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  #1  
Old 02-23-2018, 11:42 PM
tn4425 tn4425 is offline
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Unhappy career advice needed!!!

Hi everyone. I graduated in December 2016 with a degree in actuarial like most people here. But in 2017, I struggled a lot to try to find an actuary job, as well as any relevant analyst positions. I have a few interviews but that was it, no job offered. And now almost 2 months in 2018, I still have no luck finding a decent job.

A little bit about my background. So I started college trying to go for a computer science degree, but I did so bad and it killed my GPA. I switched to actuarial major in the middle of my junior year and finally got my GPA up, but not enough to get it to 3.0 (only 2.97). I also graduated with 3 exams passed (FM, P, MFE). After graduation, as I was looking for a job, I passed 2 more (C, MLC). But it didn't help. I know passing too many exams without any relevant experience is a disadvantage. But at that time, I was really hoping to get an actuary job and impress my potential employer with my certifications.

In 2017, I was only trying to apply jobs in Minnesota (where I live) because of some family reasons. Right now, I'm free to apply anywhere that has job offers. But it has been more than a year. So do you think that I should give up applying for an actuary position? I also applied for financial/pricing/credit analyst, and underwriting positions as well, but couldn't even get a phone interview invitation. What should I do now?? I really want to get a job in insurance field and continue the actuary exams journey. Thank you in advance for your time reading this and your advice!!!

P/S: I was not unemployed in 2017 though. I worked as a server and tax associate during the whole year. But I don't see how it could help me in my case.
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2018, 11:45 PM
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DoctorNo DoctorNo is online now
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You can't change the past at this point. Sell your strengths, broaden your search area, find network events, and apply to anything that's remotely interesting. Do you have programming skills?

Pro tip: calling it an "actuarial degree" is fine, but if you call it "degree in actuarial" to job prospects, it may be held against you.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2018, 11:48 PM
tn4425 tn4425 is offline
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Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
You can't change the past at this point. Sell your strengths, broaden your search area, find network events, and apply to anything that's remotely interesting. Do you have programming skills?

Pro tip: calling it an "actuarial degree" is fine, but if you call it "degree in actuarial" to job prospects, it may be held against you.
yea, I know VBA and SQL server. I took 2 classes on VBA on my last semester of college, and I learned SQL myself.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:53 PM
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DoctorNo DoctorNo is online now
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That's good. Emphasize what you've got there.

Cast as wide of a net as you can - once you land an actuarial job, then you can start looking towards more specific locations and/or jobs.

If companies want to focus on your negatives, that's their thing. Control what you can control, and don't worry so much about what you can't.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:31 AM
Aspiring Act Aspiring Act is offline
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Wow, was your computer science program hard?
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:48 AM
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yea, I know VBA and SQL server. I took 2 classes on VBA on my last semester of college, and I learned SQL myself.
You spent your first 2.5 college years pursuing computer science, and this is all you got?
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2018, 02:24 AM
kingofants kingofants is offline
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Wow, was your computer science program hard?
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Someone who can pass 5 actuarial exams should find computer science pretty easy.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2018, 09:03 AM
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JohnLocke JohnLocke is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn4425 View Post
Hi everyone. I graduated in December 2016 with a degree in actuarial like most people here. But in 2017, I struggled a lot to try to find an actuary job, as well as any relevant analyst positions. I have a few interviews but that was it, no job offered. And now almost 2 months in 2018, I still have no luck finding a decent job.

A little bit about my background. So I started college trying to go for a computer science degree, but I did so bad and it killed my GPA. I switched to actuarial major in the middle of my junior year and finally got my GPA up, but not enough to get it to 3.0 (only 2.97). I also graduated with 3 exams passed (FM, P, MFE). After graduation, as I was looking for a job, I passed 2 more (C, MLC). But it didn't help. I know passing too many exams without any relevant experience is a disadvantage. But at that time, I was really hoping to get an actuary job and impress my potential employer with my certifications.

In 2017, I was only trying to apply jobs in Minnesota (where I live) because of some family reasons. Right now, I'm free to apply anywhere that has job offers. But it has been more than a year. So do you think that I should give up applying for an actuary position? I also applied for financial/pricing/credit analyst, and underwriting positions as well, but couldn't even get a phone interview invitation. What should I do now?? I really want to get a job in insurance field and continue the actuary exams journey. Thank you in advance for your time reading this and your advice!!!

P/S: I was not unemployed in 2017 though. I worked as a server and tax associate during the whole year. But I don't see how it could help me in my case.
I think there is still a reasonably good chance for you to land in actuarial if you are willing to be flexible, put in some work, and grind it out. It may take some time, so you will need patience. Don't expect it to be easy.

Most people realize that college kids goof up at times before they get themselves on track. You need to own your past and also show how you are different now: more mature, more focused, etc... You can't simply say these things. You need to demonstrate it in the interview.

Are you working full-time? If not, why? A full-time job defintely shows more maturity than someone sitting in their parent's basement. If you are working full-time, see if you can upgrade jobs toward something more applicable. Anything office related is helpful. Business analyst, underwriter, claims are all good things to try out.

You also need to be showing to potential companies that you are doing everything in your power to become a better potential hire. This doesn't mean spending 10 minutes practicing SQL on an online tutorial and then plopping it on your resume. Pick an actual data project that demonstrates what you can do and be able to talk about it. Once you finish that one, do another but definitely go for quality over quantity. Kaggle is a great place to find datasets.

Make an honest self-assessment of your confidence level. Make sure you are working on your social skills and industry knowledge as well. Make sure you are always personable when you do get interiews These things are all hard to improve on but keep them top of mind and do your best to practice.

If you can't or aren't willing to put in the work it takes, don't beat yourself up about it. Simply be honest with yourself. Actuarial aint everything. There are lots of careers out there. No point wasting your life chasing the wrong one.

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:40 PM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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I'm from the Twin Cities, but no longer going down the actuarial route. If you're around this area, feel free to send me a PM and we can do lunch or something.
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2018, 03:50 PM
MathStatFin MathStatFin is offline
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Originally Posted by kingofants View Post
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Someone who can pass 5 actuarial exams should find computer science pretty easy.
why?
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