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Securing Your First Actuarial Position ________________________________________________________ Presented By: Caitlin Cunningham & Amanda Kapellen University.

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Presentation on theme: "Securing Your First Actuarial Position ________________________________________________________ Presented By: Caitlin Cunningham & Amanda Kapellen University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Securing Your First Actuarial Position ________________________________________________________ Presented By: Caitlin Cunningham & Amanda Kapellen University of North Carolina at Charlotte October 25, 2013

2 Discussion Overview About DW Simpson Being an Actuary Preparing your resume and cover letter Interviewing tips and scenarios Job offers and your long-term career Market overview Industry resources

3 Introducing DW Simpson DW Simpson specializes in the placement of Actuaries and Analytics professionals. We work at all experience levels, globally and across all industries (Life, Health, Pension, P&C), including in nontraditional areas (Risk Management, CAT Modeling, Predictive Modeling, etc.). We are the largest firm of our kind, and our objective is to be the foremost resource for Actuarial and Analytics talent.

4 Our Team

5 Who Employs Actuaries? Insurance companies Reinsurers Consulting firms Brokerages Hedge funds Risk modeling software groups Analytics Groups Managing General Underwriters/Agents (MGAs and MGUs)

6 Who Qualifies as Entry-Level? Soon-to-be and recent college graduates Career changers Those with less than six months of full-time experience in the actuarial profession

7 Preparing Your Resume Employers are looking for: Exams/Designations Academic background (areas of study, GPA, extracurricular activities, awards and honors) Technical skills Actuarial experience (internships, co-ops) Additional work experience “Soft skills” (communication, time management, leadership, etc.)

8 Formatting Your Resume Follow this order-of-information guide: Heading Actuarial exams/designations Education Actuarial experience Additional work experience Computer skills Other Use a simple, consistent font. Use consistent margins and punctuation. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

9 Sample: Heading John J. Smith 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223 704.555.1212 ∙ john.j.smith@gmail.com

10 Sample: Actuarial Exams/Designations Actuarial Exams & Credits Successfully completed Exams P/1 and FM/2 Sitting for Exam MLC/3L (Nov 2013) Fulfilled VEEs in Economics and Corporate Finance Or... Actuarial Designations Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, 2013

11 Sample: Education Education UNC at Charlotte, Charlotte NC B.S. in Mathematics Graduation expected Dec 2013 Minors in Statistics and Economics GPA: 3.7/4.0

12 Sample: Actuarial Experience Actuarial Experience Company Name, City, State P&C Actuarial InternSummer 2013 Applied Excel to... Priced products X, Y, Z... Analyzed data... Presented findings...

13 Sample: Additional Work Experience Additional Work Experience Company Name, City, State Administrative Assistant July 2012 – Present Answer phone calls... Greet visitors... Filing Clerk Jan 2012 – June 2012 Filed documents... Collaborated with...

14 Sample: Technical Skills Technical Skills Proficient in Excel, Access Basic working knowledge of VBA, SAS, SQL, C++

15 Sample: Other Leadership Actuarial Science Club, Secretary, May 2012 – Present Awards DW Simpson Actuarial Scholarship, 2013 Language Skills Fluent in Spanish

16 Preparing Your Cover Letter Tailor each specifically to the specific company, role and location, demonstrating specific interest. Add information not found in your resume. Explain any ties to the geographical area. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

17 Preparing for an Interview: Research What you should know before you interview: Company history, lines of business, news, etc. Type of company (e.g., insurer vs. consulting firm) Actuarial disciplines: Life, Health, Pension, P&C Actuarial functions: Pricing/Ratemaking, Reserving, Financial Reporting, Product Development, etc. Industry news and trends Exam syllabus Functions of the SOA/CAS

18 Preparing for an Interview: Dress Dress to impress. Even if the company’s dress code is business casual, wear a suit. MEN: Dark suit, white shirt, understated tie, dress shoes WOMEN: Dark suit, white shirt, conservative dress shoes, conservative makeup and jewelry

19 Preparing for an Interview: Social Media Make all your personal accounts private, so that they are not fully visible to potential employers/peers. Choose professional public profile photos. Update and maintain your LinkedIn profile.

20 Behavior During an Interview Be conscious of your behavior throughout the entire interview process, including times when you may not be directly in front of your interviewers. Don’t worry about sounding repetitious/redundant. Each interviewer is a new audience. Keep your answers consistent. Maintain a high enthusiasm level. Be an active participant in the interview dialogue.

21 Common Interview Questions Why are you interested in the actuarial profession? What do you know about our company? Why does our company appeal to you? What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your long-term career goals?

22 Questions for Your Interviewer(s) – Part 1 Always prepare questions to ask. Lack of questions indicates disinterest/lack of an independent thought process. Some of your questions may be answered during the course of the interview. It is OK to acknowledge this and ask follow-up questions/for clarification. Do not ask questions that are easily researched on your own. Never initiate conversation about personal matters such as compensation and vacation time.

23 Questions for Your Interviewer(s) – Part 2 How is your organization/department structured? What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job? The bigger-picture goals? What skills/characteristics do you deem most important for this position? What computer programs/languages are important to this role? What has been your experience with the company? What do you like about working for the group?

24 Interview Scenario No. 1 You have an initial interview with an HR representative at XYZ Company. He calls you and is not very talkative, asking short questions. He does not seem to be paying attention to your answers, and you can hear typing in the background. He does not give you any indication of what he is thinking, so it is hard to get a sense of how the conversation is going. How do you react?

25 Interview Scenario No. 2 An interviewer asks you to describe a weakness of yours, or a time you have failed and how you responded. You feel unprepared for this type of question. What type of answer do you provide?

26 The Offer Stage Negotiation? Rule of thumb: Never negotiate for the sake of negotiation. Poor negotiations can mean offer withdrawal. Be familiar with average base salaries based on exams/experience level. Sign-on bonus? Have at least three references lined up, ready to go.

27 Market Overview Society of Actuaries (SOA) Encompasses Life, Health, Pension Approximately 23,000 members worldwide Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Affiliated with P&C Approximately 5,500 members worldwide

28 Actuarial Profession Resources SOA Website: www.soa.orgwww.soa.org Phone: 847.706.3500 CAS Website: www.casact.orgwww.casact.org Phone: 703.276.3100 Jointly sponsored website: www.beanactuary.orgwww.beanactuary.org

29 Exams Resources www.dwsimpson.com/actuaryexams.html www.dwsimpson.com/actuarialseminars.html www.actuarialoutpost.com www.bpptraining.com www.actuarialseminars.com www.neas-seminars.com www.sambroverman.com

30 Insurance Industry Resources www.actuary.net www.businessinsurance.com www.insurancenewsnet.com www.benefitslink.com

31 Our Contact Information Caitlin Cunningham Manager Email: caitlin.cunningham@dwsimpson.com Direct line: 312.867.2331 Amanda Kapellen Operations Assistant/Database Manager Email: amanda.kapellen@dwsimpson.com Direct line: 312.867.2344


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