How are my career prospects? Is it too late for me?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the speaker's struggles with their academic performance as a math major, resulting in them being dismissed from university two years ago. They are now considering majoring in statistics and pursuing a career as an actuary. The conversation also touches on the importance of passing exams, GPA, internships, and non-academic experience in securing a job in the actuarial field. The speakers also mention the possibility of pursuing a masters degree and the importance of being a well-rounded candidate. They also suggest gaining experience with programs like Excel and participating in non-academic activities to enhance job prospects. Finally, the conversation emphasizes the importance of having a strong personality in addition to academic qualifications.
  • #1
At the university I was attending I was originally a math major but due to personal circumstance and poor study habits/lack of motivation my GPA was not exactly the best. Due to this and other reasons I was dismissed from univ two years ago but at the moment I am currently in the position of applying for readmission however, I will not be able to attend as a math major due to the minimum requirement of the major having been bumped up in the past few years that I have not been attending school.

And so, at the moment I am strongly considering majoring in statistics as I am interested in finance, math and the actuarial field, not to mention that most of the courses I have currently completed are covered under that major as well. However how are my prospects career-wise this far in, esp. as an actuary? I have a little over 2 years attendance at univ, most of those courses being general eds and math prerequisites + a few upper division courses. Will my poor record in my first two years haunt me forever?I feel a bit daunted. I know that I 'messed up' but I'm doing my best now and have been self studying for much of the free time I have available outside of the job that I work. How does it look for me? Feel free to break my heart with the cold truth, I just want to know what I'm getting myself into here.
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  • #2
Different employers hiring for entry level actuarial positions will have differing values, but in general I think it's safe to say that they will place heavy influence on

  • The number of exams you've passed
  • Your overall GPA
  • Your major GPA
  • Internships and other non-academic experience
In short, if you have two really poor years followed by two really great years, then this presents a challenge in how you structure your resume and how you respond to interview questions. My personal opinion is that it would still be possible to be competitive for actuarial positions, assuming your last two years are great, that you pass several exams, and that you round out your experience.
  • #3
I think Locrian hit the nail on the head here. Whenever I run into an applicant like you, I need "proof" that the person has changed and is now the type of worker I want and need. Making all A's is a great way. Working for a small company doing "related" work and providing excellence references is another good way. Building a portfolio that show cases your knowledge is one technique that I had one applicant use during an interview. Her GPA was 3.2 (which is low for my company and position I was interviewing for) but her programming repertoire and independent projects showcased her willingness to learn and work hard.

I can't speak for the actuarial world; however, there is "hope" for you in statistics if you are willing to pursue a masters!
  • #4
What kinds of things would you guys recommend me to do in order to 'round out my experience?' Are there any sort of classes i should be taking, perhaps a minor that would benefit me? I know that internships should be the first thing I should think of and I will certainly start applying for them when I am back in school, but getting an internship with an actuarial background might be difficult until I start completing some exams first. Are there any other things I could do to broaden my horizons, both in terms of the career i have in mind as an actuary and others in general?

MarneMath said:
there is "hope" for you in statistics if you are willing to pursue a masters!
And yes, I would certainly be willing to pursue higher education. I've really come to appreciate just how valuable studying really is in my time off from school and I certainly wouldn't mind furthering that with a MA.
  • #5
In addition to doing a great job in school, I would look to non-academic activities to be a more well-rounded candidate. Many office jobs will offer some opportunity for this. Some volunteering may as well, so long as it's outside of school.

Anything that uses excel would help for actuarial work. If you have the opportunity to work on a project and with a team, that would be great. There are people who hire out there who like to see sports on resumes, though I don't think they're a majority.

Never forget that employers are hiring people who appear that they will be competant in the job. . . but they're also hiring people who are interesting and that they think they'd get along with. Not everyone agrees, but I'm a real believer that having some personality goes a long way towards getting the job.

All of this is tertiary though - exams and school come first.

1. How important is my age in determining my career prospects?

Your age is a factor in your career prospects, but it is not the only determining factor. Employers are looking for a combination of skills, experience, and qualifications. While some industries may value youth more, others may prioritize experience and knowledge. It is never too late to pursue your career goals and make a positive impact.

2. Will my lack of experience hold me back in my career?

Having experience can certainly give you an advantage in your career, but it is not the only factor that employers consider. Your skills, education, and willingness to learn and adapt can also be valuable assets. Additionally, you can gain experience through internships, volunteering, and networking opportunities.

3. Is it too late to change my career path?

No, it is never too late to change your career path. Many people make significant career changes later in life, and it can lead to great success and fulfillment. It may require additional education or training, but it is possible to transition into a new career at any age.

4. How can I improve my career prospects?

There are several ways to improve your career prospects, including gaining relevant skills and qualifications, networking, and staying updated on industry trends and advancements. Additionally, having a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and a willingness to learn and grow can also make you a desirable candidate to employers.

5. What should I do if I feel like I am behind in my career compared to others?

It is important to remember that everyone's career journey is unique, and it is not a race. Focus on your own goals and aspirations, and work towards them at your own pace. If you feel like you are behind, take proactive steps to improve your skills and qualifications. You can also seek guidance from mentors or career counselors to help you reach your career goals.

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