Connecting with Future Actuaries – CAE Student Summit

Antonia Coffelt, Academic Administrator, Society of Actuaries

Antonia Coffelt, Academic Administrator, Society of Actuaries

This August marked the third annual gathering of actuarial students from colleges and universities that represent SOA Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE). This Chicago-based SOA event brought together 49 students from among the 25 CAE schools in the U.S. , Canada and Hong Kong. For many of the students, the summit was their first foray into networking with their peers as our members do at professional development events. The summit provides students with a taste of what’s to come in their future career.

The CAE Student Summit was born out of a collaborative effort between CAE faculty and SOA staff in 2011 as a way to extend benefits to students at CAE-awarded colleges and universities. The faculty of each CAE school nominates up to two of their students to attend this meeting. These actuarial students engage with SOA leaders, members and staff to foster a personal relationship with the organization.

SOA President Mark Freedman presented a keynote address reflecting on what he learned as an actuary and his experiences as a student. He discussed the importance of networking through the community of actuaries – other candidates who are working toward the same goals and challenges.

A diverse panel of recent FSAs from the local Chicago area discussed their exam experiences and career journeys as they transitioned from student to Fellow.  Students asked the panel how to bring their personality to the workplace and how to stand out among other job applicants. The panel discussed the need for students to hone both their business acumen and actuarial math skills to communicate information to a variety of stakeholders in the workplace.

Participants at the SOA CAE Student Summit

Participants at the SOA CAE Student Summit

Additionally, Bob Morand of the actuarial recruiting firm D.W. Simpson, engaged the students in an interactive improv comedy workshop on how to build their speaking and listening skills. This workshop helped students assess which business and communications skills to focus upon.

As always it’s thrilling to see such engaging conversations between students and volunteers. And it is inspiring to see the future of the profession through these students.

Visit the SOA CAE Program page for more information and stay tuned for further developments in education.

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