Now that my college years are over, it’s time to spread my wings in an entry level actuarial career. Through my experience in job interviewing, I found some important qualities that are highly desired by employers. Here’s a question for all of you: What do you think is the most important quality an actuary must have besides their math capabilities?
B. Communication Skills
D. Organization skills
Well, obviously all these skills are important qualities to have as an employee; however the most important would be communication skills.
Recently, I interviewed for some actuarial positions and the number one trait that was consistently brought to my attention was communication skills. Often, one of the most admirable traits I get recognized for is my communication skills – which might be from working in customer service industries while in college, or being a daycare teacher. I had an interview with one company – and every actuary that I spoke with said they love how I communicate. I love to think of myself as a personable individual in general; however, it feels great that others recognize it too!
Communication skills? Now some of you may think, actuaries just deal with math in their daily lives. Well, you are absolutely correct! We do work with math, in forecasting and eliminating risk. However, when we find the data and information that is necessary, we need to be able to communicate that data and those findings with others who are on our team or in other departments. Being good at math is just one of the traits that is necessary for becoming an actuary.
So here are a few questions that I want everyone to really reflect on and answer honestly: Are you good at communicating? Do you feel comfortable talking to new people about anything that comes to your mind? If you answered no to these questions – it’s okay! If you are not the best talker, try to find ways to work on those skills. Join a club or even take an extra elective course in public speaking or communications. Work on it now while you can, do not wait until you are in the job and feeling uncomfortable to talk to your boss or teammates. The more practice you have – the better you will become. If you do not feel comfortable being in large setting. try to talk to someone new every day until you feel more comfortable in a group setting. Hey, I’m a good listener if you want to talk to me!
Whatever you do in life, whether you become an actuary or not, work on skills and traits that are admirable to any employer no matter what the field is.