‘Industry Insights’ Prepares Students for Careers in Actuarial Science
One thing that sets Grace College’s academics apart is our commitment to career preparation and readiness. For the past three years, our students in actuarial science have participated in video calls and visits with industry professionals through a program Christopher Moore, actuary and assistant professor of actuarial science at Grace, has aptly called “Industry Insights.” These industry professionals help students make connections outside of the classroom and advise them in preparing for their careers. Students are encouraged to ask questions and learn about different companies and the industry. Participation is not required, but students opt in to participation and go beyond their classes to explore their field.
“The students who participate in the series recognize the value, as they have seen a return on the investment of their time,” said Moore. “They’re more familiar with the actuarial profession, and they’re better equipped to interact with prospective colleagues and interviewers.”
The guest speakers at Industry Insights represent actuarial employers in the area, such as Brotherhood Mutual, MedPro Group, Swiss Re, Auto-Owners Insurance, as well as Commissioner Amy Beard, of the State of Indiana’s Department of Insurance. They cover topics such as reinsurance (insurance companies insuring other insurance companies), insurtech, property and casualty insurance, retirement funding, and more.
Let’s meet three of the speakers — Chelsea Adler, Alex Blauvelt, and Jordan Givan.
Chelsea Adler is an actuary at Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance. The company is a leader in using mobile technology to bring insurance to consumers – an area known as insurtech. Adler is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).
During her time with the students, she shared about the process of earning her professional designation as an actuary and her experiences as an actuary in the workplace. But she also emphasized the importance of representing Christ in the workplace by doing your work with excellence “as unto the Lord,” as Colossians 3:23 states.
“Chelsea Adler’s presentation at Industry Insights exemplifies how the professional training our students receive is both practical and Jesus-centered,” said Moore.
Reese Frey, an actuarial science student who attended Adler’s presentation found the seminar to be beneficial as she learns more about the profession. “The industry insights allow me to learn more and dig deeper into the actuarial profession,” she said.
Another Industry Insights guest speaker, Alex Blauvelt, works as a recruiter for MedPro Group, a medical insurance company.
“Industry Insights is a great way for students to get exposed to actuarial science, specific organizations in the field, and the type of work environment they will soon enter,” said Blauvelt. “With these opportunities, students get to experience the workforce in real time and learn more about what’s out there. With so many opportunities, it can be difficult to determine where to direct your career. Industry Insights is working to address this issue for students.”
Kaylee Friesen, a student who attended Industry Insights, found Blauvelt’s presentation especially helpful. “Alex Blauvelt stood out to me because I was able to hear about what a recruiter looks for in a potential intern,” said Friesen. “He also shared some valuable lessons he’s learned from his own experience. Because of his presentation, I feel better prepared to begin my professional career.”
According to Blauvelt, the impact of Industry Insights has proven to be mutually beneficial for students and guest speakers. The connections made can lead to job opportunities for students and provide quality candidates and positive exposure for visiting companies. In fact, as a result of Industry Insights, MedPro hired several Grace students as interns and full-time employees. One such student is Logan Swain, who interned with MedPro Group.
“Industry Insights allowed me to learn how to study for exams, know what to expect in the workplace, and provided connections for my future,” said Swain.
Jordan Givan is an actuary in research and development at Brotherhood Mutual.
“Over the last few years, a few of us from Brotherhood Mutual have enjoyed the opportunity of visiting campus to meet with students and share about what we do in insurance. Dialoguing with Grace students in this way has been a lot of fun, and we’re grateful to have added a few to the Brotherhood team through this ongoing partnership,” said Givan.
Recently, three Grace graduates were hired by Brotherhood Mutual, one of whom is Grace alumni and senior actuarial analyst at Brotherhood Mutual, Houston Haney.
“Industry Insights was a great opportunity to hear from various people in different fields on how my degree could be applied in the business world,” said Haney. I was interviewed by both Darius and Jordan during that process, which gave me a huge leg up because they had recognized me from their presentation at Grace and also remembered my interactions with them when I had questions. I truly believe that this leg up is what got me the job at Brotherhood Mutual. It is one thing to talk about life after college, or encourage students to talk with people in the industry, but it is another to shepherd those experiences and provide accessibility. I am grateful for that.”
The professional connections made at Grace serve our students for years to come. Industry Insights is one way Grace is committed to thoughtful scholarship and developing graduates who lead lives of purpose.
Are you ready for an education that prepares you for your career? Apply today! Interested in becoming an actuary? Learn more about the actuarial science degree at Grace.