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Thread: Alternative opportunities?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Alternative opportunities?

    I recently moved to Baltimore Md from a small town in Pa. I was told by an actuarial consultant during a previous interview that actuary tests look great on your resume. i certainly am looking to make this a career path, but I feel I need another test or 2 to open the eyes of prospective employers. Nevertheless, I am starting at ground zero here in Baltimore and am actually back waiting at a chain restaurant just to pay rent and other bills. I don't want to come off as pretenous here, but isn't there some middle ground from back waiting to assessing risk. I am looking for a more comfortable job, but am having trouble as to where to look. I certainly don't want to wait for the next 6 months before I can hopefully pass FM and become more attractive to actuarial firms. Any and all feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Here are the qualitative probabilities of getting a full-time position given the following:

    1. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 2 exams passed: Very good
    2. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 1 exam passed: Good but hopefully you are also studying for your next exam (or maybe have a pending grade)
    3. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 0 exams passed: Bad - but a better chance if you are studying for your first exam or even have already taken it and have a pending grade.

    Here are the qualitative probabilities of getting an entry-level position given the following:

    1. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 2 exams passed: You're overqualified
    2. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 1 exam passed: You're overqualified
    3. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 0 exams passed: Good chance but better if you are studying for an exam or have a pending grade
    4. In college (Math / Business major) & 2 exams passed: Very good
    5. In college (Math / Business major) & 1 exam passed: Good
    6. In college (Math / Business major) & 0 exams passed: Very bad - but better if you have insurance experience and/or a pending grade from an actuary exam

    - junk

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junkmonkey View Post

    Here are the qualitative probabilities of getting an entry-level position given the following:

    1. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 2 exams passed: You're overqualified
    2. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 1 exam passed: You're overqualified
    3. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 0 exams passed: Good chance but better if you are studying for an exam or have a pending grade
    4. In college (Math / Business major) & 2 exams passed: Very good
    5. In college (Math / Business major) & 1 exam passed: Good
    6. In college (Math / Business major) & 0 exams passed: Very bad - but better if you have insurance experience and/or a pending grade from an actuary exam

    - junk
    This may explain my horrible job search experience. I have an MS in applied math and I dropped out of a Ph.D. program. Also, I had two exams passed and just passed both of the Exam M sections.

    Looking at your list I was already over qualified. Now I'm even more overqualified after passing Exam M.

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Which exams have you passed, out of curiosity?

    And companies want to see that you have work experience too. Your exams are important but they don't want them to get in the way.

    - junk

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Hobogov, I was surprised to see the other day a list of Job Fairs in the D.C. area. Were talking almost every week day.

    Freelance Actuarial Consultants are sprinkled all around Annapolis. They might need some grunt work done while they prospect. They could be a good mentor as well as a reference.

    When Chertoff of Homeland Security has a 'Gut' feeling about terrorism, doesn't sound like they're quantifying risk at the lower level.

    In this part of the country, I think you might find some transitional work on your way to the insurance industry. My very first Student Director started out working at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for his first job.

    Best of luck

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level V Poster djerry81's Avatar
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    I wish I had the problem of being in DC with no job I would have gotten one quickly......In Atlanta its hard to get a job because everyone here wants people with experience unless you go into customer service or claims in insurance. I had a few interviews further north that i had to turn down after graduation because I would have to fund my own trip to the interview.

  7. #7
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    That overqualified stuff is a load of ''''. The majority of people getting jobs where I work have 3~4 exams passed out of school.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  8. #8
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junkmonkey View Post
    Here are the qualitative probabilities of getting a full-time position given the following:

    1. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 2 exams passed: Very good
    2. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 1 exam passed: Good but hopefully you are also studying for your next exam (or maybe have a pending grade)
    3. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 0 exams passed: Bad - but a better chance if you are studying for your first exam or even have already taken it and have a pending grade.

    Here are the qualitative probabilities of getting an entry-level position given the following:

    1. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 2 exams passed: You're overqualified
    2. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 1 exam passed: You're overqualified
    3. BS Degree in Math or Business field & 0 exams passed: Good chance but better if you are studying for an exam or have a pending grade
    4. In college (Math / Business major) & 2 exams passed: Very good
    5. In college (Math / Business major) & 1 exam passed: Good
    6. In college (Math / Business major) & 0 exams passed: Very bad - but better if you have insurance experience and/or a pending grade from an actuary exam

    - junk
    How in the world did you come up with that? A bachelor's and 1-2 exams passed = overqualified for an entry-level position?

    I don't think so. In fact, I guarantee someone with a bachelor's and 2 exams passed isn't overqualified at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas H View Post
    This may explain my horrible job search experience. I have an MS in applied math and I dropped out of a Ph.D. program. Also, I had two exams passed and just passed both of the Exam M sections.

    Looking at your list I was already over qualified. Now I'm even more overqualified after passing Exam M.
    It's not the "I have a master's degree and 3 exams passed" that's hurting you. It's probably other things (resume, interview skills, lack of current employment, ... whatever the case may be) that is hurting you.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  9. #9
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junkmonkey View Post
    Which exams have you passed, out of curiosity?

    And companies want to see that you have work experience too. Your exams are important but they don't want them to get in the way.

    - junk
    I've passed the first three. I absolutely think the lack of work experience is a big factor that has caused me problems. I've been a student forever it seems like, which is why I'd like to get a job.

  10. #10
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post

    It's not the "I have a master's degree and 3 exams passed" that's hurting you. It's probably other things (resume, interview skills, lack of current employment, ... whatever the case may be) that is hurting you.
    For the first few months I do think my resume hurt me. It was too math research focused. It focused on the math and statistics techniques I learned as a grad student. It made it appear that I was looking for a job where I could do mathematical and statistical calculations all day. So I got some help and rewrote it.

    Also, I think my lack of work experience hurts.

    I don't think I've had enough interviews to determine that my interviewing skills aren't up to snuff.

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