Choosing the profession you want is a difficult decision that every young adult must face in their lifetime. It is often affected by factors such as money, schooling, and utilizing your skill set to best fit you. But how do you know what profession you want? How do you even choose what major you want to do in school?!
With a strong mathematical background I knew I wanted to have a job that offers solving complicated, challenging, yet highly satisfying problems. Having family, friends and high-school teachers recommend the actuarial profession, because of my strong technical skill set and outgoing personality, made choosing to become an actuary as easy as reading the writing on the wall. Nevertheless it was not the only reason I chose to study actuarial science. I chose this because I want to help people. By using my knowledge in statistics and finance, I can asses the risk of tragic events such as death, disability, car accidents, or loss of property effectively and be able to financially insure those horrible life events. After personally observing my aunt go through a series of unfortunate life events, I saw how long-term disability insurance coverage had helped my aunt and her family in their financial struggle. It was the perfect of example for me to solidify my choice, and understand that the work I do greatly helps others in their time of need.
Being an actuary requires not only technical skills but also the ability to communicate effectively.In order to successfully accomplish my own personal goals of achieving senior positions, and the company’s goal of becoming more profitable, it is essential to work with other departments within the insurance company to complement the mathematics to better pre-existing coverages and create new coverages.
Some communication skills that are essential to actuaries are:
- Presenting complicated material effectively to a less technical audience
- Explaining procedures and projects effectively
- Good team working skills (with technical and non-technical teams)
- Writing complicated technical reports, manuals, procedures, and proposals
In the past, actuaries have been known to be the introverted human calculators that only speak numbers but as we see the industry changing, actuaries aren’t only required to have strong technical skills, but also strong communication skills!