Sometimes you can look back and identify the exact moment when your path in life was forever changed. I was a math student at Portland State University when my father sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal listing actuary as the number one job in America. I was unfamiliar with the career, but this prompted me to look into it. I took the first couple of exams, got a job as a pension actuary after I graduated and never looked back. That was nearly 25 years ago and the Wall Street Journal still lists actuary as the number one job in America: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2013/04/22/dust-off-your-math-skills-actuary-is-best-job-of-2013/.
There are many great aspects of this career, but what I love most about being an actuary in my field is working with my clients and their advisors to help navigate the complicated world of defined benefit plans. Don’t get me wrong, I like the work and all its challenges, but it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding without the relationships I have with all of you!
There are many different actuarial positions in many industries, but my favorite definition of an actuary is this one: An actuary is a person, who passes as an expert on the basis of a prolific ability to produce an infinite variety of incomprehensive figures calculated with micrometric precision from the vaguest of assumptions based on debatable evidence from inconclusive data derived by persons of questionable reliability for the sole purpose of confusing an already hopelessly befuddled group of persons who never read the statistics anyway!