Most of the extra-curricular activities associated with the Actuarial Math degree program occur under the auspices of the Pitt Actuarial Math Club – Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS). The Pitt Actuarial Math Club is an organization that is officially sanctioned by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh as well as the Beta Tau Chapter of GIS by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). All Actuarial Math majors and any student interested in following this course of study should consider becoming a member of the club in order to participate in the club’s scheduled activities as well as to share professional information on a personal level with the members. It is also a great opportunity to get to know many of your classmates. At the end of the Announcements you will find an Archive with links to documents prepared by the student members related to what it means to be an actuary as well as hints for navigating the list of course requirements for the Actuarial Math degree major and receiving accreditation by the SOA.
During the first general body meeting on February 1st, we welcomed both returning and new members and gave them some insight to what we have in store for the rest of the semester. We also sent out two surveys to the club: one was an actuarial math department feedback survey and the other was focused on what members would like to see from the club this semester.
On February 15th, we were able to further discuss our planning for both Industry Relations and Membership Development. We reached out to several companies regarding virtual networking events for the spring semester and they expressed interest in not only holding info sessions, but also offered other types of events such as a Q&A panel, mock interviews, and “Actuarial Jeopardy.” Our first networking event was held on Monday, February 22nd, at 6:30 PM with Progressive, and throughout the semester we also plan to hold events with Erie Insurance, Cowden, Prudential, and several others. Current information for future events this semester can be found at Actuarial Math Events.
In addition to these company networking events, we have also been contacting former Pitt graduates from the classes of 2018-2020 to gauge their interest in participating in an “Alumni Panel”, in which they can reflect upon their experiences throughout college as well as their transition into their professional careers. As of now there are 7 alumni who expressed their interest, and we are currently looking at the beginning of April to hold these panels.
While the alumni panel can serve as a guide to upperclassmen anticipating their graduation and job search, we also think that giving underclassmen more insight into the internship process is a great idea, therefore we are about to begin reaching out to current juniors and seniors at Pitt who have had one or more internships. The goal is to have 4 or 5 upperclassmen at this event to discuss their meaningful experiences and give advice to undergraduates.
Because we saw some new faces at our first general body meeting, we paired those interested with mentors in order to continue our strong mentor/mentee program. The GIS survey responses were also a major topic of discussion. Some common responses of what events our members would like to see included more alumni engagement, workshops and mock interviews, and more social events that are not centered around professional development. Given these responses, we are planning on holding several virtual social events throughout the semester where our members can get to know each other better, and one idea that was discussed was playing games over zoom.
Not all of our discussion was focused on the spring semester, however. We have also been focusing on events and programs that would be better to hold in person (hopefully this fall). Such discussions included the ideas of Exam FM and P prep sessions and maybe even mock exams for students of Math 0470 and 1119 in the fall as well as a study materials library which students can use to borrow the necessary actuarial study materials for a semester and return them once the materials are no longer needed. In order to help plan for this idea of a library, we need to know how many manuals we could get our hands on, so one of the survey questions asked, “Do you have any study manuals that you no longer need?” We had several responses for P, FM, and IFM manuals and are looking forward to successfully initiating this program sometime in the fall!
Another exciting event that the Beta Tau Chapter of GIS will be participating in is the “Risky Run”, a virtual 5K fundraising event in which the proceeds are sent to participating chapters. This will take place over the week of April 12th-18th, 2021. https://riskyrun.com/
Some of the officers of GIS made an informational video, Actuarial Math in Math 0500, in January for the Math 0500 class which may be of interest to prospective Actuarial Math majors. The members have also compiled an Actuarial Math Advising Document which may help to resolve logistic questions about academic degree requirements and Society of Actuary exam, credentials, etc. Finally, those interested in fee reimbursement for study materials and successful passing of SOA exams should reach out to Chris Catullo (firstname.lastname@example.org).