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  #61  
Old 01-31-2006, 08:22 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by jackj109
I think I just started along this path because I thought as a math major it was the only way to make real money and have an "important" job. But the further I get in my "pay the rent" career, I see it's not true. There's always a place for smart people who can problem solve and who know how to make sense of data.
Is this too long to add to my sig line? I think a lot of people go into this field because they don't know what else to do, but if they just looked around, they would find tons of stuff that was great. I was just advising in another thread that the guy who wants to work in finance should go into a finance job, and he's trying to figure out how to get an actuarial job and leverage it into a financial position. Not that that's the worst route to take, but if you want to be in finance, go into finance. You should go into an actuarial field because you want to be an actuary - not because you want to do something else, or because you don't think you can do anything else or because you don't know what else to do. There's tons of jobs out there - figure out what you want to do, and then go be a success at it!

Great post, jackj109. And good luck!

PS. Irony starts now: I predict that somebody jackj109 recently interviewed with will offer him an actuarial position later this week.
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  #62  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:36 PM
nittanylion302 nittanylion302 is offline
 
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so the GPA is really secondary to the number of exams passed and the interview performance?
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  #63  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:57 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by nittanylion302
so the GPA is really secondary to the number of exams passed and the interview performance?
At best secondary.

Full time, I will not consider anybody without an exam regardless of circumstances. And, I just hired a girl with two exams and a 3.0 from a marginal school, but I won't hire anybody without exams. It's just a bad bet to make.

Interns, if you have connections to somebody in my company, and they pressure me to interview you, I might consider you without exams, but don't bet on it. These are the only interns with no exams that I have interviewed, and I have hired one out of maybe ten that I have interviewed.

After exams, prior internships are second in most situations, and GPA is probably third - with respect to getting the interview.

Interview performance is what decides who we hire out of those we interviewed. And, if there are close calls, then exams are the tie-breaker.

If you're a Penn State, just ignore the prof if he's still telling you to worry about exams after graduating, it's quite simply the worst advice ever given to an actuarial student.
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  #64  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:57 PM
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it's hard to say, but, generally, yes. But, if GPA and transcript are all the evidence of exam passing ability you have, higher is better.

(did that make sense?)
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  #65  
Old 02-10-2006, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley
If you're a Penn State, just ignore the prof if he's still telling you to worry about exams after graduating, it's quite simply the worst advice ever given to an actuarial student.
Hmmmm...a former coworker went to Penn St., was hired with zero exams and AFAIK hasn't passed anymore than the first. Maybe he fell prey to said prof.
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  #66  
Old 02-11-2006, 10:04 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by Elisha
Hmmmm...a former coworker went to Penn St., was hired with zero exams and AFAIK hasn't passed anymore than the first. Maybe he fell prey to said prof.
That's why we won't hire people without exams: if they can't, then we don't want them. But if they just choose not to, they'll get on the job and then we'll say "if you want to advance, you better pass" and they'll be thinking "but I got this job without exams". I truly don't understand why people continue to hire Penn State* people without exams - it's just a bad bet.

*I identify PSU because they have so many, and they have a program that was historically strong, so that seems to be the school that people are willing to excuse it - most other schools, you graduate with no exams, you have no shot at a premier company, and you will struggle to get something at a lesser compnay, at best.
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  #67  
Old 02-11-2006, 11:31 AM
nittanylion302 nittanylion302 is offline
 
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how many exams are suggested before graduation? 2? 3? Would I be better off going for that extra exam or getting an internship?

Last edited by nittanylion302; 02-11-2006 at 11:41 AM..
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  #68  
Old 02-11-2006, 11:43 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nittanylion302
how many exams are suggested before graduation? 2? 3?
Well, you have to pass all of them someday. You can do them now or later. And, the exams are the key to advancement early in your career. They are the only objective measure that employers can use to make decisions about who to hire, who to promote, etc. And, people who pass exams fast and early are viewed as the rising stars of an actuarial group. So, given all of that,do you think that you are better off doing it now, or putting it off till later?

i.e., the correct answer is "as many as you can".
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  #69  
Old 02-11-2006, 11:48 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nittanylion302
Would I be better off going for that extra exam or getting an internship?
I'm not sure why taht would be an either/or proposition.

In general, for me, after you have one exam and one internship, then I view each additional exam and each additional internship as roughly equal value. I would probably say, if you have one exam and that's it, the internship is likely more valuable than an additional exam (but, again, why is that an either/or proposition?). The reason is, if you have one exam, then I know you can pass them if you really want to, and my concern is whether you really want to do actuarial work - and the internship answers that, to some extent.
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  #70  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:22 PM
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I've heard from many people around here and actuary.com that any more than the 4 preliminary exams really ceases to benefit you at all, as you don't have the work experience to justify it. Would you say this is true?

And how does your company pay entry level candidates based on exams? (someone with 1, as opposed to 3-5?) Is it an intelligent investment, in cost-effectiveness, for a student to take as many exams as possible while in school?
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