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  #551  
Old 12-02-2014, 01:47 PM
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  #552  
Old 12-02-2014, 01:50 PM
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  #553  
Old 12-02-2014, 03:11 PM
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  #554  
Old 12-07-2014, 12:10 PM
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Arrow Become Self-Motivating

Yeah, the original posts, along with follow-up posts by jackj109, are more than enough for me to read through when in doubt, and everybody can definitely find some great examples reading through the posts afterward. With that, I like to highlight something that even a beginner like myself should focus some attention on before entering the actuarial job market (once again): Find ways to motivate yourself to get something done if you are that lazy, and give the impression that you mean business. Also, do what Dr T Non-Fan said earlier. Have no fear.

From what I have read here, the professionals don't give up after a couple hundred résumes have been trashed, and that shows me that it's worth dying for to these people on the job. Hence, I appreciate the efforts of the professionals that are here, encouraging newbies like myself to have realistic expectations while simultaneously striving forward, because they decided to get to work sooner than later. As for the reason they are motivated, they keep that in mind as they work and share it when asked, so it shows even in here.
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  #555  
Old 12-22-2014, 11:53 AM
prankius prankius is offline
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Hello all,

This forum is really helpful for anyone wanting to learn about the field of actuaries. I've been reading a lot of threads regarding job search, differences in P&C/Health/Life/Pension, and preparation for exams. I was hoping, however, for some advice specific to my situation...

I'm currently a reporting/financial analyst for a large consumer products firm in Chicago with a B.S. in Finance. However, my current contractual position is expiring in February, and I was hoping to find a job in an actuarial field instead of settling for another accounting/finance role.

The primary reason why I'm interested in trying out a job of an actuary is due to my enjoyment in solving complex mathematical problems and creating various tools which help me do the job (currently just in VBA). That, and the salary prospects.

The problem I have now is a lack of qualifications for an actuarial career. I have not taken any exams, my degree is in Finance. On upside, I graduated in 2012, so I have roughly 3 years of experience in financial/analytical roles; I'm great with Excel/VBA; I've always been good at math (top 1% on the ACT exam); I'm one course away from completing VEE requirements.

My question is this - what role/firm could I possibly qualify for which would have at least one of the following attributes:
a) See/experience the daily life of an actuary
b) Have high prospects of moving up the actuarial career ladder if completing a few exams while in this role

I really appreciate any advice.
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  #556  
Old 12-22-2014, 12:03 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Hello all,
...
The primary reason why I'm interested in trying out a job of an actuary is due to my enjoyment in solving complex mathematical problems and creating various tools which help me do the job (currently just in VBA). That, and the salary prospects.

The problem I have now is a lack of qualifications for an actuarial career. I have not taken any exams, my degree is in Finance. On upside, I graduated in 2012, so I have roughly 3 years of experience in financial/analytical roles; I'm great with Excel/VBA; I've always been good at math (top 1% on the ACT exam); I'm one course away from completing VEE requirements.

My question is this - what role/firm could I possibly qualify for which would have at least one of the following attributes:
a) See/experience the daily life of an actuary
b) Have high prospects of moving up the actuarial career ladder if completing a few exams while in this role

I really appreciate any advice.
1. What do you consider a "complex mathematical problem"?
2. What kind of math courses did you take?
3. Pass some exams, and get back to us. But you already know this.

To answer your actual questions:
You won't know what you qualify for until you send a few hundred résumés. Someone might take you in. But probably none of the top companies or consulting firms. Too many other candidates with better résumés.
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  #557  
Old 12-22-2014, 12:52 PM
prankius prankius is offline
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1. What do you consider a "complex mathematical problem"?
2. What kind of math courses did you take?
3. Pass some exams, and get back to us. But you already know this.

To answer your actual questions:
You won't know what you qualify for until you send a few hundred résumés. Someone might take you in. But probably none of the top companies or consulting firms. Too many other candidates with better résumés.
Thanks for a reply, Dr T Non-Fan.

1. I just enjoy solving any problems that are intellectually challenging. While I don't come across many such instances in my current career field (one of the reasons I'd like to switch jobs), some examples from the past include solving multi-variable problems for optimal solutions, modeling and simulating price action in R, making my own decision-making tables and charts to which I like to add various dimensions of probabilities.
2. I took calculus in high-school for which I received university credit. I believe the university math courses I took were less challenging: probabilities and statistics; business statistics (1 & 2). However, I also took Market Microstructure and Commodities & Futures Markets courses, which had a lot of complex math problems. In fact, it was frustrating dealing with formulas which had unfamiliar symbols and notations (some of which I have forgotten since high school, and some I never studied before).
3. Yes, everyone here suggests two exams on the resume before applying anywhere. But since that advice is mostly catered to students or people who are already employed somewhere and want to transition to an actuarial job, I thought there may be a suggestion for what job to take while studying for the exams. For example, if I accept an offer at an IT department at my current employer, would that look less attractive on my resume than, say, a P&C underwriter (which I feel I might qualify for)?
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  #558  
Old 12-22-2014, 01:20 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Any job is fine. Nothing overly stressful, as you need your downtime for studying.
The story you tell about your job will be more important than the job itself.

You can apply right now. So what if you get rejected 99 times by companies that require one or more exams? You only need one job, so you only need one company not to reject you.
(This is not complex math, btw.)
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  #559  
Old 12-22-2014, 02:19 PM
prankius prankius is offline
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Thanks, DTNF. Will take your advice, begin compiling non-HR contacts, and send out some resumes.

I kind of wish job applications would consist more of mathematical problem-solving than telling a story in a cover letter. It's kind of funny that you brought up story-telling. Last week I was conversing with one of my co-workers with 10+ years experience in my current field (at the company where I currently work, promotion usually ultimately means becoming a finance manager). I was sharing my interest for an actuarial career and expressing my uncertainty about the financial analyst career. She asked me if I like telling a story. I said "well... I do like figuring out what the story is, doing all the math and analysis to support the story." She said "no no, that's not what this is about. This is just about TELLING the story."
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  #560  
Old 12-22-2014, 02:54 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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One advice I like to give is that if you have something on your résumé, be prepared to tell a story about it, followed up by a question for the interviewer about something of a similar note.
Story < saga. Short and interesting.
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