Sarah Cast came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration from the small town of Princeton, Mo., which boasts a population of 1,166. In just a few years she has made a big transition – working in the Chicago area this past summer on an internship at Allstate Insurance Company. The internship experience has helped Cast start building a successful career while still in college.
Cast, a senior actuarial science major, was encouraged her freshmen year to get involved and start building the skills necessary to land a job in any size market.
Working at Allstate Insurance
“Although Nebraska is smaller than some universities, it’s still a sizable institution with many ways to get involved,” she said. “I took full advantage of the opportunities, including getting started in the actuarial science club which gave me the experience to do the same at a large company like Allstate.”
The actuarial science club at UNL exposes students to business professionals who have experience working throughout the country. Some of the professionals she met were Nebraska alumni living in Chicago.
“Nebraska alumni do a great job of reaching out to new Huskers in the area,” she said. “Multiple alumni have contacted me to show me around the city, take me out to eat or given me their contact information in case I ever need anything. The smaller community feel of Nebraska has made its way to the Second City due to our graduates.”
The internship at Allstate came about because of the actuarial science career fair the program hosts each fall. Companies in attendance are looking for actuaries to fill either full-time positions or internships.
“They conduct first round interviews on campus, making it extremely convenient for students. I met with the Allstate recruiters at the career fair, interviewed for the internship, and ultimately was selected,” she said.
Having fun in Chicago
The internship is designed to give Cast a feel for what working at Allstate is all about.
“I have had the opportunity to work on the same projects I could expect as a new hire,” Cast explained. “In addition, my manager has diversified my projects so I get a better idea of all the possibilities available at Allstate.”
Cast would like to return to a university setting someday to work as a professor. In the meantime, she has more immediate corporate job plans in her future.
“Before I can do the job of professor justice, I need some real-world experience. My internships have allowed me to explore different fields within the actuarial profession, such as consulting vs. insurance, and health and life vs. property and casualty. As of this moment, I am leaning towards the property and casualty professional track but am still unsure of where that will take me,” she said.
Cast would not change anything about her decision to come to UNL.
“Attending UNL has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I pushed my comfort zone by choosing an out-of-state school, but with great risk comes great reward. I have met some best friends, been involved with diverse organizations and found an area of study in which I am passionate.”