Taking the Risk

Written by Allison Hornek:Allison Hornek

I have been asked multiple times how I found myself to be an actuarial science major. Every time I am asked the question, I am reminded of the multiple risks I have taken.

Up until my junior year of high school, I was set on becoming a neonatologist (medical care for newborns). I had always enjoyed working with infants after being a nanny for a family with triplets for six years. Finding a college with great medical opportunities was not the only quality in a school that I wanted.

After playing volleyball for eleven years, I received multiple recruits and offers to play in college. I had been recruited by a school that had a mathematical biology program and that sounded like the perfect option for me. I would be involved with volleyball, have the chance to take math courses, and still be on the path to neonatology. Whether at practice or at a tournament, I was always told to play like I would in a match. As risk comes into play somehow every day, I took the risk of keeping the volley alive by diving for a tip at practice one day and fractured my pelvis. All I could think about was why it had to happen during my senior year.

Thankfully, I was only out from playing for a month, but during the time I was out, I was able to think about if this was really what I wanted for the next four years. I had to decide if taking the risk of becoming seriously injured like that again would be worth it. I decided to give up going to all ten schools that I had received recruitment for playing and chose to go to a local college and stay close to home.

When I applied to Bellarmine University, I had forgone the idea of becoming a neonatologist and had listed I would be a math major. As the start of freshman year came quickly after graduating high school, I found an actuarial science program at BU and decided to find more out about the major. After taking multiple accounting classes in high school and being part of the National Business Honor Society, I knew I enjoyed studying in the finance field. I decided to take Macroeconomics and Computer Programming Fundamentals my first fall semester to see if I wanted to switch to actuarial science. After having the most supportive, encouraging, and knowledgeable professor for Macro, and now advisor, I decided to make the switch and also became an economics major with a business administration minor.

I love everything about my majors. I get to excel in math, finance, business, accounting, economics, and computer science. Actuarial science incorporates a little bit of everything and allows one to be diversified in the business world. Even though I gave up my childhood dream of being a neonatologist, going to Bellarmine has allowed me to fulfill my potential, even as just a sophomore. I have found my passion for tutoring by tutoring math and economics courses in our Academic Resource Center, as well as volunteer tutoring at a local refugee and immigrant community center. I have discovered my leadership ability by being President of the Math Club and President of the Economics and Finance Club. I have learned unbelievable time management skills with balancing an internship, classes, a part-time job, tutoring, and volunteering.

How I became an actuarial science major all started with the risk of taking a dive in volleyball practice. It goes to show the little risks taken can lead to a lifetime of opportunity.