I am considering taking some actuarial exams with a view to applying for an entry-level position with an insurance firm in the U.S. This would satisfy both my desire to move to the U.S. and allow me to indulge in mathematics. In my view, it should be possible given my background and ample vacation time (up to 2 months before exam time) to prepare to pass 3 to 4 exams by May. Before I launch into this endevour though, I would like to seize this opportunity to get your views on my chances.
My work experience is five years in market risk management in an investment bank (checking option pricing formualae for equity-linked structured products and developing value-at-risk systems for the bank's trading positions), and then three years as an equity analyst in an asset management company. I hold a master's degree in econometrics and the CFA designation. Although I am not a native English speaker, I have now worked for years in English language companies and with Americans.
As I see it the main stumbling blocks would be: (1) I am European and would need a company willing to sponsor for U.S. work permit, (2) I currently reside outside the U.S., and (3) I am 35.
So far, I have gotten mixed messages on my chances. On the one hand, U.S. work permits are known to be notoriously hard to obtain. My concern is that an employer would not be willing to go through all the hassle and delays, and rather settle for a lesser but immediately available candidate. On the other hand, I recently spoke to a recruiter who was quite optimistic about my chances and whenever I am in the U.S. I come across lots of legal immigrants.
Please let me know how you assess my chances and share any tips you could provide. Thanks a lot.