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Thread: communication skills

  1. #1
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    communication skills

    I've read that communication skills are crucial to success as an actuary, but I'm severely lacking in this area . I need some encouraging news right now. Did any of you who are pursuing this career start off with bad oral communication skills? If yes, were you successful at improving them? How did you do it, and how long did it take?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happychick90 View Post
    I've read that communication skills are crucial to success as an actuary, but I'm severely lacking in this area . I need some encouraging news right now. Did any of you who are pursuing this career start off with bad oral communication skills? If yes, were you successful at improving them? How did you do it, and how long did it take?
    I think a good portion of actuaries started out lacking that skill and some still do. How do you deal with it? Well I was thrown in the deep end by my 2nd employer. At my first job, my boss served as a filter, he got the requests, passed them on to me. I did the analysis, gave it back and so on. My 2nd boss felt that that would hinder his free time and so he made sure everyone went straight to me (and my co-workers). Worked wonders There are places where you can go if you feel you need help (Toastmasters comes to mind).

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    I'm relieved to hear that! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoreExams View Post
    I think a good portion of actuaries started out lacking that skill and some still do. How do you deal with it? Well I was thrown in the deep end by my 2nd employer. At my first job, my boss served as a filter, he got the requests, passed them on to me. I did the analysis, gave it back and so on. My 2nd boss felt that that would hinder his free time and so he made sure everyone went straight to me (and my co-workers). Worked wonders There are places where you can go if you feel you need help (Toastmasters comes to mind).
    but without that skill, can you even start your first job? because most of the entry level jobs (Actuarial trainee etc.) always require you to possess excellent oral and written communication skills. How good/excellent are they looking for?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by psp-fifa-fan View Post
    but without that skill, can you even start your first job? because most of the entry level jobs (Actuarial trainee etc.) always require you to possess excellent oral and written communication skills. How good/excellent are they looking for?
    That skill is first demonstrated during your interview(s). If you can't look the person in the eye and at least make some kind of conversation, it will be very hard for you to find a job or a job that doesn't involve with you sitting in a closet crunching numbers... then again that might be what you are looking for.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happychick90 View Post
    I've read that communication skills are crucial to success as an actuary, but I'm severely lacking in this area . I need some encouraging news right now. Did any of you who are pursuing this career start off with bad oral communication skills? If yes, were you successful at improving them? How did you do it, and how long did it take?
    I realize this is an old post but others will still see it so I will add something to the discussion. One way you can work on your communication skills is to take classes in English or take classes in public speaking, depending on your weakness. (My problem was always public speaking so I would concentrate on that area myself). You can do mock interviews. You can prepare for interviews by going over interview questions ahead of time. You can (depending on how far along you are) start applying for internships early so that you have more experience interviewing. Take notes on how you did in your interviews, what questions you were asked, anything you think you messed up on, and work on it. Answer questions in classes, ask questions in classes. Get to the point to where you've done that enough that you're not nervous doing it, if you are currently.

    Personally, as an undergrad, I avoided public speaking as much as possible. I hated it and hoped to never do it... and I wanted to be an actuary. That didn't work out well. I got a few interviews because I had a couple exams and never got a second interview. (I also didn't really prepare for interviews at all). But, then I went to grad school and I was forced to do public speaking several hours a week as a TA. Now, I don't mind so much. When I teach, I might be a little nervous on Day 1 but after that I do not get nervous at all. If I had to speak to some different group, I still might get nervous. So, I am thinking about ways to work on that, such as volunteering to give a talk to the undergraduate math club, because that is a new group I have never talked to and it's not as comfortable for me.

    Basically, whatever you're not comfortable doing, if it might be important in your job some day, start doing it now to get more comfortable with it.

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