“The sweet smell of stale carpet and cheap coffee! You must be at the insurance convention!”
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“I am so sick of all this theoretical bull***t and I cannot wait to learn all the practical stuff!” – does this sound like your cry in the middle of your actuarial exam session?
We can sympathize. It is hard to concentrate on the theory when you do not know how it is applied in the real world. There are ways you can get exposure to the real world and most of the times you can do that from the comfort of your cubicle.
As an actuarial student, you are not required to submit CPD (Continuing Professional Development) attestation. However, this should not stop you from attending seminars and webcasts that are offered by various actuarial societies.
Imagine, you are sitting in a small room with like-minded actuaries or, better still, you are at the comfort of your desk, sipping on some coffee, wearing headphones and being educated about all things actuarial.
In fact, actuarial seminars and webcasts serve several major purposes:
1. Expand your knowledge
2. Stay current with the latest industry developments
3. Network and expand your professional circle
Here are the event calendars from the main actuarial societies in North America and UK:
Society of Actuaries, USA
Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Canada
International Actuarial Association, International
Head over to your society’s webpage and have a look at their calendar.
In the age of the internet, you don’t have to limit yourself just to your local society. Why not attend a webinar hosted in the US or listen in on a call from the UK?
If you are employed, most of the times you can get your company to pay for these events. Some events may just be free! Others may offer discounts for students and members.
The stereotype about actuaries is that we cannot communicate well and are generally antisocial. Just like all stereotypes, this one does not apply to all. However, if it does apply to you, then you need to work on your social skills from day one! Get out there, meet people and don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself!
Chances are high that you will meet your future employer at these events. You should try to meet as many people as you can, strike up a conversation, tell your story, tell them what you want to do. Don’t forget to add them to your LinkedIn after the event!
There may be a situation that you are looking to get your foot in the door of some company, but just cannot breach that HR wall. This is the only case when stalking is appropriate! Find if someone at the seminar is from that company and approach them!
Do you have any tips on attending live events or webinars? Please share them with us on Twitter or in the comments.
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