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  #1  
Old 01-03-2017, 03:41 AM
R3d Anonymous R3d Anonymous is offline
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Default Preparing for entry-level job market

I've recently been reading a lot of threads about how the EL-market is very saturated so I'm a little concerned and want to make sure I'm able to get job offers when I enter the market.

Right now, I'm a freshman in college (Honors Program). I'm doing a Statistics major. I know a lot of you will object, but I've made the personal decision to try to graduate in 3 years (based on many factors). I have quite a bit of credit from high school and am fairly ahead in certain pathways, so if I take just one extra class every semester moving forward, I'll be able to graduate one year early.

I passed Exam P last summer, and looking to sit for FM in April. I didn't want to take an exam first semester so I could adjust. But I'm planning on steadily taking exams moving forward. I know there's some controversy over passing a lot of exams, and some people think it's a bad idea, but I'd rather have them out of the way as soon as possible - even if it means being under-compensated for my first few years. So I'm going to try to get the ACAS (I want to do P&C) by the time I graduate (or end of junior year if I don't graduate in three years), or worst case scenario at least have five exams by then. Under ideal circumstances, I'm planning on being through with FM this April, MFE in July, and C in the fall.

I learn and remember things very quickly in general and need very little study time relatively for things so I think I'll be able to pull it off. I did not study as much as I should have for P (only got through chapters 1 through 7 and a little bit of 8 in Actex let alone took any practice exams) but was barely able to pull a 6. I don't plan to be as unprepared for future exams though.

I'm not so concerned about the above. However social skills and communication is an area to watch. I was ostracized in grade school and led a poor social life. I don't really have much of one yet either. It's definitely an area I want to improve but honestly, I don't really mind as much if I can compensate by getting ahead in my career first, but I know that "soft skills" are going to be important regardless. I'm going to join the professional actuarial fraternity at my school. I am a part of the chamber orchestra club, College Democrats (aware that I can't put this on the resume), and a social dance club. One of my grave weaknesses is leadership qualities, but I'll try to get into some sort of elected position in at least one club. Are extra-curricular activities deemed significant by hiring staff?

I'm kind of weak on the computer science stuff so far. I took AP Computer Science w/ Java but only got a 3 on the AP test because I didn't take it seriously. I'll probably have to brush up on it in order to be able to list it as a skill. I'll definitely try to learn all the typical programming languages on my own though by the time I graduate (Excel, C, C++, SQL, etc), and perhaps take a few computer science courses with my open credits.

I'll also be trying to get internships for summers of 2018 and 2019 (missed the window for this year, but I'll make up for it by passing MFE hopefully).

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to not get run-over by the saturated entry-level market and what I can do to come out on top aside from the above? I think especially social-skills-wise. Is there anything I'm missing?

Also, GPA-wise, what are the standards? I've heard that 3.0+ will get you past more screenings and 3.5+ will be an advantage, but I'm not sure if that's outdated.

Last edited by R3d Anonymous; 01-03-2017 at 03:48 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2017, 09:24 AM
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NattyMo NattyMo is offline
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If you can pull it off, good for you. That is a lot of stuff to pack in to three years though.

Joining the actuarial club will put you in four extracurriculars. Why are you going for quantity over quality? A leadership role in one extracurricular would be more impressive, IMHO. Also, more time-consuming (possibly much more, depending).

Also, no mention of a summer internship. That would be most useful, I think (along with exams passed and solid interview skills and technical skills and a computer language or two and and and ...).

Your comment about GPA is generally correct, but you shouldn't be thinking of this in terms of "good enough". If I may offer some general life advice: a person who is "the best" at what they do will always be in demand.

I wish you luck and hope this was helpful.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:17 AM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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You won't be "undercompensated." You might be overvaluing yourself, though.
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DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:33 AM
R3d Anonymous R3d Anonymous is offline
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I should have asked this in OP, but I was wondering if the entry-level job market has gotten to a point where it's just a crap shoot because I heard that there are like 4 candidates fighting for every 1 spot, and I've been starting to get worried about whether some people simply won't be able to find jobs despite having many exams passed, a good gpa, and an internship. I'm also not doing the actuarial science major, and I know that that isn't required, but I'm not sure if people will those majors will be given slight preference over having one in statistics, for the few spots that already are left.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:37 AM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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You worry too much.

See sig line about job offers.
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DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:44 AM
imareal1 imareal1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
You worry too much.

See sig line about job offers.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.

Yeah, don't worry
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:55 AM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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One can worry a little.

Worrying doesn't solve too many problems, though.

Dude's a freshman worrying about job prospects in two and a half years. That's worrying too much.
__________________
DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.

Last edited by Dr T Non-Fan; 01-03-2017 at 12:00 PM..
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:57 AM
Hartke Hartke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3d Anonymous View Post
I've recently been reading a lot of threads about how the EL-market is very saturated so I'm a little concerned and want to make sure I'm able to get job offers when I enter the market.
try to get away from the 'I have to be 100% sure' mentality. I think you are trying to lock down too much early on. Give yourself some leeway, take all the exams that SOA and CAS both recognize (P,FM, MFE, C) and then shoot for a P&C internship. Try not to plan so much around passing exams. Work hard to do so, but recognize that they are intended to be roadblocks. Most people will fail at least a few exams.

also make sure you go out drinking now and then.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:01 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Also, the good news is that the "best candidates" accept only one of their many job offers, leaving the rest to next available best candidates.
__________________
DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:09 PM
R3d Anonymous R3d Anonymous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Also, the good news is that the "best candidates" accept only one of their many job offers, leaving the rest to next available best candidates.
What would you say makes someone a "best candidate"?
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