WHAT IS YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE OR PRACTICE AREA?
Health & Welfare Consulting
WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME AN ACTUARY? AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE PROFESSION?
I was one of the lucky people to even hear about an actuarial career while still in high school. After researching lots of options, I decided to put my time toward this profession because it involves the combination of utilizing practical math and data skills to solve business problems. I enjoy the opportunity to build new things on a weekly basis while pushing actuarial software to new levels. I chose the health practice because I see a need for improvement in the health care system and would like to be a part of solutions.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU WERE AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER?
Focus on passing your exams as your No. 1 priority in your first several years. This will get you much further ahead and you will still be learning at work—just while prioritizing exam seasons. Passing exams benefits both the young actuary and their company.
TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHERE YOUR ACTUARIAL EXPERTISE INFLUENCED AN IMPORTANT DECISION IN YOUR WORKPLACE.
I have been a vital part of several different RFP [request for proposal] analyses ranging from large medical network ASO [administrative services only] contracts to small behavioral health utilization management contracts. Every time there is an RFP, we have a deep obligation as actuaries to deliver the best, most objective evidence we can provide. This involves questioning the bidding vendors and using our actuarial expertise to calculate the expected financial impact of each option. Oftentimes our financial analysis is the leading evidence for the decisions determining where many millions of dollars will flow.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?
Stakeholders rely on our decisions more than we might expect as young graduates. Trustees and other stakeholders lean on us as their trusted advisers, and we owe it to them to be—as the Academy has used over the years—Objective. Independent. Effective. It is humbling to recognize that our analysis and decisions may impact the health care benefits of thousands of lives at a time; it certainly adds a level of seriousness that should inspire our best!
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT YOUR ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP?
The Academy provides a foundation for our profession, establishing both professionalism standards in the Code of Professional Conduct as well as the standards of practice in the ASOPs [actuarial standards of practice]. It is important that a profession can be self-regulating with noble goals. The Academy provides the shield for our profession to ensure that we, as actuaries, maintain the utmost credibility in our work.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANYTHING ELSE WITH ASPIRING OR NEW ACTUARIES?
Ask enough questions to those with more experience—until you begin to question if you are annoying them! This profession is a never-ending learning curve; asking questions directly is the best way to advance your knowledge. There is a time for exploring ideas on your own, but that should come after developing a core base of knowledge rather than your first few years.
SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES OR OTHER PERSONAL INTERESTS?
My interest in assessing risk carries over outside of work, where I like to take calculated risks in a few areas. From longboarding to obtaining my motorcycle license, I always enjoy traveling fast on this beautiful Earth. Additionally, I enjoy studying the sports gambling markets, building both historical and prospective models while occasionally betting meaningful sums on my actuarial analysis of those markets. I am grateful that my general interests in calculating risks run parallel to this rewarding profession.