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  • what to do

    Hello, I'm new to this forum. I've been reading many threads for awhile now about what to do if I want to become an Actuary.

    About myself, i will have a degree in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley by the end of december. My overall GPA is around 2.78 and Major GPA is currently at 3.022 (maybe higher/lower depending on my final grades for this fall semester). Berkeley math was intense and it was very hard to earn good grades, no grade inflation going on. I still managed to get above the average Math Major GPA which is 2.6/2.7. But i'm glad i went there, I learned how to learn math, and I think i did a good job. I really think my education there gave me what it'll take to pass actuary exams.

    But, to those future employers out there, my GPA wont look good on the resume, and the fact that I haven't pursued actuary exams wont help me in finding that entry-level job. Plus the only internship experience I had was working at a boutique Investment Banking/Securities Brokerage firm. I was doing ''''py excel work for the VP broker there. So aftergraduation, I am planning to take courses at UCLA thru extension starting Winter 2006 to get those VEE requirements out of the way asap. I'll probably take Probability Theory too. Anyways, I'm going to try and pass both exam P and FM in May 2006.

    Does my plan seem reasonable if I want to get that entry-level actuary job? Should I also be active in applying for entry-level actuary jobs as I study and take courses at UCLA? What are my chances, will the "Berkeley" brand name help out a lot? Because my parents want me to find a job and make $$ asap, but i tell them I want to be an actuary and thats gonna take time b/c passing exams is a requirement for most entry-level jobs. So i tell them i probably wont be able to find work until i pass those exams n they seem discontent.... arghh... life is hard.

    I feel like I'm taking the right steps into becoming an Actuary, but i feel as if i'm missing some good tips. Any suggestions? Thanks for helping out, i appreciate it. I;ll be watching this forum very closely for the next few years.

    -sean

  • #2
    Originally posted by seanie
    Hello, I'm new to this forum. I've been reading many threads for awhile now about what to do if I want to become an Actuary.

    About myself, i will have a degree in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley by the end of december. My overall GPA is around 2.78 and Major GPA is currently at 3.022 (maybe higher/lower depending on my final grades for this fall semester). Berkeley math was intense and it was very hard to earn good grades, no grade inflation going on. I still managed to get above the average Math Major GPA which is 2.6/2.7. But i'm glad i went there, I learned how to learn math, and I think i did a good job. I really think my education there gave me what it'll take to pass actuary exams.

    But, to those future employers out there, my GPA wont look good on the resume, and the fact that I haven't pursued actuary exams wont help me in finding that entry-level job. Plus the only internship experience I had was working at a boutique Investment Banking/Securities Brokerage firm. I was doing ''''py excel work for the VP broker there. So aftergraduation, I am planning to take courses at UCLA thru extension starting Winter 2006 to get those VEE requirements out of the way asap. I'll probably take Probability Theory too. Anyways, I'm going to try and pass both exam P and FM in May 2006.

    Does my plan seem reasonable if I want to get that entry-level actuary job? Should I also be active in applying for entry-level actuary jobs as I study and take courses at UCLA? What are my chances, will the "Berkeley" brand name help out a lot? Because my parents want me to find a job and make $$ asap, but i tell them I want to be an actuary and thats gonna take time b/c passing exams is a requirement for most entry-level jobs. So i tell them i probably wont be able to find work until i pass those exams n they seem discontent.... arghh... life is hard.

    I feel like I'm taking the right steps into becoming an Actuary, but i feel as if i'm missing some good tips. Any suggestions? Thanks for helping out, i appreciate it. I;ll be watching this forum very closely for the next few years.

    -sean
    I think the best way to take away the spotlight from the GPA is to take and pass actuarial exams. GPA is an indicator of how well a person may do on the actuarial exams, but it is not the most important indicator. If you can prove you have the ability to take and pass actuarial exams, you'll be able to focus your resume more towards those exams rather than a relatively low nominal GPA.

    When are you graduating? If you're not graduating in the winter, I would strongly suggest starting taking exams soon. You don't necessarily have to take P & FM at the same time. Make sure you pass at least one of those exams. These are not simple exams - study hard and try the past exams/problems to get a feel for how these problems work.

    That being said, on the West Coast, you'd probably be able to find a job out of college with 1-2 exams and paying $45K a year. Maybe not what you'd be getting as a doctor or someone in finance, but it's a decent start. Keep passing exams, and work hard. It will be a rewarding career in the future.

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    • #3
      I'm actually graduating in december. I'll be done with all my requirements and so Berkeley is booting me out since i already have above 130 semester units. I looked at those actuarial exams, and i feel good about them. I'll definitely make sure i'll pass those exams as if my life depends on it. Thats my new short term goal. Pass exams P and FM.

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      • #4
        Oh and thanks for the response Wat. I appreciate it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by seanie
          I'm actually graduating in december. I'll be done with all my requirements and so Berkeley is booting me out since i already have above 130 semester units. I looked at those actuarial exams, and i feel good about them. I'll definitely make sure i'll pass those exams as if my life depends on it. Thats my new short term goal. Pass exams P and FM.
          I don't think any school would kick you out as long as you're paying them money. I guess if you're a Cali resident, Berkeley is pretty much free.
          Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

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          • #6
            I would also definitely highlight the excel experience you mentioned and any other software packages, especially axcess, or also if you have any VBA experience. Good luck!
            Haven't you heard?
            It's a battle of words
            The poster-bearer cried

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