Written by Jacob Langerman
The holidays, a time of year accompanied by friends and family that you seldom have the privilege of spending time with. However, seeing your loved ones and dearest friends often means hearing some form of the question, “How is everything going in school, and what do you plan on doing when you graduate?” Every college student has been asked this question in every which way, and normally offers up an uninterested half-hearted response. Fortunately, my studies have prompted me with an exceptional and unique response to this question. The average college student is not an aspiring actuary. Answering this question with the statement, “I plan on becoming an actuary,” normally results in a second question. Namely, “What is an actuary?” I then go on to explain what exactly an actuary does and the questioner is typically intrigued, and sometimes confused with the complexities of the profession. While, having to deal with this series of questions over and over again has begun to become somewhat tedious and repetitive task, it is a constant reminder of the fact that I am pursuing something that I am truly passionate about. It is easy to enter college without having a true sense of what career is right for you, and many still exit college having not discovered their path. I, for one, certainly had no clue what I wanted to do when I applied for college, but I could not be more excited about what my future occupation has in store for me at this point in my life, being almost done with my college tenure. Sitting down with my family during the holiday season, and being able to convey my excitement about becoming an actuary is a true gift.
After catching up with each of my family members individually, the conversation normally culminates at the dinner table during our holiday festivities. This is when I am asked the question, “Isn’t there a rigorous and difficult process to become an actuary?” While the answer to this question is yes that is not the complete story. I have always loved to learn and expand my horizons, and I view the credentialing process as another opportunity to do so. Mastering the content for each exam, expanding my computing skills, and exploring the new applications of actuarial science are fascinating to me. In short, the answer to this question is that the constant ability to learn on the job is one of the qualities about the profession that attracts me the most. For those who are truly aspiring to become actuaries, such as myself, I believe that it is important to not doubt your ability and be discouraged about the rigor of actuarial science. And to welcome the unique and thought-provoking challenges this career path will present you. The holidays and my family’s questioning, again, affirms this sentiment and what a compelling career I have to look forward to. Oh, the joys of the holidays!