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  #31  
Old 06-23-2006, 08:02 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMO
Has anyone thought of making this thread a sticky? Seems appropriate to me.
The world doesn't need another sticky.
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  #32  
Old 07-31-2006, 03:14 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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By popular request, copied from another thread.
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There's a wide range of "team" levels, but I would say this: many people spend the majority of their time staring at their computers. Team is still hugely important. Why? 1) You can do all the work right for 39 hours per work, but if you screw up in communicating it to your team, then it adds no value. 2) It changes as you go higher in the organization, and the expectation is that as people move up, they will have those skills (those who do will be promoted faster nd higher than those who don't). Part of the reason actuaries pay pretty well (especially for people right out of school, I think this profession pays really well) is for the future value. That is, companies value the fact that you are learning about the company, and if you stick around, you will have very high impact as an experienced actuary with a deep knowledge of the company. And, that value will be limited if you can't work with/communicate with other people. 3) One person who is a "problem child" can provide a huge disruption to all people working on that team. So, part of the whole team thing is just not being an a$$, and that's always important.
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  #33  
Old 09-03-2006, 04:46 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Things to consider if you ask me to review your resume:

1 I'm not an expert on format/appearance. Don't bother asking for my advice on that, it won't be helpful
2 No matter who you have review your resume, they aren't perfect. Even me (I know that's hard to believe). Get multiple viewpoints, not just one.
3 If I give you advice and then later you send your resume to me, and you ignored all of my advice, including clear and obvious stuff, don't expect the response to be favorable.
4 I'm probably willing to review your resume. I'm not interested in passing it on to my employer.
5 My advice, if you read my threads, is not exactly sweet and kind. It's harsh and as accurate as I can make it. I'm not trying to be your friend, I'm trying to tell you how an employer views your resume. If you don't want my advice, don't ask for it.
6 I'll probably get it reviewed eventually, be patient. Remind me if I forget, I'll get around to it.
7 Don't send me resumes with grammar and typographical errors. Please have enough respect for my time to get somebody else to do that. Career Services at your local college, or a professional resume editor or something.
8 I'm not interesting in helping you with your ESL issues - get somebody at your University's Career Services or elsewhere to read it, I'm glad to help with the actuarial aspects. http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu....php?p=1919455
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America is ready for a new kind of corruption. ---Dr T Non-Fan
it's almost like you lack some self awareness, which would not be a first in the actuarial community ---tommie frazier

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Last edited by Westley; 01-15-2007 at 09:06 AM..
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  #34  
Old 05-10-2007, 10:09 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Brought this forward from page 1




With fewer new responses going into threads, I decided to mine some old PMs for my "best of" material.

Had a guy ask me via PM what were the types of questions that I was expecting/hoping for an interviewee to ask. My response was:

I don't particularly like to be asked questions - I am glad to tell a candidate why they should work for this company, and if they have questions, that's ok, if not, that's ok too. BUT, most people expect you to ask questions, and they view that as showing interest. So, it's usually best to ask questions.
The best questions are always ones that arise in the normal course of the interview - they are tied to what the interviewer asks you, or the thought is sparked by the interviewer. If a question comes up during the interview, don't be afraid to ask it right then. OR, wait until the end, and then say "You know, before you mentioned ______, tell me more about that issue" (usually better to wait until the end, shows that you were paying attention, but either way is fine.

Some good general questions (non-technical):
Explain how the rotation program works (make sure that they have one before you ask).
How does study time work?
How are your exam results (for the company)?
How would you describe the company culture?
Why do you choose to work here versus someplace else?

Good technical questions are tough to ask, and it depends on where you are at, but you might ask:
Good questions at an insurance company (ok to ask at a consulting firm as well): what is the corporate strategy, and how does the work that actuaries do fit into that? How does the actuarial group interact with underwriting and marketing?
Good questions at a consulting firm (probably wouldn't ask at an insurance company): what is your quality process? Who are your target clients?

If it's an accounting firm, read up on what's going on in the industry - Andersen and Enron are still causing shock waves - and ask about that. Same for the insurance company - if it's a P&C commercial insurer, bring up the Travelers/St Paul merger, if it's life you can ask about other current events that you can find in the trade press - ask them how similar events will impact them.


If you have a lunch or dinner interview, keep it somewhat off-work:
Do the people that work here tend to go out together?
How do you like living around here?
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it's almost like you lack some self awareness, which would not be a first in the actuarial community ---tommie frazier

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Last edited by Westley; 08-16-2007 at 05:46 PM..
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  #35  
Old 09-06-2007, 06:37 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Westley loses it: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...=117901&page=3

Post 58

Quote:
You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having all of these posts in the Employment thread over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have spent... y'know... hundreds of hours to pass these exams, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just an exam series! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're studying! You've turned an enjoyable hobby, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!

I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves?

You, tommie frazier, must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl? I didn't think so! There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't take exams! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, it's just an exam series dammit, IT'S JUST AN EXAM SERIES!
If you don't get it, google "it's just a tv show".
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  #36  
Old 03-05-2008, 10:08 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Great post from FormLetter. Don't agree with all of it, but the part that I bolded is pure brilliance, and something that the vast majority misses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FormLetter View Post
I would be pretty weary of the person that has the ASA finished while still in college. Now that I have about 85 years of experience (on a wisdom-equivalent basis) under my belt, I've figured out that the people that really get stuff done are the people that can:
-think of the massive change that results in a 100-4000+% improvement in a process
-get stakeholders committed to a change that has been proposed
-hire the right people
-establish good working relationships with the "right people" that are already employed there

Not everybody can be all that though, and you wouldn't want a whole department of those people. So it depends on what your particular department needs. If you already have your "navigate our systems to get all the right data quickly" needs and your "convert data into whatever calculated item we need" needs met, then you need the person I described. If you already have a few of the people I described above, then the person that wrapped up their ASA in college is probably your best bet, as they have shown they can keep their nose in their work while the person described above orchestrates the big picture items.
I think this is more important for hirers than workers to understand because, unfortunately, this is not what gets you rewarded (in most organizations), but it's how you accomplish actual work. The people described above often accomplish 10x as much, and collect salaries that are 10% higher than people who show up and fill chairs.
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  #37  
Old 06-23-2012, 03:21 AM
jas66Kent jas66Kent is offline
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This is a really good thread. The resume thread link is cracking me up.
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  #38  
Old 06-23-2012, 01:17 PM
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Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by fomoz View Post
Why wouldn't they? We're employing over 700 people. We own pretty much every adult site you can name.
Challenge accepted!

(reviewing last week's internet history)

Do you own

Spoiler:

eros.com
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Because that's pretty much every adult site I can name.
This was my favorite Westley post.
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Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
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  #39  
Old 06-25-2012, 01:03 PM
Locrian Locrian is offline
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To this day, a few years after initial hire, I still hold that reading Westley's threads was a necessary condition for getting an entry level job.

Thanks Westley.
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Quote:
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The most important thing I have learned from the career forum is that the gurus in this field and keepers of supreme knowledge regarding all matters pertaining to the actuarial profession are unlettered actuarial students with < 5 years of experience.
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  #40  
Old 06-25-2012, 02:00 PM
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Annie Howe Annie Howe is offline
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Thank you so much for posting this Westley!
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