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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #11  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:28 PM
fdsafdsa's Avatar
fdsafdsa fdsafdsa is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,852
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena Lake View Post
Why the laughter? What joke have I missed?
It's ok as a rough sandboxing tool, but shouldn't be used for anything important or serious.

Well, ok, that's basically all of excel I suppose.
__________________
You can't control other people's actions, but you can control how you react to them.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:36 PM
gaudettj's Avatar
gaudettj gaudettj is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Canada
Favorite beer: All of the above
Posts: 239
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena Lake View Post
I'd suggest you should be able to reference VLOOKUP/HLOOKUP vs. INDEX + MATCH., as mentioned by Shunday above... as well as SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, etc. INDIRECT is handy, RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() are super useful for a lot of excel-based modeling. And if you've got some VBA skills, this is a good time to mention them. If you're proficient with the statistical functions in Excel, bring them up.

Lots of people say they're good at Excel, but have never used the Lookup functions, let alone anything more sophisticated. Chances are, your interviewers are looking to weed out the people who don't know how much they don't know about Excel, and think that they're "expert" users because they can make a simple spreadsheet that looks nice... but can't actually make Excel into a useful tool for complex non-statistically-modelable scenarios.
Thanks for the detailed response. This perspective definitely gave me a bit more insight on my dilemma.
Good to know that non-statistical experience isn't useless, since that was one of my main concerns.
__________________
________________________
VEE's P(8) FM(7) IFM(7-MFE) SRM(VEE credit) LTAM(6) STAM PA | JOB ACTUARIAL JOB
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:51 PM
Westley Westley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 28,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaudettj View Post
In a few past interviews, I have been asked "What functions do you use in Excel?" after already having a high level discussion on different types of analysis / reporting that I have worked on in my current role. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the interviewer may be looking for here? I've always been super confused on how redundant the question seemed, and have never really figured out a good way to answer.
You shouldn't make too much of an assumption here that the interviewer is being reasonable, thoughtful, and strategic about their questioning. Totally likely IMO that they had "ask about work projects" on their interview plan, and also had "ask about Excel skills" as a later note. So, when they looked at their sheet, they asked without thinking.

Reasonable answer in that case would involve "Like I said earlier, I've done ___ and ____. Here's some more detail on that..."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:57 PM
Helena Lake's Avatar
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Favorite beer: Whisky
Posts: 712
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1695814 View Post
fyi, Mr Dragon was being sarcastic...I'm pretty sure...
In these circles, the RNG within Excel has a poor reputation. It may be perfectly cromulent for your purposes, but it's not held in high regard for big time models.

Here's a somewhat-serious 14+ year-old thread on the subject (not specifically about Excel): http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...ad.php?t=43041

If MPC peruses this thread she'll definitely have some more-useful reading material for you.
Yeah, not for any heavy lifting... but Excel isn't for heavy lifting. I've used Rand pretty much for very basic simulations...

For any real monte carlo work, I used to use @Risk by Palisade. It was a pretty nice snap-on for Excel, especially since my employer really didn't have any solid statistical tools.
__________________
Disclaimers:
I am not funny, and I'm bad at picking up humor. Unless it's puns. I get puns.
I am not clever or devious, and I don't do subtext so I'll probably miss yours.
Text doesn't have intonation, so I might misinterpret your post. I'll ask for clarification if you do the same.
I like cats.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:49 PM
outinthedark outinthedark is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens Fan View Post
VLOOKUP and IF (and its variants) are the common Excel functions that actuaries use.
you use that at my company, you get fired. index/match all the way.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:54 PM
Helena Lake's Avatar
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Favorite beer: Whisky
Posts: 712
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by outinthedark View Post
you use that at my company, you get fired. index/match all the way.
Meh. Vlookup is easy, and if it's a simple situation or a one off, index/match seems unnecessarily complicated.

But who am I to complain? I will avoid lookups in favor of sumifs any time I possibly can.

ETA: It's also entirely possible that match/index seems complicated to me, because it was one of the last "new" tricks I learned, and I haven't used it all that much.
__________________
Disclaimers:
I am not funny, and I'm bad at picking up humor. Unless it's puns. I get puns.
I am not clever or devious, and I don't do subtext so I'll probably miss yours.
Text doesn't have intonation, so I might misinterpret your post. I'll ask for clarification if you do the same.
I like cats.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:16 PM
outinthedark outinthedark is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena Lake View Post
Meh. Vlookup is easy, and if it's a simple situation or a one off, index/match seems unnecessarily complicated.

But who am I to complain? I will avoid lookups in favor of sumifs any time I possibly can.

ETA: It's also entirely possible that match/index seems complicated to me, because it was one of the last "new" tricks I learned, and I haven't used it all that much.
its honestly the same difficult as vlookup... more intuitive too imo... yeah most people who say its difficult are people who never spent the 5 minutes to get used to it
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:17 PM
1695814's Avatar
1695814 1695814 is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Studying for nothing. I quit.
Favorite beer: Root
Posts: 35,512
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena Lake View Post
Meh. Vlookup is easy, and if it's a simple situation or a one off, index/match seems unnecessarily complicated.

But who am I to complain? I will avoid lookups in favor of sumifs any time I possibly can.

ETA: It's also entirely possible that match/index seems complicated to me, because it was one of the last "new" tricks I learned, and I haven't used it all that much.
ITA...especially the last part...I can program a index/match but not without looking up how it works...a vlookup - well, that's easy.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:09 PM
hostess's Avatar
hostess hostess is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 500
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1695814 View Post
ITA...especially the last part...I can program a index/match but not without looking up how it works...a vlookup - well, that's easy.
for reals? I also think index/match is much easier... its just index(array,row,column)... replace row/column with match fucntion.... nothing to memorize imo esp cause excel also gives you parameter hints
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:13 PM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 48,446
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hostess View Post
parameter hints
kids these days
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
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 12:05 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 0.15195 seconds with 9 queries