Throughout the month of June, the CAS shared some of the best moments featuring CAS members and community on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter platforms using the hashtag #ActuariesinCOMMUNITY. We received many wonderful submissions from our members sharing their stories of how they serve their communities. Read some of the highlights below:
Yvonne Palm, CAS Fellow
“My church in London holds several conferences and events every year which includes 3000+ volunteers. These volunteers have to be organized into teams to serve in various places at various times to keep things running smoothly.
When I first volunteered for the operations team, I was assigned to allocate these 3000+ volunteers into 200+ teams manually. It involved receiving hundreds of emails from individual team leaders and allocating each person to a team based on those individual emails and lists, then figuring out how to allocate the remaining volunteers based on attributes they indicated in their registration forms and balancing the team numbers. I spent many sleepless nights working to complete the process and became intimately familiar with my allocation spreadsheet. Though as I was doing it, I knew there could be an easier way to get it all done!
Luckily an IT consultant also volunteered on the same operations team soon after and we saw an opportunity! He and I worked together to build a Team Management Application to address this allocations conundrum. We could design an application that allowed leaders to directly allocate to their teams and search for new team members using stated attributes (data privacy laws permitting). Transfers between teams was also made easier as team leaders could then request or approve a transfer directly in the app without the involvement of a middleman. This app can also automatically produce relevant reports and statistics and get this information in the hands of the right people.
I laid out the design and tested while he coded. With the support of our broader team, we were able to get this new tool ready in time and successfully rolled out for the next event. The application is now an integral part of the church’s planning for large events, with talks to cascade it for use in other branches worldwide. The pandemic has obviously put a hold to this as large gatherings could not continue, but we hope this can be picked up again soon and keep the momentum going.”
Rich Yocius, CAS Fellow
“Since last year I have been mentoring through Global Mentorship Initiative. GMI partners business professionals with underserved students to provide online (via Zoom) mentoring in business skills, job hunting, interview prep, etc. It is a structured program of 14 mentoring sessions that I schedule at the mutual convenience of my mentee and me. I recently completed the program with a young man in Rwanda and am now mentoring a stats/econ major in Jamaica. Many of the students are in Africa but some are in other countries including the US. Some students are in refugee camps and attend college online. They always need more mentors! If you’d like to participate or find out more, you can visit: www.globalmentorship.org.”
Betsy Branagan, CAS Fellow
“When our seven-year-old daughter passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2003, my husband and I felt the need to keep her memory and spirit alive. Rachel was a bright student and loved to learn, so establishing the “Rachel Branagan Educational Foundation” was the perfect way to celebrate her life. I serve as president of the foundation and with a small but dedicated group of volunteers and fundraisers we support public elementary schools in New England. We provide book donations and grants, maintain an outdoor classroom at Rachel’s elementary school and have a college scholarship program. Through these programs we hope to spark in other children the love of learning that Rachel had.”
Harsh Jaitak, CAS Candidate
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. Specifically, when you are studying something as rigorous as actuarial science, it’s important to give back to the wonderful community. I run a YouTube channel where I teach Python for actuaries and contribute to podcasts from actuaries around the world to provide direction to aspiring actuaries. I have also been helping aspiring actuaries by responding to questions and holding one-on-one sessions. I am an active volunteer and active speaker at CAS events. My goal is to spread the usefulness of wider applications of actuarial science and help in increasing awareness of the actuarial profession. I also help students prepare for interviews and increase their skills during one-on-one sessions free of cost.”