SOA Candidate Connect in Chicago: Never Stop Challenging Yourself

CC Chicago crowd


CC Chicago crowd 2


The first step in the career of any actuary is to take the exams — it is not an easy step and it is just the first one in the exciting journey that is being an actuary. To help candidates who have already taken that first step connect with educational, networking and employment resources, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) organizes Candidate Connect events around the country bringing together SOA members, candidates and potential employers.

On November 14, 130 actuarial candidates gathered in Chicago to listen to actuaries from a variety of industries speak about the profession, its challenges, rewards, and how to make becoming an actuary a personal journey.

The one day event, sponsored by the SOA and hosted by the Chicago Actuarial Association (CAA), included SOA President Errol Cramer, volunteers from 12 local actuarial employers, members of the SOA Board and also an expert in actuarial recruitment, Margaret Resce Milkint, member of the SOA Employers Council.

Sessions featured insights on what leading actuaries with different backgrounds do in their practice areas, the industry trends that impact their daily work and the opportunities available to future actuaries. A panel discussion covered trends in resumes, interview techniques and strategies and tips for employment success in the actuarial arena. The common thread that connected every presenter’s message was: don’t be afraid to try new things, cultivate your business and communication skills, and network with the SOA, other candidates and actuaries.

The event was organized in an interactive format, giving attendees the chance to ask questions at the end of each presentation. To enable presenters, volunteers and candidates the chance to interact with each other, the networking luncheon that kicked-off the day placed SOA staff, fellows and volunteers at the tables with the candidates. The day wrapped up with a networking reception where candidates were able to ask further questions and talk to actuaries and recruiters from actuarial employers at their booths.

Both candidates and volunteers enjoyed the chance to learn more about each other. Catherine L. Stacy, an established CPA who is in the process of becoming an actuary, noted the importance of the personalized attention she received. “This event showed me that the SOA is interested in me, in what I want and need [as an actuarial candidate],” she explained.

Yemu Xu, President of the University of Iowa Actuarial Science Club also noted how helpful this event was for him as a candidate. “I was able to enjoy the event very much, I learned a lot and met a lot of people,” he said. “I really appreciate the effort that the SOA is making to connect candidates with each other and with the industry.”

The volunteers, employers and SOA staff also enjoyed the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by the questions asked by the future SOA members. “It’s invigorating to meet people [the candidates] who are so passionate about the profession,” said SOA President Errol Cramer.

For further information on SOA Candidate Connect events, follow the Society of Actuaries Candidate Community on Facebook or contact us at


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