, as many exams as you can and as many internships as possible.

As far as exam order goes, probably FM/P 1st/2nd MFE/MLC 3/4 C 5th

FM is probably already within your reach, as far as mathematical difficulty goes, P is quite easy after you had a probability class and the others can be done fairly easily after you had relevant classes.

Oh, and NEVER, EVER miss an opportunity to network. Be it cocktails, evenings out, golf games, or anything the act sci dept. organizes, really. A friend of mine with a sub-2.3 GPA landed an internship while swimming at the the university's pool and chance meeting an actuary.

Be likable, be interested, ask good questions, and you're set, really.

Oh, and don't believe the career section of the forum too much. You'll see people with really high GPAs and 3+ exams struggling to get a job, whereas, infact, the market isn't that bad as long as you have a nice personality and are fairly outgoing.

Oh, and definitely work on your interviewing skills as much as possible. It might be too late when you are actually interviewing for something.

(Disclaimer : I'e never set foor at the University of Illinois, I simply clicked on your post from the main page. Most of my points are fairly universal, though).
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:36 PM
NonSumDignus NonSumDignus is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
College: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign - Sophomore
Posts: 5

I'm going to be a sophomore at UIUC but I figure I can still give you advice on getting a leg up. I passed 2 exams in my freshman year & summer, and am one of 3 freshman (to my knowledge) to do that. We all took FM before P just because it fit our schedules better.

Take Math 210 as soon as you can, the only requirement is Calc II so you might be able to take it 1st semester like I did. The class is called "Theory of Interest", and is the class for Exam FM. Take Math 408 2nd semester, provided that you have Calc III already done (thus, the optimal method is taking Math 210 and Math 241/Calc III first semester, which is a sizeable workload but I did it).

I took Math 210 in the fall, studied all winter break for FM, and then took FM in february and passed. Studying for an actuarial exam during the school year is miserable, but doable. After taking Math 408 to learn the material for exam P, I studied all this summer for exam P and passed it two weeks ago.

Math 210 teaches you most of the material for FM, but you will still need a study manual to teach yourself about 40% of the material (derivatives markets). Math 408 covers the entire exam P syllabus, so I just spent all my study time going through practice exams instead of learning stuff. These classes were a huge benefit.

As for internships, join the actuarial science club. We will most likely have events from early on in the year to meet people and network. We have companies come in and present to us about the field, and you get to learn about the professional world. Our Career Fair is in September and this is how I got my internship despite being a freshman -- I just talked to every company, told them about myself and asked good questions, and one company took me even before I passed my first exam. Start networking and studying early and you CAN get ahead of the game.

I plan to slow down on my exams and not take MFE until next year, either March or July.

If you want to get ahead of the competition, it can be done, especially at U of I with all the resources and the amazing department we have here.

VEEs: Economics Statistics Corporate Finance
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