17May2011
Author
glong
Category
General

Spring Fever on Campus – University Outreach at DePaul University

by Gena Long, Manager of Stakeholder Relations

GenaLong The memories came flooding back – the warm sunshine, the blue skies, everyone outside enjoying the day, and the sheer joy in knowing the semester is almost over and that summer is finally within reach. This was the feeling that greeted the SOA’s University Outreach team on our visits to DePaul University’s campuses in mid-April. And for two of our team members, who are alums of the school, I’m sure the memories were even richer.

Our visit to DePaul, right in the SOA’s own “backyard”, was the first outreach session of the spring season and we were anxious to pilot some program changes we had put in place based upon student feedback from previous visits. Instead of the primarily presentational style of the visits in the past, we’ve switched our format to a panel discussion with an SOA marketing & communications staff member serving as moderator.

The panel is made up of two or three actuaries typically working in different practice areas and representing different stages in an actuarial career. To fully round out the visit, a staff member from the SOA’s education team joins in the discussion to provide an overview of the Education pathways, which was my role for these visits.

At DePaul we were joined by Chicago-area actuaries Kari Jennings, Mike Noble and Vinaya Sharma. They brought with them a wealth of information about the profession, openly shared their personal stories about becoming actuaries, and provided valuable advice for those looking to enter the field. The DePaul students were very engaged, participating freely throughout the sessions, and we came away feeling positive about the new panel format. Like many schools we visit, DePaul doesn’t have a formal actuarial science program (its actuarial science club is just getting ready to launch its first meeting in the coming week) so this was the students’ first time hearing directly from the actuarial profession. Overall, this was a great opportunity to connect the actuaries more directly with the students. We received positive feedback from the students and actuaries alike, and we’ve taken what we’ve learned on the road with us to visits at Butler University, Stanford and University of California at Berkeley, all within the past four weeks.

With college graduation and the end of the spring semester upon us, the team is taking the next few months off to plan for the fall. But you can bet we’re looking forward to the crisp autumn air, the crunch of leaves under our feet and our next round of visits.

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Discussion

2 responses to "Spring Fever on Campus – University Outreach at DePaul University"

  • Jack says:

    That sounds great. One of the things that attracts me to the actuarial profession is the emphasis on and support for continued intellectual development. I love the university energy, atmosphere. I mean, if I could support a family as an eternal student . . . lol, well I guess actuary is pretty close.

  • Jack Marsh says:

    That sounds great! I love the university vibe, the energy. One of the things that attracts me to the actuarial profession is the emphasis on and support for continued intellectual development. I mean, man, if I could support a family on a student salary, lol . . . I guess actuary is close enough.

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