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DW Simpson
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Purdue University Richard Penney - Main Contact
http://www.math.purdue.edu/academic/actuary

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2013, 06:56 PM
Levitizer Levitizer is offline
CAS
 
Join Date: May 2013
College: Purdue University
Posts: 3
Default Actuarial Program

This is a place to put recommendations to fellow boilermakers and prospective students who are interested in the program.

As far as actuarial programs go, Purdue is starting to have a premier program in the Midwest. The bigger and more successful companies require a 3.5 GPA and an exam passed to get interviews. Honestly....If you have taken AP Statistics and got a 5 on the exam, get the ACTEX manual and put in 100-150 hours over the summer preparing for Exam P and then take it. (Also, test out of your foreign language requirement!) Study for Exam P, pass it, and try to get an internship that pays a lot more per hour the next summer

Interview Process: There are several stages to interviews. Either an on campus interview or phone interview starts the process. If you pass this stage, there is an hour long phone interview. After that, for companies with more applicants, they will bring you on site for a day of interviews. Competitive hourly wage for an internship is around $15 to over $20 an hour depending on where the company is located, exams passed, and how big the company is. It is recommended to get experience on both sides of the actuarial field, but if you have to choose one or the other remember that SOA is more of the same and CAS allows for more creativity.

Exam Process: When going through the exams remember that only smart people are taking them including you and only 40% pass. I know that for Exam FM, Jeff Beckley prepares you well and a higher percentage pass than average for his classes. Try to get through FM and P early on so that you can make sure this field is a fit for you and so you have time to explore other majors. I recommend taking business classes for all electives, as if you want to be in a higher position you need to develop communication skills. Also, it is important to get involved on campus and have a leadership position somewhere.

Extra Info: Remember to look at things in the long term. If you know this is your career path, you really do not need to worry about money you spend taking and passing exams; spend as much as you need to pass the first two and let the companies that hire you worry about the rest. You will be doing about the same work for the first three years of your career no matter where you end up or how many exams you have passed.

Last edited by Levitizer; 05-13-2013 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:06 PM
secondlife secondlife is offline
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Posts: 6,388
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Just curious, are you a faculty member at Purdue?
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2013, 08:09 PM
Levitizer Levitizer is offline
CAS
 
Join Date: May 2013
College: Purdue University
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Get that internship!
Ideal Plan for GPA


Senior Year of High School
Take AP MICRO and MACRO Economics
AP STAT
AP CALC BC - test out of all calculus
AP PHYSICS C - or B

FRESHMAN College

ECON 251, 252
STAT 350
STAT 416 - If you have taken AP STAT
Physics 220 (86 = B+) or 172 (83 = A-) (bigger curve and harder class for 172)
STAT 250 - even if you passed exam P - automatic A

Pass Exam P if not already the case.

MA 373 - work hard and get an A (95 to 100, makes studying for exam FM easier)
MGMT 310 - easier version of MA 373 but required, take at the same time
Freshman English
COM 217
Physics 221

Pass Exam FM

Take Computer Programming and Linear Algebra over the summer at another college....these are common GPA killers if a B kills your GPA

SOPHOMORE COLLEGE

Differential Equations
MGMT 200 - accounting 1
MGMT 411 investments - great opportunity to see finance in more detail
Gen Ed 1
Elective 1

MGMT 201 - accounting 2
Gen Ed 2
Great Issues
Elective 2
Elective 3


By now you will be one of the top sophomores in your class, and the limited internship opportunities for underclassmen will be in your favor



You now have two years to complete STAT 417 - GPA killer, take it last semester senior year, STAT 512 - great experience in SAS
STAT 47201 and STAT 473 and STAT 479 and STAT 420 (these combine for the next 3 actuarial exams, spread them out and take in any order) Use electives in Business to possibly triple major if you are looking at being a CFO down the road or other high position. Otherwise, if you just want to relax and be an actuary for the rest of your life, take electives and use free time to study for those exams...Warning: if you pass too many exams you lose pay raises while on the job and the money it costs to prepare. It is better to have a life and get involved with clubs.

Last edited by Levitizer; 05-13-2013 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Levitizer Levitizer is offline
CAS
 
Join Date: May 2013
College: Purdue University
Posts: 3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondlife View Post
Just curious, are you a faculty member at Purdue?
I am a student who wants to provide other students with information I did not have starting out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:35 PM
secondlife secondlife is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 6,388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitizer View Post
I am a student who wants to provide other students with information I did not have starting out.
Oh, ok that explains this
Quote:
It is recommended to get experience on both sides of the actuarial field, but if you have to choose one or the other remember that SOA is more of the same and CAS allows for more creativity.
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM
secondlife secondlife is offline
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Posts: 6,388
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Your opinion there is little narrow minded (re: CAS vs SOA)*, but you have given very good advice, have done a much better job than "frustrated actuaries (or jealous?)" on careers-employment section.

* for example, I know of EL candidates who started as pension consultants () and then took Investment/Finance track exams at Fellowship level and moved into non-pension jobs. There is a saying, if you are going to "make it in actuarial", you would do it within 5 years of getting your Fellowship.
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