I had no idea what an actuary was until the beginning of my freshmen year of college at the University of Hartford. It is a funny story, actually, as to how I became a part of the program here at my school. During summer orientation before school started, my mom signed me up for the program. When she attended college, she thought about studying to become an actuary, but decided not to. She is never going to let me forget that she signed me up for it.
I did not even know I was a part of it until I received an email about an actuarial science meeting. I had no idea what it was, but I went to the meeting anyways. At the meeting, they informed us about a career path that is perfect for a business student with a love for math, great job security, and a high salary, so I figured I might as well try it out. The next week I went from a simple math course into calculus and I felt much more at home.
Throughout my freshmen and sophomore year, I proceeded to take math classes to gear me up for the first actuarial exam, Exam P. Even then, I still did not know much about what I was studying for, just that it was a great job doing insurance math. As far as the exams went, I knew they were supposed to be hard, but boy did I underestimate how much harder they were then regular class.
In the spring of 2015, I began studying for the first exam. All throughout high school, and even through a lot of my college experience, I have been a student who has been able to get away with not having to study very much. If I paid enough attention in class, I would do just fine. With the exam, there was no class. Not only did I have to teach myself the material, I had to study – for this was one test I would really need to study for. I started out with a regular study manual, and it was rough. I was literally just reading the material and it was not doing anything for me. I am used to having a teacher to teach me, so this was very new. Luckily for me, my school received some funding from local companies for Coaching Actuaries, so I hopped on that opportunity and I found my teacher. Thankfully, math is the easiest topic to study for because in order to study, you need to practice doing problems over and over. The problem is, even though I was studying, it was not “good studying” that I was putting my hours into. I was almost wasting my time because my studying was so unorganized. And so, I failed the probability exam in May. Being from the middle of nowhere New Hampshire, the closest place I could take the exam was almost two hours away, so it was not the most enjoyable drive home. I was in a little bit of a slump after that, but finally I got back into studying. As the exam was very near, I started getting very nervous thoughts and was not even sure if this was for me. If I fail again, do I continue trying? Well luckily for me, I passed it. Now that was a much more enjoyable drive home. Now, going into my junior year, I have passed one actuarial exam and already have a great internship lined up for the summer, which I would not have gotten had I failed it again.