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Thread: Finding a First Internship

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Finding a First Internship

    Howdy,

    What are the internship prospects like for a recent college graduate with a humanities background and 1 exam passed? I'm fully committed to this new direction, but am worried about being sabotaged by a somewhat unusual background.

    The one job I worked in after college was in software programming - so I'm pretty familiar with SQL, databases, Excel, etc. if that helps.

    I'm also sitting for my second exam in March 2010.

    The last piece of good news is that I'm very open to relocation within the US.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    I would say very slim since you have already graduated. Most employers only will look at applications of full time students, but maybe I am wrong. Your background will not be viewed negatively, and your software programming experience will help. I'd say apply to full time positions because your resume probably wont get looked at for internships

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Yeah, I think applying for full time positions will be a better choice too. =) Since you have already graduated, might as well start looking for a job.

  4. #4
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    Also, you should be extremely prepared to pass that second exam. Your chances of hearing back from anyone will be a lot greater with 2 exams passed than just 1. You can at least tell them now you plan to sit for one in March and then apply or follow-up with companies after you know if you passed that exam.

  5. #5
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    Thanks folks. Judging from the past few weeks of massive resume-firing and massive rejections, it seems like I definitely need to buff up my background some more. The second exam will be a good starting point.

    I've also been giving some thought to graduate school, i.e. a Masters in actuarial science. Would this be a good supplement to my humanities background, or would it be sufficient (and more efficient) just to take and pass exams?

    Thanks for the feedback.

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster Chitown26's Avatar
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    I highly highly recommend pursuing a Master's Degree in either actuarial science or statistics. I could not find a job after graduation in 2008 even with a Bachelor's in actuarial science and 2 exams. So I went to grad school to earn a Master's in applied stats, of which SAS was an integral software, and earned an internship last summer. With 4 classes left, I accepted the company's offer earlier this month and will be returning as a full-time analyst next month.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing more education. I have a feeling that it would be easier for you to find an internship next summer after a half of year of classes, if you are having difficulty landing offers at the moment. With the current job market, I think an internship is even more highly regarded than it was a few years ago.

    Good luck! Hope everything works out.

  7. #7
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    Do you think it was your pursuit of a Masters degree that earned you that internship and consequently a FT job offer? What if over the past 1-2 years you learned SAS on your own, not saying it's that easy or cheap but possible and passed another exam? I am not knocking education in any way, I think it's great. But I do have a hard time believing that an actuarial employer would value a Masters that much to all of a sudden give you an offer.

    Now, I do know people that go back to school when they can't find a job to show that they are not just sitting on their hands or flipping burgers in the meantime and of course a Masters degree looks good on any resume.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoreExams View Post
    Do you think it was your pursuit of a Masters degree that earned you that internship and consequently a FT job offer? What if over the past 1-2 years you learned SAS on your own, not saying it's that easy or cheap but possible and passed another exam? I am not knocking education in any way, I think it's great. But I do have a hard time believing that an actuarial employer would value a Masters that much to all of a sudden give you an offer.

    Now, I do know people that go back to school when they can't find a job to show that they are not just sitting on their hands or flipping burgers in the meantime and of course a Masters degree looks good on any resume.
    A big difference is that you can get financial aid to go to grad school and study, but you can't if you're just studying on your own.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
    A big difference is that you can get financial aid to go to grad school and study, but you can't if you're just studying on your own.
    You get financial aid to go to grad school. If you didn't go to grad school, your expense would be SAS and whatever book you wanted to buy to help you with it. Financial aid doesn't cover the cost of actuarial exams.

  10. #10
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster Chitown26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoreExams View Post
    Do you think it was your pursuit of a Masters degree that earned you that internship and consequently a FT job offer? What if over the past 1-2 years you learned SAS on your own, not saying it's that easy or cheap but possible and passed another exam? I am not knocking education in any way, I think it's great. But I do have a hard time believing that an actuarial employer would value a Masters that much to all of a sudden give you an offer.

    Now, I do know people that go back to school when they can't find a job to show that they are not just sitting on their hands or flipping burgers in the meantime and of course a Masters degree looks good on any resume.
    I should add some more details then. The company that hired me as an intern and now as a full-time analyst is a well-known P&C insurance company, looking to add to its predictive modeling team. That's where the statistics and SAS come into play. The job profile preferred that candidates have an advanced degree. I was very fortunate to find this intern position, and even more so for the company to hire me. It fits my background perfectly, and I enjoyed every minute of last summer working with the team. Maybe my situation is an exception to the common thinking, but you can't go wrong with more education.

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