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  #31  
Old 07-25-2015, 11:00 AM
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whoanonstop whoanonstop is offline
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
- high GPA
- internships
- graduating from a top school
- being ridiculously good looking
Answering the question to the previous poster but also with the focus here. There are a lot of things that can help you stand out, but the ones that CS has listed usually can't be changed, unless you get plastic surgery. So what are the things that one CAN change?

- Exam success although I don't put much weight on this one myself
- Projects you've done on your own time.
- Programs/Tools you've learned that are most needed. (I suggest EL candidates look through job postings and start tallying the most needed hard skills and doing their own projects with them)
- Communication - Yeah, everyone thinks they have this one down, but quite honestly most don't. There will almost always be room for improvement here

Of course the goal is to get an actuarial job, but I think the better approach is to focus on improving and challenging yourself. Someone will eventually notice.

-Riley
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  #32  
Old 07-25-2015, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Domingo Montoya View Post
Wow. Awful advice. No way would I put off graduating to get an internship. F that. There are plenty of people who got jobs without them, why put your life on hold to fit into the mold of what other people view as valuable? terrible advice, do not listen to this.
FormLetter almost always gives great advice, but I tend to agree with you here. Our thoughts may be misguided though as there may be an emphasis on looking for applicants with an internship. Quite honestly, I don't think most internships are worth much, but there may be a "commitment to field" measurement that makes the one with the hiring responsibilities at ease. If the OP is desperate for an actuarial job and knows it is the only path for his future, the advice isn't that bad. However, I would not pursue this path if I was in the position of the OP.

-Riley
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  #33  
Old 07-25-2015, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Domingo Montoya View Post
Wow. Awful advice. No way would I put off graduating to get an internship. F that. There are plenty of people who got jobs without them, why put your life on hold to fit into the mold of what other people view as valuable? terrible advice, do not listen to this.
That advice really wasn't that bad. Actually in my opinion it is good advice, for people who don't have a stellar GPA and/or money/time to commit to taking and passing 3/4 exams at the point of their life where they are applying for entry-level positions internships can really be the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. In fact, for many employer previous experience (like internships) holds more weight than anything else.

Not to mention it isn't exactly "putting your life on hold" it's doing something to better your chances of getting a job in a not-so-great economy. It allows you to build on relevant skills and meet new people who could possibly give you a job later on down the road. Not to mention, just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean it's terrible advice nor does it give you an excuse to act like an ass.
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  #34  
Old 07-25-2015, 01:16 PM
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Ron Swanson Ron Swanson is offline
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They don't get easier after FM bro
Yeah, if the first two aren't relatively easy for you, you should probably cut your losses and seek some other profession. Stick with it and ...

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  #35  
Old 07-25-2015, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Domingo Montoya View Post
Wow. Awful advice. No way would I put off graduating to get an internship. F that. There are plenty of people who got jobs without them, why put your life on hold to fit into the mold of what other people view as valuable? terrible advice, do not listen to this.
Well, at least for the purpose of your post, I'm glad I started with:
"I don't know if this is a good idea, but..."
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  #36  
Old 07-25-2015, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
- high GPA
- internships
- graduating from a top school
- being ridiculously good looking
Having something interesting on your resume outside of all these too.

Particularly noteworthy projects are good. Getting published in an academic journal could be good. Winning math competitions, physics competitions, or other similar things. Scoring 100-120 on the Putnam.

Solving an n-dimensional Rubik's Cube.

Developing a pricing method for a non-profit school system to survive in a difficult private school market. Sounds pretty good.

Speaking in binary.
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  #37  
Old 07-25-2015, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Domingo Montoya View Post
Wow. Awful advice. No way would I put off graduating to get an internship. F that. There are plenty of people who got jobs without them, why put your life on hold to fit into the mold of what other people view as valuable? terrible advice, do not listen to this.
While I recognize that there are plenty of people that get jobs without internships, what is the difference between
a) pr(get job | have 0 relevant internships) and
b) pr(get job | have 1-2 relevant internships) ??

A similar question could be posed for being in the applicant pool during the mainstream spring graduate pool vs the off-cycle December graduate pool. So far our best entry-level hires for the past 5+ years have been from the off-cycle pool. N = 1 in terms of companies, but N = 8+ in terms of bodies.
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  #38  
Old 07-25-2015, 03:44 PM
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You're in Canada. Internships in the fall/winter aren't exactly easy to come by in the US. You'd probably need to create one yourself by just reaching out to people and convincing them to create a nonexistent position for you.
For a person who demonstrates drive, creative thinking, good problem-solving, natural analytical tendencies, etc, I push every button I can to get them to get into my department, whether spring, summer, fall, or whenever. If they an work Friday Saturday and Sunday and that's it, I try to make it happen. Bureaucracy shuts down a lot of the efforts, and I despise the rules that stand in the way of getting talented people on my team.
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  #39  
Old 07-25-2015, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MattF View Post
That advice really wasn't that bad. Actually in my opinion it is good advice, for people who don't have a stellar GPA and/or money/time to commit to taking and passing 3/4 exams at the point of their life where they are applying for entry-level positions internships can really be the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. In fact, for many employer previous experience (like internships) holds more weight than anything else.

Not to mention it isn't exactly "putting your life on hold" it's doing something to better your chances of getting a job in a not-so-great economy. It allows you to build on relevant skills and meet new people who could possibly give you a job later on down the road. Not to mention, just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean it's terrible advice nor does it give you an excuse to act like an ass.
It puts your "life on hold" for less than a year, but in my estimation (which I admit could be off), but my admittedly limited anecdotal evidence indicates that it's better to maximize your chance of getting a job promptly after graduating than to graduate earlier with a much lower chance of getting a job. Because then the gap between graduation and having a job increases, and as that occurs, the chance of getting a job seems to decrease.
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  #40  
Old 07-25-2015, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by whoanonstop View Post
I, myself, do not believe the field is "saturated". I'm under the impression that there are a lot of people who want actuarial jobs but are not spending the extra time to make themselves stand out.
It's like: there are 1000 new entry level positions, and all of the companies are trying to hire the same 500 people.
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