Career event connects future actuarial science grads with risk-assessment professionals

Have you ever wondered how insurance companies assess risk? Or how financial agencies make predictions about the market? Using a statistical process known as actuarial science, mathematicians are literally predicting the future, providing insights to businesses and organizations that inform important business decisions, mitigate loss and maintain economic stability.

Through Oglethorpe University’s Actuarial Science program — a track within the mathematics major — Petrels are joining the ranks of these mathematical fortune-tellers, learning to apply their problem-solving skills to complex issues, providing better data, clearer results and confident recommendations.

Upcoming actuarial science graduates and students interested in the program recently attended an actuarial science careers event, featuring three working professionals applying these skills every day: Vice President of Operational Excellence and Marketing at Synchrony James Hill ’06, State Farm Insurance Agent Angela Matthews, and Actuarial Research Manager at Country Financial Michael Suess.

Vice President of Operational Excellence and Marketing at Synchrony James Hill '06 speaks with Chris Feeney '24

Oglethorpe senior Chris Feeney ’24 speaks with Synchrony Vice President of Operational Excellence and Marketing James Hill ’06.

Each visitor took time to explain their roles, answer questions and network with students.

“When looking at potential hires, I always look for candidates that can communicate effectively and work through tough problems,” said Hill, an Oglethorpe mathematics alumnus. “I believe Oglethorpe students come well-equipped with those skills.”

Launched in fall 2022, Oglethorpe’s actuarial science program provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and practical education in this growing field. Combined with a foundational education in problem-solving and global thinking through Oglethorpe’s signature Core curriculum, the actuarial science major has helped students level-up their reasoning skills and apply statistics to real-world scenarios.

“Our new curriculum is built to match the realities in the current actuarial job market,” says Professor of Mathematics Dr. John C. Nardo.

“We are one of only two universities in Georgia that have a full actuarial science program. When you factor in Oglethorpe’s small class sizes, supportive cohort-based classwork, interdisciplinary skills embedded in program requirements and electives, and our location in Atlanta, it is a powerful choice to study here.”

While most actuarial science programs prepare students for up to two national actuarial exams — which, when passed, expand career options and salary range — Oglethorpe’s actuarial science program prepares students to take up to seven. And new grads will have plenty of career options to choose from: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 20% increase in actuarial science jobs by 2028.

The first three Oglethorpe students who will complete the actuarial science program are set to graduate this year: Chris Feeney ’24 and Elli Malancea ’24 will graduate in May, and Isabelle Saunders will graduate in the fall.

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