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  #1  
Old 09-16-2018, 08:15 PM
A Curious Search A Curious Search is offline
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Default Should I quit my job? (Internship search advice)

Hey there, I've just created an account for this post, I've been a lurker around here for about a few years but decided to make this thread out of some anxiety that I might not being able to find internship experience/an entry level job in actuarial work. I apologize in advance because this is probably something that's been posted before. I'm looking for an internship at the end of this summer right now as this is my third year and I don't have any yet, which I admit was probably dumb on my part but I didn't realize at the time that it was expected that I have two internships by the time I graduate.

I'm struggling to find an internship partly because my university has no co-op program, despite having one advertised and posted on the internet to this day, last year I signed up for it and contacted our department's administration and for about a year they said they were still setting up the program to allow students to find internships until the beginning of this semester when I was told up front by my department head that we didn't have one, and that I would have to look on my own, but also that some internships are only accessible through an academic agreement between the workplace and the university, so I'm nervous about my chances. I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada and the market here for interns is pretty dry so I'm willing to relocate anywhere on the planet.

Part of what is exacerbating me is that I have a part-time job right now, am taking a full-time course load, am part of an actuarial society with meetings and am also studying for exam P, I do already have exam FM passed, but I'd feel more confident going into the internship with two exams passed. I know that this is supposed to be the normal workload for an actuary, but I feel like I have very little time to do my necessary work at school, let alone find job positions, research the companies, and send individual cover letters. I have posted my resume as an attachment in case that helps you give advice.

I'm wondering if I should quit my part time job to have more time to search for internships, but I'm also nervous about doing that because I have extremely severe job search anxiety and rarely send resumes with cover letters until I feel like the cover letter is completely perfect, and I know that is going to be very detrimental to my current job search and I should suck it up, but if I quit my job and fail to conquer my anxiety, well... it took me three years just to find my current job, and I feel like I could end up jobless and penniless after graduation. It doesn't help that during a conversation I had with someone else, some other graduate at my university took 4 years to find a first job in the actuarial field. So I feel like I'm pursuing a doomed effort, especially since I also have no network whatsoever. But I am completely sure that I want to be an actuary someday somehow even if it's going to be ridiculously hard.

Once again I apologize for dumping this all on anybody who reads it but I feel like I won't be able to pull through this stressful period without sound advice specific to this situation from the more experienced posters here. If you have any questions or advice I would be more than happy to answer and listen. Thank you all very much in advance for your help!

Edit: I removed my resume following the given advice, sorry about that.

Last edited by A Curious Search; 09-16-2018 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: To remove my name
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:30 PM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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You probably want to take your name off this post. It's in the name of your attachment, and perhaps in the resume, too.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:49 PM
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Most actuarial jobs in Canada are in Ontario and Quebec. However competition for internship is fierce and even though you are in big name schools like Waterloo, Laval, you are not guaranteed for actuarial co-op placements. At the moment the major carriers are hiring co-op students for the winter term (Jan - Apr 2019), you can give a shot but the competition, oh boy, it's super crazy and to be honest, if you are not from these big name schools, it makes it even harder to persuade employers that you are the best fit for the job.

I think for now your best bet is to attend ASNA in Jan 2019 and try to expand your network there. Meanwhile try to pass as many exams as possible, while learning Python, R like there's no tomorrow.

https://www.anea-asna.ca/
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Last edited by trueblade; 09-16-2018 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:44 PM
A Curious Search A Curious Search is offline
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Thank you for the advice, I had guessed that I was probably going up against fierce competition from those schools, I did try transferring to Waterloo but they told me they prioritize 17000 high school students for 1300 slots so...

As for ASNA I have actually joined an actuarial society at my university, and we're raising funds to go to that event in January, as well as planning on hosting the Atlantic Canada Actuarial Student Conference. I also joined a mentorship program where you can help a first/second year student in their studies/job search and am hoping that also could help lead to opportunities. But I'm wondering how I should go about getting a potential connection interested enough in me to contact me on a regular basis.

I am taking a technical skills course for Actuaries online but am also planning on taking an R course. On your advice I'm also going to plan to teach myself Python in the Summer, especially if my internship search fails. I also plan on passing 3 exams by the time university ends, P in May, IFM next year. I would try to take 4, but I'm worried about closing doors to either P&C jobs or other jobs depending on whether I choose CAS or SOA for my 4th exam.

Also like I said, if I have to and the competition in Canada is too intense I would be willing to move to the U.S or the U.K. or wherever else I can look to find work, I'm not picky and would also be interested in living in a different environment. Do you think I would be better off leaving the country or staying here, since I know that other countries have higher expectations for employees from other countries.

Thank you for the advice so far!

Last edited by A Curious Search; 09-16-2018 at 09:47 PM.. Reason: Adding in things
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 08:26 AM
Canadiens Fan Canadiens Fan is offline
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Right now (September) is when companies are hiring for internships next year (Winter, Summer, Fall). If you haven't done so, you should apply for those internships. Your resume/cover letter don't have to be "perfect" by any means. Competition is fierce for summer internships, but not so much for Winter and Fall. If you apply now for Winter/Fall internships, I don't see why you won't be able to at least get an interview. Also, you don't need to have two exams for an internships, and you certainly don't need two internships before graduation.
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Old Yesterday, 10:07 AM
A Curious Search A Curious Search is offline
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I do think that a winter/fall internship would be the best bet if I want to break into the field, it's just that I'm I little hesitant to apply for a fall or winter internship considering that it would mean skipping a semester of schoolwork. If it meant gaining experience it might be worth it, but our university doesn't offer courses mandatory for graduation in the summer, meaning I'd have to wait for an entire year to graduate. I wouldn't mind this if I managed to secure both a fall and winter internship for next year, so that I could just wait until the year after to take the courses so that could work. I'm going to try to apply for both right now if possible, thanks for your help!
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens Fan View Post
Competition is fierce for summer internships, but not so much for Winter and Fall.
Yes and No, all students I met (U of T, McMaster, Western, etc.) are willing to delay coursework and apply for co-op jobs in winter/fall in order to break into the industry. People has figured it's nearly impossible to get a full-time Actuarial job without having some industry experience before graduation.
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