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We invited a wonderful speaker for our Shadow an Actuary Day and Jeremy Harman, an actuarial science student, wrote a blog post about his experience there:
"Yesterday, March 2nd, 2020, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to a Director & Actuary at Independence Blue Cross, Maureen Whitman, about her work with actuarial science. She covered a large variety of topics during her time on campus, including the actuarial exam path, study habits, her work experience, getting to her job today, and some other topics.
Maureen explained how over the 14 years she’s been with Independence Blue Cross, her work was always changing. She discussed how working in an insurance company afforded her the opportunity to work in several different departments of the office, which in turn has given her access to a ton of new information about different aspects of the company. Furthermore, she was able to network within each different branch of the company and meet new people that could help her in the future. While her job now is in pricing and is focused on sales and marketing, there are often times when other parts of the company can be involved in their day-to-day tasks. Networking for Maureen has allowed her to be as efficient as possible in her position. If she ever needs help on a certain project, she has colleagues that she’s met through networking there to help her in any time of need.
This is the perfect example to show just how important and valuable networking can be. As a first-year actuarial science major, I know that networking is important for my future, and I loved how Maureen showcased her personal experience with it.
I also found the exam advice to be very valuable. She talked about the exam path moving toward the ASA (Associate of the Society of Actuaries). At Arcadia, we cover four of the required exams for this designation, however, her study advice was what I found to be invaluable. Maureen explained that what worked for her was disciplined study times. Make sure that you study for a set amount of time each and every day, but of course, make room for things that come up because... well, life happens. For some, this may be a normal habit already, but for me, I have never really been that disciplined with my studies. I typically just study for an hour or two before an exam, and then take my best crack at it. These actuarial exams though are a completely different experience, and I know now that I am going to need to make studying a regular part of my schedule in the very near future.
Having Maureen Whitman speak to us was an experience that I will not forget anytime soon. I loved learning about the actuarial profession first hand and gaining insights that we can use for our path toward becoming certified actuaries."