Actuarial students looking for a job, whether full-time work, part-time employment, or an internship, should:
- Register with the Career Center.
- Prepare a resume, and place it in the Hire-A-Redbird system, as follows: Log into Hire-A-Redbird. On the left sidebar on the Student’s Homepage, click on “Documents.” On the resume page, click on “Add new”. Label and upload the document.
- Students can also have their résumé posted on the Actuarial Program Web site. Those resumes are often reviewed by actuaries at companies looking to hire students. If you want your résumé posted, send a file with it (Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat formats preferred, the file will be posted in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format, named FirstnameLastname.pdf) to Dr. Krzysztof Ostaszewski.
- Send letters of application to as many companies as possible.
Actuarial students should join the Internet discussion list for ISU actuarial students actuary-l listserv, by sending a subscription (subscribe actuary-l) request to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to join Gamma Iota Sigma (student insurance society, actuarial students form our Actuarial Club within it).
Remember, however, that passing actuarial examinations opens the doors to actuarial employment more effectively than anything else.
Actuarial students seeking employment should work on developing business communication skills. We encourage our students to join Toastmasters International group at Illinois State University. Several of our actuarial classes allow and encouarage making oral and written presentations, do take advantage of such opportunities to enhance your communication skils. Note that some employers may ask you to make some form of presentaton or provide a writing sample during interviews.
Opportunities For You
Our main employment event is called Meet the Firms, and it is held every Fall, late September or early October.
While one does not have to be a professional programmmer to be an actuary, actuarial students should also work on developing their programming skills. For an entry-level job, it is very helpful to develop skills in Microsoft Excel (including writing macros with Visual Basic for Applications) and Microsoft Access. Risk classification, predictive modeling and statistical analysis in general, are often done in SAS software or R software. Other programming skills may be useful as well. We suggest the following resources for developing these skills:
- MAT 283, Introduction to Actuarial Computing, covers Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access skills in the context of actuarial applications. This class is offered every Fall, and MAT 280, Financial Mathematics, is a prerequisite for it.
- There is an online version of MAT 283, which we make available to study at any time to all Illinois State University students. Request your access.
- Students interested in using this resource should send a request for access to: email@example.com.
- Some good books for learning Excel and VBA:
- Free Coursera course on R: https://www.coursera.org/course/rprog, and free R software can be downloaded at: http://www.r-project.org
- SAS Software provides extensive online documentation. SAS procedures are listed here. Some good SAS books include:
- SAS Functions by Example, by Ron Cody.
- The Little SAS Book: A Primer, by Lora Delwiche and Susan Slaughter.
- Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language, by Ron Cody and Jeffrey Smith.
All students who are interested in statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and related business applications of statistics, are strongly encouraged to participate in our annual Statistical Project Competition.
We also provide an online librtary of Case Studies/Projects that were created by our students.