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  #11  
Old 05-05-2017, 09:15 PM
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willel2338 willel2338 is offline
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Originally Posted by clarinetist View Post
Here's an anecdote.

Coming out of college, here were my credentials:
  • GPA >= 3.5
  • Math (stats emphasis) major
  • Music minor
  • State school, not a well-known one
  • 3 exams
  • One housing internship for data work: used Excel and Access to create an inventory system
  • Contract for about a half-year with an actuarial study company
  • University tutoring, TAing, research projects, etc.
  • Classes in Python, VBA
  • No extracurriculars (other than Scrabble Club President, but who gives a care?)
  • Active in Actuarial Club
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Good communication skills (positive reviews of interviews - on-site recruiters who told my profs)
  • No actuarial internship
  • Attended ~3 career fairs a year
  • Desired to remain in Midwest (MN, WI)

Tried applying for internships and jobs in MN for ~2 years, turned out terrible. My communication skills were fine, but little things I said during the internship interviews in MN probably removed me from consideration for an internship (e.g., mentioning Obamacare for a P&C company... yeah... about that). By senior year, I had learned from my mistakes already, but since I didn't have an actuarial internship, that's likely why I was removed from any consideration for a full-time position (MN is quite competitive). I seem to recall in my senior year that I was having a difficult time getting any interviews, despite positive resume reviews on the AO.

I moved to Des Moines and got an actuarial analyst position within 3 months. Needless to say, I'm doing other things these days, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

FTR: I was born and raised in MN, and my resume had my home address on there. I've never been able to obtain a job in MN, actuarial or non-actuarial. Furthermore, I'm quite certain that when I applied for a leadership position with the Actuarial Club that most people saw me as intimidating, arrogant, or some mix of the two. Definitely not the "popular" type, and I got a vibe that my interests (reading math books, I'm a musician, etc.) just wasn't compatible with the people who were interviewing me. I'm not into baseball, hockey, etc..* Trying to act like someone who I wasn't was one reason why I quit trying so hard to impress people in the field.

* Most people whom I know obtained internships very easily told me that most of their interview was fixated on some type of sports that the interviewees were involved in.
When was this?
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2017, 08:38 AM
WhiteVeil WhiteVeil is offline
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Definitely agree that it's saturated. The bar is certainly a lot higher than it used to be.

Here was my anecdote from a few years ago.

- 2 exams (working on a third)
- Very personable (subjective I suppose but thats generally the feedback I got)
- Went to a top school with ~3.5 GPA
- 2 internships in other business related fields, but nothing insurance/actuarial. I didn't discover the field until after I'd already graduated.
- sent over 600 resumes with online apps, cold emails and other methods

It was a painful process and lasted a long while, and my school name didn't help much (I realized later on that school name is not a factor in this profession at all). The fact that I didn't have an actuarial internship hurt a lot and I was constantly up against 3/4 exam candidates with 1-2 internships.

Last edited by WhiteVeil; 05-08-2017 at 11:50 PM..
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2017, 09:08 AM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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Originally Posted by willel2338 View Post
When was this?
I graduated in 2014.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2017, 03:50 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by mathmajor View Post
You're describing a small subset of college graduates. STEM graduates. People in general. Of course they're all going to get jobs. Surprising they don't get better jobs than $60k EL actuarial student. Maybe in a previous time that'd be true.

We're just moving the bar aren't we?

The tragedy is that rough around the edges candidates like me who turned out to be decent aren't considered because they require investment, some risk, and an atypical hiring outlook.
Not sure what "bar" you're referring to.

And not sure I follow the "small subset" point. Yes, very few people even want to be an actuary, so by definition we're looking at a very small subset of college grads. But, of the small subset that want to be an actuary, and limiting to just those that are actually capable of doing the work, I feel like the criteria I set out are easily achievable. Excel and R? Quite simple to acquire those skills college. Passing two exams? Difficult if you decide in March of your senior year to get there before graduation, but you're a sophomore or even junior who decides this is what you want to do, seems very easy to get there. Again, I'm not sure I follow your point, so not sure if we're even talking about the same thing. But, overall, are you arguing that it's difficult for somebody who wants to be an actuary to meet the criteria that I put down in the OP? Other than visa being a problem for some, they seem pretty easy.
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2017, 07:40 PM
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ScorchedEarthActuary ScorchedEarthActuary is offline
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Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Not sure what "bar" you're referring to.
According to google:
"To set a (high / low) bar for (someone) "Setting a bar" or "setting the bar" means making a standard or level that other people or things will have to meet"

In this case,you had laid out some criteria that a good candidate would have to meet, hence "setting a bar". Not sure if this was a serious misunderstanding or feigning ignorance, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt.

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Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And not sure I follow the "small subset" point. (...) they seem pretty easy.
I think it's a little bit conceited to say that something is "pretty easy" when only a small subset of candidates have been able to meet your criteria. It's a bit like a 90th percentile marathon runner saying "It's pretty easy to run a marathon under 3 hours." Well it might be easy for that runner, but it's not easy for most runners and it certainly doesn't impress people who are trying their best with marginal success when someone comes out and decides to act like everything is easy and trivial.

You asked for anecdotes, and anecdotally your standards were only met by about 10-20% of my grad class. Since many of these students self-selected for the program based on their mathematical skills/aptitude, and many dropped out before completing the program, I would expect that the portion of the general population that would meet these standards is much smaller (maybe 95th percentile and above). Based on that, it doesn't seem to me that your criteria are "pretty easy", although I may be biased because I wouldn't have met those criteria at all myself.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2017, 07:53 PM
30pcssilver 30pcssilver is offline
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I have a hard time believing that less than a majority of US citizens seeking actuarial positions have greater than a 3.0 from a decent state school.

Seven years ago the company I first worked for wouldn't even look at resumes with a GPA below 3.2 from any school and in the vast majority of cases would toss resumes with less than two exams.

Two exams and GPA >= 3.0 seem like standard requirements, not conceited requirements.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2017, 08:04 PM
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ScorchedEarthActuary ScorchedEarthActuary is offline
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Originally Posted by 30pcssilver View Post
I have a hard time believing that less than a majority of US citizens seeking actuarial positions have greater than a 3.0 from a decent state school.

Seven years ago the company I first worked for wouldn't even look at resumes with a GPA below 3.2 from any school and in the vast majority of cases would toss resumes with less than two exams.

Two exams and GPA >= 3.0 seem like standard requirements, not conceited requirements.
Except that that's only 2 of the 7 criteria he outlined , and one of them is misstated (GPA for many/most schools would need to be >= 3.5)

Also: hiring criteria are not a good indicator of how easy / difficult something is, especially in a saturated market.
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2017, 10:21 PM
30pcssilver 30pcssilver is offline
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I only listed those two because the other five seem completely standard for almost any well paying job out of college.
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2017, 10:48 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScorchedEarthActuary View Post
I didn't go to a top school and I was told consistently that the average GPA in the actuarial program was around a B- (2.7). There were some 3.5's for sure, not all of which had strong technical skills, and not all of which had exams. I would guess that only about 10%-20% of my class would have met these requirements, and a couple of them that would fall into this category weren't able to find actuarial work.
Really struggling to process this post, as it makes no sense to me. I'm guessing that if you went through full disclosure on the school maybe there's some other background that would make it make sense; but most people don't want to get too close to "outing" their personal info so understand you maybe don't want to give much more info.

Here's some info on a variety of universities and their grade trends:
http://www.gradeinflation.com

Looking at the 22 schools whose names start with A or B (wasn't going to go through the whole list), the lowest GPA (looking at most recent year) is 2.93 and there's only two other schools that are below a 3.0, so 19/22 have the average GPA above 3.0.

So, you went to a school where the average student in the actuarial program had grades *significantly* worse than the average student at the school? Seems very unusual for a major that generally attracts students that are well above average. Or, perhaps your school had a very unorthodox grading system. One of my best friends went to Rose-Hulman and graduated with a 2.5 or so, was very highly recruited - so I understand some schools have systems that don't match the norms, but since you didn't say anything like that, just kind of struggling to understand the information provided.
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2017, 10:50 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScorchedEarthActuary View Post
According to google:
"To set a (high / low) bar for (someone) "Setting a bar" or "setting the bar" means making a standard or level that other people or things will have to meet"

In this case,you had laid out some criteria that a good candidate would have to meet, hence "setting a bar". Not sure if this was a serious misunderstanding or feigning ignorance, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
Good explanation of "setting a bar" but the quote was about "moving the bar", which isn't the same thing. Not sure if this was a serious misunderstanding or feigning illiteracy, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
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