I am honored to be a recipient of a 2019 CAS Trust Scholarship. I was encouraged to apply by a St. Thomas grad and Travelers employee with whom I interacted with in my internships at Travelers. I immediately gained an appreciation for the prestige of the award when I read about it on casact.org and when I saw the list of previous winners. The application process was straightforward, requiring candidates to submit an application, essay, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation. I was elated when I received an email a few short months later informing me that I had been selected as a recipient of the award. I am truly humbled to be in the company of such successful individuals, and I hope to follow in their footsteps as I continue to work toward my CAS designations.
The monetary value of the award made a significant impact on my ability to pay for school. However, the benefits reached far beyond the financial support, enabling me to attend the 2019 CAS Annual Meeting in Honolulu, HI. This unique experience left me with lifelong memories and tremendous personal and professional development.
Scholarship winners were recognized at the beginning of the Celebration of New Members. I had the opportunity to share the stage with the CAS President Jim Christie while receiving a giant check, which is something I had no idea I would ever have the chance to do. After Jack Richards, Cason Wight, and I were recognized for our scholarship awards, we were able to witness something very special. We had front-row seats as the new Fellows of the CAS were recognized one-by-one. As each person walked across the stage, you could feel the pride, relief, excitement, and sense of achievement in the room. I was filled with inspiration to one day be like one of those bright men and women and achieve the FCAS designation myself. I also thoroughly enjoyed Pat Teufel’s address to the new members, as she provided an insightful perspective on what truly matters in one’s career and life.
At the meeting, I had the privilege of attending several speaker sessions. I was able to feed my curiosity as I learned about topics such as ethics in artificial intelligence, signs indicating an impending recession, and how usage-based insurance products are developed to enhance customer experience. As I gained knowledge about cutting-edge insurance topics, I also had the opportunity to network with actuaries from all over the country. At the CAS Student Program, I also connected with local students interested in actuarial science and volunteer mentors. I learned about many fascinating companies, roles, and projects that these actuaries were working on. In addition, I made connections between sessions, over lunches and dinners, and at the luau. With the meeting being held in Hawaii, I was able to experience performances from hula dancers, authentic Hawaiian music, and delicious Hawaiian food. There was even time to enjoy the warm, sandy beach and admire pretty sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.
The CAS Trust Scholarship is more than a scholarship—it’s an experience. It gave me the opportunity to network with incredible actuaries from all over, gain appreciation and inspiration for all the work that goes into achieving the CAS designations, feed my curiosity, and have loads of fun in Hawaii. I encourage all students interested in actuarial science to take your shot and apply for a 2020 CAS Trust Scholarship. I have grown tremendously from this unforgettable experience, and I’m extremely grateful for the CAS and the generosity of all the people who make this scholarship possible.
Applications for the 2020 CAS Trust Scholarship are being accepted through January 31, 2020. Visit the CAS website for more information on how to apply.