Belonging Is an Outcome: The CAS Student Central Summer Program

CAS member Dalesa Bady, ACAS, shared her experience volunteering last year as a CAS Student Central Summer Program mentor in a post originally published on the Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc blog. The CAS has been granted permission to reprint her story to provide a glimpse into a meaningful volunteering opportunity available to CAS members this summer. To learn more about mentoring and other volunteer opportunities available through this year’s summer program, visit the Volunteer Opportunities Announcement on the CAS website.

Originally posted on Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc.

“WE WON!”

The widest smile stretched across my face as I read the only two all-cap words spanning across a single email.

Overcome with pride and joy, an incredible revelation hit me. Those words were stated in the context of winning the case competition in the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Student Central Summer Program, but they had a greater meaning that went beyond a single competition. Those words were, and still are, symbolic of what it means to make progressive strides in a journey to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive. When we truly succeed in that endeavor, everyone collectively wins.

So, what is the CAS Student Central Summer Program?

As the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the world in unexpected ways, people in the workforce experienced turbulent times. While many made the switch from brick-and-mortar offices to working at home, those with minimal corporate experience faced a great deal of uncertainty as employers shortened, or in less favorable cases, cancelled their internship programs as a result of not being equipped to adequately manage interns in a remote space. Unfortunately, this situation also became a grim reality for candidates in the actuarial profession without a full-time job.

In response to the emerging situation, the CAS quickly entered the arena and launched its first remote-based, mentor-led program for students to learn and obtain on-the-job actuarial experience. The program, known as the CAS Student Central Summer Program, gained positive traction in the summer of 2020 and came back again this year, opening its doors to more than 150 students across the world, keen to know more about the profession and the property/casualty insurance industry.

The CAS Student Central Summer Program offers a robust introduction to the actuarial profession and career path to those who may have limited access or exposure to insurance and actuarial topics. Student participants may come from a university with or without an actuarial program, or potentially identify as a career changer wanting to pursue the actuarial path. Over the course of eight weeks, students learn about a variety of property and casualty actuarial topics, ranging from pricing and reserving to predictive modeling. Each topic is covered in the form of a module with assignments and supplementary webinars, generally hosted live by actuaries, to further cement learnings throughout the week.

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