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

2016 ACTUARIAL SALARY SURVEYS
Contact DW Simpson for a Personalized Salary Survey

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:23 AM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is online now
Wiki/Note Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knock Turn Alley
Studying for ACAS
College: Hard Knocks
Favorite beer: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Posts: 55,044
Default

First, just to be complete, do a search in the Careers Forum to see if your question hasn't been addressed; in many cases, it has.

Second, with an Exam passed, get your resume out and see what turns up. Your best route is to try and make connections with credentialled actuaries at nearby companies. Try to network as much as you can.

Just be aware that your competing against (fresh) college grads with 2-4 Exams passed and many with internships. Don't let that daunt you, but you might not see any responses until after you pass a second Exam (at which time, resend your resume).

Bottom line is that companies won't interview you until they know you're looking.

And don't worry if a particular company has any "actuarial" openings posted. Send them your resume anyway and get on their radar.

Good luck in your endeavors.
__________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing

Why should I worry about dying? Itís not going to happen in my lifetime!


Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy

#BLACKMATTERLIVES
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:27 AM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is online now
Wiki/Note Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knock Turn Alley
Studying for ACAS
College: Hard Knocks
Favorite beer: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Posts: 55,044
Default

One other thing: be careful about using the term "career changer". It usually carries the connotation of having been in a separate career (and one year isn't going to be viewed as having had a separate career).

You run the (high) risk of putting yourself in a hole by using that term; one year in your "chosen" profession and now you're looking to change. You will have to address this question (why are you changing now?) during interviews.
__________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing

Why should I worry about dying? Itís not going to happen in my lifetime!


Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy

#BLACKMATTERLIVES
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 05-15-2014, 01:22 PM
Zilla874 Zilla874 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
College: University of Ottawa Alumni
Posts: 6
Default

Firstly, thanks all for contributing to this thread. It was really helpful to have this as a sticky.

Having read through this, I noticed most people seem to be switching from completely different fields (e.g. blue collar, other business or non-quantitiative profession). Although I haven't been in the finance or insurance sector, I've been working in applied statistics for about 8 years. Is my experience relevant? How can I distinguish myself from other "career changers" and EL applicants?

For example, I spend 6+ hours a day on SAS and Excel for work and am better than most of my coworkers who do the same, so I'm likely more "proficient" on those platforms than EL applicants who claim to be "proficient". I'm also somewhat adept in R, C++, VBA, SQL, Java. Past work includes Life Tables, Monte Carlo simulations, data analysis, regression models, stochastic models, report writing, client meetings, presentations, seminars, etc. I have an honours stats degree, magna cum laude, and 3 SOA exams. I noticed a lot of the material for exam C is material I've already covered through my education and/or work experience, which is reassuring.

Is any of that relevant? If so, how can I effectively convey that when applying to jobs? I don't want to get chewed up by the HR machine alongside people with 0 experience in a quantitiative field.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 05-15-2014, 03:22 PM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is online now
Wiki/Note Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knock Turn Alley
Studying for ACAS
College: Hard Knocks
Favorite beer: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Posts: 55,044
Default

#1. Get your "experience" noticed by emphasizing results in your bullets about your past jobs. It's easy to say that one is "proficient" . . . it's far better to show/demonstrate that you're proficient as evinced by your work products and improving the bottom line of your employers/clients.

#2. I would also worry a bit less about "relevance" (not disregard, though) and show how you're a problem solver. I was a career changer and the things that got noticed most about my resume were the results I listed at a manufacturing company and military work; neither one "quantitative" in nature, but had a huge impact on work-flow efficiency and reduced costs (both leading to a better bottom line).
__________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing

Why should I worry about dying? Itís not going to happen in my lifetime!


Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy

#BLACKMATTERLIVES
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 05-16-2014, 02:00 AM
Zilla874 Zilla874 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
College: University of Ottawa Alumni
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for the response.

A lot of my experience is in the public sector, where the bottom line is nonmonetary and multidimensional, typically harder to quantify. What would you recommend? Should I emphasive private sector experience and downplay the public sector stuff? Am I screwed by having public sector experience?

Last edited by Zilla874; 05-16-2014 at 12:27 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 05-16-2014, 01:02 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Just outside of Nowhere
Posts: 84,248
Default

Turn it into a positive. That is YOUR burden.
__________________
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 Rťsumť 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.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 05-16-2014, 06:44 PM
Zilla874 Zilla874 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
College: University of Ottawa Alumni
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Turn it into a positive. That is YOUR burden.
Sounds good, that I can do. Just looking for a straight answer to:

a) does public sector experience generally carry a stigma for most employers?
(I will figure out how to deal with that. Just curious if it's something that even needs to be dealt with. Step 1 of problem solving is, of course, identifying the problem. Insight into the industry is helpful.)

b) does anyone have any tips on how to create concrete bullet points to convey those sorts of skills? In sales, employers are looking for "increased sales revenues by X%". What do people in your profession want to see?

Perhaps I should just consult a Resume Clinic, but I thought I would at least ask a forum as well as you all have more specialized knowledge of the field and would be able to provide insights that others wouldn't.

Last edited by Zilla874; 05-16-2014 at 06:56 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 05-16-2014, 09:00 PM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is online now
Wiki/Note Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knock Turn Alley
Studying for ACAS
College: Hard Knocks
Favorite beer: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Posts: 55,044
Default

We're looking for people who can solve problems. Demonstrating the ability to improve work-flow efficiencies is also a good thing.

While the public sector doesn't exactly have a "profitability" bottom-line, there are still expenses to be managed; so to the extent that work-flow efficiencies are gained, expenses are generally reduced for an increase in "production".
__________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing

Why should I worry about dying? Itís not going to happen in my lifetime!


Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy

#BLACKMATTERLIVES
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 09-09-2014, 03:58 AM
Fabulous Max Fabulous Max is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1
Default

Hello, I've been lurking this thread for a while while waiting for my account activation, so it's good to finally be able to post!

I'm 26, and work as a medical technologist. I make somewhere around $70,000 per year on my full time job, and I'm still single, so I'm not pressed for money. I don't want a career change so much as I'm interested in becoming an actuary while continuing to work as an MT.

This is possible because since I work at a hospital, labs operate 24 hours, so we have night and graveyard shifts alongside the daytime hours normal people work. I've been doing graveyard (lately night) shifts since I got licensed, and I find I have a lot of time on my hands when I'm not sleeping. I've lost a lot of interest in traditional hobbies like movies, books, alcohol, drugs, etc. I'd rather just work lol.

Right now, in addition to my full time job I work part-time, 8 hour shifts 3 days a week at a hospital in another part of town. I get half the pay I do for my full time job and no benefits, so it's not a very efficient use of my time. It also isn't very challenging and I spend a lot of time waiting around for specimens to process.

I do not hate my job at all, but if I were going to do another career I'd like it to be a lot more mentally stimulating and eventful rather than the long periods of boredom I'm going through. My inspiration was a tech I heard of who owned his own legal practice, then worked at the hospital at night. He's done that for 35 years and still hasn't retired, so having two interesting jobs seemed like a good recipe for staying engaged with employment into old age. Even with my finances I feel like law is far too much of a cost sink and there's a lot of uncertainty once you graduate, so I felt like I would try being an actuary instead. Why?

In college, I was an Economics major, but I did not seriously look into becoming an actuary because I generally sucked at what I was studying. I was quite bad at math, having never taken an advanced math course in high school or even statistics, and I took the biology major's shortcut calculus courses, leaving me unprepared for Finance and Econometrics. The highest grade I ever got was in an Economics Policy course (mostly qualitative) and that earned me a B+. My Econ GPA was about a 2.2.

Since then, I have taken the more fundamental math courses at the local community college after work, including integral calculus, and I've done a lot better. I was preparing to purchase the materials for the first exam before noticing AO and reading up on what's said here.

Given that, I feel like I'm young and accomplished enough to not be looked down on, but I do have some concerns before I commit to taking the first exam:

1. Elsewhere on this forum (perhaps here) it says to get a job right after passing the first exam. My intent was to pass all the exams and then look for an availability somewhere without pursuing an internship. Given my circumstances, is this unwise? I have a lot of free (day) time available if I quit working part time, so I do think I can do internships if I can. I know a lot of people in the financial sectors from my time in college but I never took any "actuarial" internships, but intuitively I feel like I could find one locally.

2. I've kept all of my old Finance/Money & Banking/Econometrics books from college. Should I just retake those courses somewhere, read out of the books, or just study to the exam material? To use an analogy from my current profession, while we did have to study specific questions for our certifying exam, in a practical setting without the broad knowledge and training on how to think one would be a subpar tech as far as doing what MTs do, which is problem solving when weird stuff happens in the lab. Does the exam make you an actuary, or is it the internship experience which counts?

3. In order to fully justify investing in a second full-time career, no matter how interesting, being an actuary would have to compare with my current profession in salary. My opportunity cost isn't actually my part-time work: I could work full-time in another city alongside my current job and make $60,000. How long would it take me to work my way toward a 60-70K salary?

Sorry, that was a little long. But yeah, any/all advice is welcome, thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 09-09-2014, 04:17 AM
Gazat's Avatar
Gazat Gazat is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada
Studying for CAS 7
Posts: 842
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabulous Max View Post
1. Elsewhere on this forum (perhaps here) it says to get a job right after passing the first exam. My intent was to pass all the exams and then look for an availability somewhere without pursuing an internship. Given my circumstances, is this unwise? I have a lot of free (day) time available if I quit working part time, so I do think I can do internships if I can. I know a lot of people in the financial sectors from my time in college but I never took any "actuarial" internships, but intuitively I feel like I could find one locally.

Try passing 3-4 exams and then start your search. As a career changer you may need more than one exam to prove you're committed to the field.

2. I've kept all of my old Finance/Money & Banking/Econometrics books from college. Should I just retake those courses somewhere, read out of the books, or just study to the exam material? To use an analogy from my current profession, while we did have to study specific questions for our certifying exam, in a practical setting without the broad knowledge and training on how to think one would be a subpar tech as far as doing what MTs do, which is problem solving when weird stuff happens in the lab. Does the exam make you an actuary, or is it the internship experience which counts?

Just pass exams and try gaining some basic Excel, VBA and SQL skills. Getting fully credentialed will probably take 6-10 years. Prepare on toning down your social life in order to study.

3. In order to fully justify investing in a second full-time career, no matter how interesting, being an actuary would have to compare with my current profession in salary. My opportunity cost isn't actually my part-time work: I could work full-time in another city alongside my current job and make $60,000. How long would it take me to work my way toward a 60-70K salary?

http://www.dwsimpson.com/salary.html -> 4 exams and 2 years of experience
.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying J View Post
Sometimes, if I sit next to an attractive woman on public transportation, I pretend she's my gf, but she's not talking to me because we got in a fight.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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 03:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, 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 0.28274 seconds with 9 queries