Deciding between 2 career paths

Written by Crystal Rebello: which_direction_to_go_1600_clr_7583

As a freshman, I knew I wanted a career within the field of mathematics. From Algebra to Calculus, I was never bored in any math class and always pushed myself to excel. So when I began my college journey, I took prerequisite math courses but was unsure of what career they were leading me towards.

At first I thought I could be a math teacher. I knew I would have job security, which was very important to me when looking for a career. Furthermore, I had been tutoring math for several years so the natural teaching instinct came natural to me. However, the idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars towards another two years of schooling for a Masters was very unappealing to me. So I did more research. I attended information sessions, career events, and even took a career development class in order to figure out what career path I wanted to follow. Choosing a career path was a big decision and I did not want to choose my career just following a momentary whim.

During my career development class, I was required to do informational interviews with people in my potential career paths. I interviewed an actuary and a college professor. They both gave me their day-to-day schedules and their reasons behind their career decisions. However, it was the actuary whose profession interested me most. Her daily activities of rate making, explaining what factors contributed to those rates, keeping track of state insurance laws, and communicating with liability lines and underwriters sounded fascinating to me.

After this, I began to take more courses geared towards the actuarial profession, but still kept my options open. I continued to attend different workshops and information sessions that would give me a feel of different careers. Eventually, I was able to attend an information session with a group of actuaries, all at different levels of their profession. However, it was the chief actuary who really convinced me to set actuary at the top of my career path. This chief actuary was a high school teacher for roughly ten years. He loved teaching, but he just felt it was not the challenge he needed. He felt he was not utilizing his skills to their utmost potential. After some time, that led him to becoming an actuary, then chief actuary, and finally a vice president of his company. He was so happy that he switched to becoming an actuary because not only did it lead him to a successful career path, but he finally got the challenge he craved.

This summer I will be taking my first actuarial exam on Probability before the start of my senior year of college. I know it is a little late in the game to be taking my first exam now. Nonetheless, I am up for the challenge. It took me a long time to decide where I wanted to be after college, but now that I have made the decision of becoming an actuary I know I will stand by it.