The path from student life to corporate office will be a challenging one for many of us. To ease the transition, internships offer a relatively low-stakes opportunity for both students and employers. Students gain insight into the business and hands-on experience applying knowledge of actuarial concepts to company operations; employers gain temporary human capital to complete tasks and give their regular associates the chance to mentor interns and to complete other projects.
So, how do we go about securing a spot as an intern next summer? Based on my experience, I recommend applying now. Many companies post vacancies during the fall, starting in September, aiming to find a good set of candidates far in advance. In the spring, there are still some companies that post vacancies; however, the number of candidates for which they are searching by that time is going to be lower if they initiated a search in the fall.
Take my experience earlier this year for example. I passed FM in the spring and applied to numerous internships. Most companies found an ideal candidate before interviewing me, while I did have some callbacks. After a few good interviews, one insurer turned me down since only one spot was available at that time and a good number of candidates had applied. The moral of that effort was that the competition in the spring is high.
With applications going out this fall, my hope is that greater opportunity awaits for next summer. While internship search experiences can be a breeze for some, they can be quite a challenge for most of us. What has your experience been when applying for internships or jobs? Would you agree or disagree with this theory regarding the fall vs. spring market for interns? Why? Please share your insights and thoughts about finding an internship in the comments below.