WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME AN ACTUARY? AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE PROFESSION?
I have always loved doing math, especially logic problems. This led me to double-major in math and economics in college—but even then, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Toward the end of college, I had the opportunity to speak with an old family friend who had been an actuary for many years. He essentially advised me not to become an actuary—because the exams are so difficult and create a barrier to entry that most people cannot handle! That challenge sparked my interest, and the rest is history.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU WERE AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER?
Do everything with excellence, but don’t get too wrapped up only in what you’re currently doing (if your work doesn’t afford you the time and opportunity to be ambitious, it may not be worth staying). Always consider where you’d like to be heading and look for opportunities in that direction. If they aren’t obvious, you may need to be creative in building them yourself. Also, I believe the relationships you develop along the way are at least as important as the actual work you do.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?
I may sound like a broken record here, but it’s worth emphasizing: Life is short, aging is quick, and time never stops. So, beware of passivity and defaults (inertia) in life’s choices and actions, and consider your current direction and path carefully.
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT YOUR ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP?
I certainly value the stability and credibility that Academy membership provides, including adherence to the code of professional conduct and the ASOPs. But what I value most is the lifelong relationships built through volunteering, whether through Academy committees or other opportunities.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANYTHING ELSE WITH ASPIRING OR NEW ACTUARIES, OR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING FOR THE ACADEMY?
Volunteering opens up an entirely new dimension for your career—a dimension in which you get to discuss best practices, help mold current and emerging actuarial content and resources, and even work toward improvements in national policymaking. But most of all, you get to work side-by-side with some of the brightest and most engaged actuaries in the world, developing camaraderie and friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your career.
SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES OR OTHER PERSONAL INTERESTS?
Beyond the bounds of work, I am a family man and a churchman. I have an 11-, 8-, and 6-year-old (all crazy and wonderful) and an amazing wife. Free time is centered around them. We’ve been reading through the Harry Potter books together (now on the Half-Blood Prince) and enjoy outdoor activities and strategy board games. I also have the privilege of regularly playing piano for my church, among other things there.