Commitment to the Actuarial Profession
Greg Fears

Commitment to the Actuarial Profession

Pinnacle Supports ISU Minority High School Scholars

Greg Fears August 20, 2015 Posted in: Blog Posts, General, Community Involvement
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Minority High School Scholars Actuarial Academy (MHSSAA) at Illinois State University (ISU). This program provides minority students from around the country with information and insight into the actuarial profession. Each year only 20 of the estimated 70 applications submitted are selected for the week-long program which includes presentations from actuaries and professors, lab exercises and visits to local insurance companies. This valuable program allows the students to gain perspective of the actuarial profession.

Pinnacle is a long-time supporter of the MHSSAA program, and we have presented to the MHSSAA students for several years in a row. I find talking with the students about the actuarial field extremely rewarding, especially since many students are not familiar with the challenges of this career path. Since Pinnacle is a consulting firm focused strictly on the property & casualty insurance market, ours is a different perspective from that of a traditional insurance company actuary. The skill set to be a successful consultant is vast and usually requires additional technical, presentation and customer service skills. While explaining the differences between consulting and non-consulting actuarial careers, you can see the students thinking “Do I have that skill? Can I do this?” Yes they can! Seeing the younger students get excited about the profession that I am passionate about is very gratifying.

During the presentations, we field many questions pertaining to compensation. Since these are high school students considering college choices, some have heard from guidance counselors that actuaries are well compensated. These students are usually good at math and want to capitalize on that financially. Yes, it is true that actuarial analysts typically make good salaries, but it is important to understand there are no shortcuts on this career path. Students need to consider the amount of time and commitment involved in passing actuarial exams to become credentialed. The ISU program has been designated a Center of Actuarial Excellence as it provides students with the necessary resources for success on this career path and beyond. Pinnacle is proud to be a part of this program, as well as a strategic partner with ISU. Together we strive to promote and serve the actuarial community.

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