UNL's Actuarial Science program has received the distinction as a Center of Excellence by the Society of Actuaries. The recognition from those outside UNL is certainly impressive but the true vibrancy of the program may really be found in the achievements of current students and their outreach to community, alumni, and fellow students.
Julia Menez, the current President of the UNL Actuarial Science Club, has learned firsthand the importance of being involved with all aspects of the program. She believes the academic rigors are supported by that involvement.
"There’s a very strong camaraderie between the students," said Menez. "Not only do students have classes together they also often internship with each other. Last summer at Mutual of Omaha five of the six actuarial interns were from UNL so that built a lot of camaraderie."
This summer Menez will be starting her second internship with All State Insurance Property and Casualty department. The student internships are facilitated by the Actuarial Career Fair which is held in October.
"It's a wonderful opportunity that actuarial students have for networking because they bring nearly 20 businesses in from all over and we have opportunities to interview with companies like Cigna Health Insurance from Connecticut, All State Insurance out of Chicago, Mutual of Omaha from the Omaha area, and some Kansas City area companies. It’s a really good networking opportunity to see all the possibilities out there for Actuarial Science majors. The internships build a really good base to be able to say that I worked with this company and these were the projects that I got to take part in and this is how it has helped my actuarial science career so far."
Other upcoming events the Actuarial Science Club will be involved with this year include the Big Red Road Show which helps promote UNL to prospective students, the Big Event and Relay for Life which are both charitable events, and the UNL-Drake Exchange which allows club members to see what other students in the area are doing.
"Every other year representatives from our club will go over to Drake University in Iowa or this year they are coming here. We compare what we do in our club and how they do activities in their club. It also helps us get to know other actuarial students in the area."
The monthly Actuarial Science Club meetings also help promote opportunities to students. The club's next meeting will take place on February 16 and will give students a chance to compare two job paths in the field of actuarial science.
"We’re having a couple speakers in the Casualty Actuarial Society come in and speak about the difference in being a property and casualty actuary for home and property insurance rather than a life insurance actuary. Since about 80% of actuaries go into the life insurance side it will be interesting to see the other side of actuarial science with houses and cars and how to price them rather than life and annuities and disability and things like that."
Alumni are regularly included in club activities as well. Not only do current students get to see specific examples of where their degree can take them but the alumni are able to stay connected with former classmates as well as make new connections with current students. The integration of all these components has continued to create a top Actuarial Science program recognized for preparing students in the classroom and through direct experiences with those currently prospering in the field of actuarial science.