Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter

Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa (GIS) Chapter is an international fraternity whose purpose is to promote, encourage, and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science as professions; to encourage the high moral and scholastic attainments of its members; and to facilitate interaction of educational institutions and industry through networking and by fostering research activities, scholarship, and improved public relations.

As members of the club, students have an opportunity to hear from actuaries at varying levels from both local and national actuarial firms. At club meetings, actuarial professionals share information about their respective companies and provide helpful employment advice. In addition to meeting with prospective employers, members will also participate in career-building activities, such as resume reviews and interview preparation. These activities help prepare actuarial students for summer internships and ultimately full-time employment.

The Gamma Iota Sigma chapter also helps organize the annual Actuarial Science Career Day, which brings together potential employers with students.

To join Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU), follow the three steps below:

  1. Complete GIS at ASU’s application form using your ASU email address.
     
  2. Attach check payment (personal or cashier's check) for $50 to the first page of GIS at ASU’s application form and seal the envelope. Turn in completed application at front desk of WXLR 216 and ask staff to put envelope in Dr. Jelena Milovanovic’s mailbox, or during a GIS club meeting.
    • Check Format:
      • Address the check to “Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU”
      • On the Memo line of the check, write “New Member and your name"
      • On the front of the envelope, write “GIS Application and your full name"

3. Once your application is processed, there are two more actions to do to finalize membership and gain access to Grand Chapter benefits.

  •  You will receive an email invitation from SunDevilSync to join GIS at ASU. You will need to click on 'Accept' in the email invitation in order to become an official member of ASU's chapter.
  • You will receive a link to complete the Grand Chapter's online application to enter the Grand Chapter. This needs to be completed to become a full member of the national GIS chapter.
  • Application Tips: 

    • Membership type is “New”

    • Preferred email should be asu.edu email

    • If no previous internships, enter “NA”

Contact Neil Bhardwaja (nbhardw3@asu.edu) with any questions.

NOTE: Incomplete applications cannot be processed and only completed forms will be considered for membership in SunDevilSync.

2022-2023 GIS at ASU Officers

GIS at ASU 2022-2023 Officers

Co-Presidents - Charlotte Cliatt and Lydia Gabric
Vice President - Lainey Waldman
Co-Treasurers - Hayley Osterkorn and Lea Petit
Diversity and Inclusion Officer - Moreta Findler

2022-2023 GIS at ASU Public Relations and Committee Members

GIS at ASU 2022-2023 PR and Committee Members

Public Relations: Alison Hansen and Isabelle Welsh
Committee Members: Melanie Patten, Charles Daggs, Sarah Friedman, Emma Rao

GIS at ASU News

GIS @ ASU Graduation Celebration

May 17, 2022
By Lainey Waldman

As the semester comes to an end, students are preparing for finals and looking forward to post-graduation work. On April 26, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosted a SOA-sponsored graduation celebration event where GIS @ ASU graduates were honored for their work and commitment to school. All members were given the opportunity to celebrate the graduates, hear guest speakers Michael Brunner and Lydia Tolman speak, and learn about the new officers for the 2022-2023 academic school year.

GIS @ ASU Graduation Celebration

The event began with time for students to interact with each other and reflect on all the work they have accomplished in the past year. Following the social hour, co-treasurer Lainey Waldman began the event and welcomed guest speaker Michael Brunner to share his reflection on the college experience. He explained that there will always be a “next thing” and emphasized the importance of taking the time to appreciate the in-between without rushing to move on. Waldman then continued to welcome professors from across the actuarial department to honor the GIS @ ASU graduates. Each graduate was introduced by a professor and then asked to share any advice they might have for students still in the program.

Additionally, one the GIS @ ASU graduates, Charlotte Cliatt, was honored for earning the Charles Wexler Student Prize. A prestigious honor that is only awarded to one student every year within the math department at ASU, Cliatt was awarded with a plaque to recognize her accomplishment. After all the graduates were announced, Waldman introduced Lydia Tolman to share her advice to GIS members about moving into the workforce after graduation. Tolman emphasized to not spread priorities too thin, but to remain committed to earning actuarial credentials throughout one’s career. Finally, the event concluded with the announcement of the 2022-2023 GIS leadership and presenting the exiting officers’ gifts.

GIS @ ASU Graduation Celebration

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all the professors, guest speakers, and students who made our first in-person graduation celebration possible. We would also like to thank the SOA for their continual support of our program and this semester’s concluding event. Lastly, congratulations to all GIS @ ASU graduates, and good luck in your post-graduation plans!

Charlotte Cliatt awarded Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize

May 11, 2022
By Melanie Patten 

Charlotte Cliatt awarded Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize

In the year of 1930, Professor Charles Wexler founded the Arizona State University Department of Mathematics and served the college until 1977. Every year since his passing, memorial gifts have provided the funds for two awards to honor his legacy: the Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize and the Charles Wexler Teaching Award. This year, actuarial science was well-represented with both award recipients being from the program. The Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize in particular is the highest honor an undergraduate senior mathematics major can achieve at ASU. On Friday, April 8, at the 45th Annual Charles Wexler Awards Ceremony, Charlotte Cliatt become the second actuarial science recipient of the Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize!

To begin the ceremony, school director Donatella Danielli invited all attendees to provide introductions, which included Charles Wexler’s son, Jonathan Wexler, as well as invited ASU faculty, staff and students. Danielli presented Raymond Ye Zhang with the 2022 Charles Wexler Teaching Award, Then professor of practice John Zicarelli introduced Cliatt with incredibly kind words. He shared that in addition to all of her academic accomplishments, such as passing three actuarial exams and completing two internships, “she just brightens a room with her presence.” 

While professor of practice Jelena Milovanovic was unable to attend the ceremony, she ensured that attendees knew how proud she was of Cliatt by providing Zicarelli her thoughts to read aloud. Milovanovic writes, “Words cannot express today how proud I am of Charlotte as a winner of this award and how pleased I am for the opportunity to be with her on this journey at ASU. As a young professional entering the workforce, I am completely at peace knowing that Charlotte will succeed at anything she sets her mind to. She is a well-deserving member of the SoMSS hall of fame.”

Upon the thoughtful introduction, Cliatt thanked her parents, the actuarial science faculty, her GIS at ASU peers, and the awards committee for selecting her. She reflected on her journey with the chapter,

“I would also like to thank the friends I have made as part of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU. Many of which can’t be here today because of a conflicting event, but I know are here in spirit. This organization has brought me lifelong friends, as well as facilitated with so many academic and professional opportunities to me," she said.

The ceremony concluded with the man who made this award possible, Jonathan Wexler, sharing a few stories regarding his father’s teachings while at ASU.

While the awards ceremony was hosted virtually, Cliatt’s inscribed plaque was presented to her in person during GIS at ASU’s End of Semester Social and Graduation Celebration. Cliatt appreciated the opportunity to share this meaningful moment with all of her GIS at ASU peers and friends. 

Cliatt was recently elected co-president of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU for 2022-2023 with Lily Gabric in the supporting role as her co-president. GIS at ASU members are fortunate to have a role model like Cliatt, not only for her tremendous academic and professional accomplishments at such a young age, but also her exceptional ability to make all of those she meets feel the utmost support.

Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree this month, we wish her the best in her pursuit of a master’s degree as a part of ASU’s actuarial science 4+1 program throughout the next academic year. GIS at ASU is grateful to have her amiable presence brighten each meeting for yet another year and to watch her continue to grow into a brilliant young professional.

Join us in congratulating Charlotte Cliatt for being the recipient of the 2022 Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize; we could not think of a person more deserving of this honor! 

GIS @ ASU members practice self-care during stress-relieving event

May 1, 2022
By Lea Petit
    
Throughout the semester, members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) have learned about self-care and mental health from a variety of different panels, informational sessions, and other events in GIS @ ASU’s mental health series. On April 19, GIS @ ASU was excited to round out the series for this semester on a positive, relaxing note. Members were encouraged to practice self-care in whatever way each person saw fit through a stations-based self-care workshop.
    

GIS @ ASU members practice self-care through Self-Care Stations event

The evening started with lively discussion among members about the activities and stations they were most looking forward to, in addition to chatting about their days and semesters. Shadow student Lea Petit officially kicked off the meeting by explaining the different stations. She strongly emphasized that the focus of the meeting was wellness, relaxation, and self-care, and welcomed the attendees to spend the evening as they choose. With that, members then headed to the stations where they felt they could benefit most.
    

GIS @ ASU members practice self-care through Self-Care Stations event

GIS @ ASU members enjoyed their time in the designated Quiet Corner, where they were welcomed to engage in more calm forms of self-care. Members used their time in many ways from catching up on homework and studying for upcoming finals to just relaxing in the quiet. Attendees also had a fun time coloring Arizona-themed sheets featuring saguaro cacti and ASU’s mascot, Sparky, and creating some stunning pictures. The meeting was buzzing with chatter and laughter as members engaged in lively rounds of card games such as Uno and 7 Up & 7 Down. In the front of the room, shadow student Charles Daggs taught GIS @ ASU members how to play the riveting game of Mahjong. Yet another group spent the meeting assembling a mindfulness-themed puzzle aptly adorned with the phrase “Notice what arises during a period of silence.” At the end of the night, members filed out with GIS @ ASU mugs filled with tea, made possible by the treasury team, designed to aid in stress relief through the end of the semester.
    
Especially as members strive for academic and professional excellence, it is important to prioritize mental health and self-care to avoid burnout and continue being successful in their endeavors. GIS @ ASU was glad to provide an opportunity for members to prioritize fun and relaxation and hopes that participants left the meeting feeling happier and less stressed than when they arrived!

AZ CPCU Society Hosts Panel with GIS @ ASU Members

April 25, 2022
By Hayley Osterkorn

AZ CPCU Society Hosts Panel with GIS @ ASU Members

Connecting with industry groups is important to building a relationship between students and professionals. On April 13, four members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) and one ASU professor were invited to speak on a panel hosted by the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter.
 
After making some announcements for the chapter, Lamont Boyd and Alba Vanderband moderated the panel, asking questions to the students focused on academic experiences and looking ahead to their careers. Charlotte Cliatt, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, and Hayley Osterkorn represented GIS @ ASU, offering insight into their unique experiences throughout their academic and young professional careers. The students began by sharing a range of ways in which they became interested in the actuarial profession before discussing some of their experiences with leadership positions, GIS @ ASU, exams, and internships. The students were then asked to consider their futures, such as what they might look for in a company after graduation, as well as some of their short and long-term goals. This offered direct insight into what young professionals value in a company today and what some of their main goals and desires are when first entering their careers. 

John Zicarelli concluded the panel discussion by offering a professor’s perspective on how the industry can better connect with and support students. Partnering with industry professionals through internship experiences, classroom presentations, mentorship, and participation at career fairs and mock interview nights are great ways for professionals to support students.
    
GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter, Lamont Boyd, and Alba Vanderband for the opportunity to speak on this panel. Getting to share perspectives between students and professionals is an invaluable discussion. GIS @ ASU looks forward to events in the future with the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter!

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

April 1, 2022
By Isabelle Welsh

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is proud to host events that promote the learning and growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion within our school and the actuarial profession. On March 22, GIS @ ASU jointly hosted a diversity and inclusion (D&I) question and answer session with ASU’s Mathematical Organization for Rehumanizing Education student club (MORE), who shared their extensive knowledge on a multitude of D&I topics.

The meeting kicked off with an introduction from MORE representatives, Jason Guglielmo, Julia Phelps, and Franklin Yu, who went over some of the current D&I initiatives being worked on by MORE, including an expansion of course evaluations to open discussion on DE&I in classes and instruction. Next, GIS @ ASU members Isabelle Welsh, Lea Petit, and Sarah Friedman, began the Q&A session by asking the panel of MORE representatives the many questions that GIS @ ASU members submitted or asked live about DE&I. The MORE representatives discussed a very interesting point on the lack of objectivity in the math field, both in an academic environment and through the interpretation of data. The panel also gave informative responses on how we can begin to recognize and combat our own unconscious biases through learning and focusing on self-awareness. GIS @ ASU members greatly appreciate the MORE representatives’ advice for people beginning to learn about DE&I, from reading research on the topic to staying updated with activists through Twitter to connecting with some of ASU’s knowledgeable faculty.

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

Finally, the meeting concluded with an opportunity for GIS @ ASU members to discuss the impact and takeaways from the Q&A panel through a discussion with other attendees. GIS @ ASU members discussed their biggest takeaways from the Q&A session and talked about how they see DE&I looking in the future in the actuarial field. Our members also expressed excitement to continue learning about the topics spoken on by the MORE representatives and planned to read through recommended resources like the research of Rochelle Gutierrez.

GIS @ ASU greatly enjoyed hosting its first diversity and inclusion event of the Spring semester with more to come and is thrilled to be working towards creating a more inclusive, welcoming community at ASU. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the representatives from MORE for taking the time to come and share their knowledge with us and helping our members learn valuable skills and resources for promoting D&I. GIS @ ASU hopes that its members will take advantage of what they learned at this informative event and apply this knowledge in their lives and future careers.

Guest Speaker Elissa Kelly

March 27, 2022
By Emma Rao

Students often have a bright idea of their future but do not always know how to intentionally create this future for themselves. To help students gain a better understanding of how to navigate their future happiness, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) welcomed Ex-Corporate Executive Elissa Kelly to speak on how to live your personal definition of success.

Kelly started by describing the weight of the word “should.” She then challenged students to write down something that they keep telling themselves they should do and to create a plan on how to accomplish this. She incorporated her own personal examples of “should”s" throughout her life – from “should”s" related to her career and climbing the corporate ladder to “should”s" when she started a family. Kelly also described a three-step process to help students redirect their lives towards their own personal success, rather than what others think they “should” do. The first step in this process is to envision a snapshot of your future life. This is a goal of what you want your life to look like in the future. She asked students challenging questions such as, “What do you want from your life that you don’t already have?” and “What could be your happy?” The next step of this process is to create a strategy on how to get from your current life to your vision. She encouraged students to consider a time frame during this step and to think about ways they can prevent themselves from reverting back to what is comfortable. The final step is execution. In this step, the strategy from the second step is executed. Kelly reminded students that there will be hurdles in this step, but that they can overcome these hurdles.

The evening concluded with Kelly describing the importance of checking in with yourself and repeating this process when necessary. She explained that just as you evolve as a person over time, your idea of happiness also evolves. Dreams change and morph overtime, and it is okay if what used to be an important goal no longer is. However, it is key to create and execute a new strategy.

Listening to Kelly’s presentation was a great way for students to start thinking about what they want their life to look like and an encouraging push to start along that path. GIS @ ASU would like to thank Elissa Kelly for donating her time and leading this valuable discussion.

GIS Participates in Annual Travelers Case Study Competition

March 16, 2022
By Charles Daggs

On March 4, m winning a $1,000 prize. Participants had the opportunity to work on a real-world business scenario in the property and casualty lines of insurance and demonstrate their analytical skills to a panel of professionals.

After a brief overview, each of the five teams was provided four and a half hours to read over the case, determine premiums for multiple insurance lines, research the impact of COVID-19 on a specific industry sector, and make a comprehensive presentation. Each line of the policy—workmen’s compensation, cyber, general, and auto—had its own unique characteristics to take into consideration. After coming up with an initial price, the teams received feedback from a professional actuary from Travelers and some additional case information to adjust their calculations. Finally, each team gave a twenty-minute presentation to walk through their thought process for the case, talk about the challenges and solutions concerning COVID-19 for their assigned industry, and then respond to a few questions from the judges. 

When the presentations concluded, the judges deliberated while each team received feedback from an employed actuary at Travelers. After a short time, the team representing the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA) was declared the winner. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge congratulations to OLA for the victory, as well as to all the participants for their hard work! Additionally, thank you to all of the employees at Travelers for hosting and organizing this event!

GIS @ ASU Annual Mock Interview Night 

March 9, 2022
By Daniel Andresen

GIS @ ASU Annual Mock Interview Night 

First impressions matter, and practicing interview skills is a fantastic way for students to get experience in showcasing their skills and accomplishments to future employers. To aid in this practice, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosts an annual Mock Interview Night with industry professionals, and on March 1, representatives from 23 different companies across the actuarial sector arrived to participate. During this exciting event, students were given the opportunity to network over Zoom and receive detailed feedback on their interviewing abilities.

Vice President Gina Gilkey welcomed students and professionals and explained the structure of the event while President Lydia Gabric handled the technical aspect and set up virtual meeting rooms. After a little camaraderie and telling of some actuarial jokes, the event was primed and ready to begin.

As the first round of practice interviews commenced, questions flowed between students and the professionals. To maintain the professional environment during an interview, the actuarial interviewers asked behavioral and technical questions, giving students the chance to utilize interview techniques like the S.T.A.R. method, taught during the GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night. Following the 20-minute interviews, students were given 10 minutes of direct feedback and advice to improve their skills and make sure that they can cement a strong first impression. Professionals also provided resume tips and industry knowledge to help students stand out and become stronger applicants. After a short break, students attended a second round of interviews to receive more practice and feedback to help further develop their interview skills.

GIS @ ASU cannot thank enough the 23 fantastic companies that were able to make the Mock Interview Night such a success. We also appreciate the volunteers that took time out of their busy schedules to interview students and support the future faces of the actuarial community. Thank you all for making Mock Interview Night a success and providing students with this amazing opportunity!

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

February 22, 2022
By Lea Petit

Students spend a significant amount of time learning fundamental actuarial and mathematical concepts in order to become successful future actuaries. However, some questions are not as easily answered in the classroom, especially those related to the experience of working in the industry. Thus, on February 15, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host an informal Q&A panel session to give students the opportunity to ask those questions to three industry professionals. GIS @ ASU welcomed ASU alumni Michael Brunner and Lydia Tolman, as well as Paul Johnson, who also currently teaches an actuarial science course at ASU.

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

The night started with a question about what drew the professionals to actuarial science and the moment they realized they were in the right field. All three agreed that they enjoyed the nature of the work and the challenges they solve on a daily basis while also helping to make the world a better place. Next was a lighthearted discussion in which they advised on a wide range of topics such as balancing work responsibilities with studying for actuarial exams, how to become an effective manager, and the costs and benefits of a master’s degree.

With mental health being a focus for GIS @ ASU this semester, chapter president Lydia Gabric ended the night with a question on how to avoid burnout while balancing work priorities, actuarial exams, and other personal responsibilities. The panel gave valuable insight into how they have prioritized their mental health throughout their careers, including evaluating priorities, setting boundaries with their workload, and finding companies that foster growth and minimize stress.

One of the most valuable parts of GIS @ ASU membership is the opportunities provided to network with professionals in the actuarial industry and to ask questions on how to best prepare for the workplace. GIS @ ASU is very grateful for relationships such as those with Michael Brunner, Lydia Tolman, and Paul Johnson, and would like to sincerely thank them for their time.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

February 14, 2022
By Charles Daggs

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Students in the actuarial science program spend a lot of their energy on earning the proper credentials for the field through passing professional exams. This is great for filling out a resumé, showing commitment to potential employers, and landing that big interview. However, turning that energy into, “You’re hired!” is its own unique challenge. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is here to provide students with the tools to make their next interview a success. On February 8, GIS @ ASU hosted a presentation and workshop to help members create and refine their responses to common interview prompts.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Chapter president, Lydia Gabric, started off by showing a list of frequently asked interview questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.” and “Why should I hire you?” She and the GIS @ ASU officers provided some personal examples and tips on how they would answer. Other members were also encouraged to contribute their own examples and thought processes to present various approaches tailored to their unique personalities and experiences. Then, members broke out into groups to collaborate on finding answers to other questions.

Afterwards, the presentation introduced the S.T.A.R. method for tackling behavioral questions such as, “Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about?” Emphasis was placed on giving concise answers that told a positive and complete story. Members were encouraged to test their responses and receive feedback on how an interviewer might view them. With the right frame of mind, difficult experiences become stories of character growth.

Thank you to all GIS @ ASU members for attending the meeting and making it an interactive experience as well as the treasury team for organizing dinner! Members, remember to sign up by February 18 for the upcoming Mock Interview Night on March 1 for an opportunity to further practice your interview skills!

GIS @ ASU President to Pursue Statistics PhD

February 10, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt and Hayley Osterkorn

Lydia Gabric

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is excited to announce that current president Lydia (Lily) Gabric will be continuing her education at ASU in pursuit of a PhD in Statistics. Upon completing her final semester of her master’s degree as a part of ASU’s actuarial science 4+1 program, Gabric will continue her education and research at the doctorate level while remaining involved in the ASU actuarial community. Gabric hopes to build strong foundational knowledge in statistical modeling and analysis to solve problems and answer questions that require complex actuarial analysis. 

In her time as an actuarial science student at ASU, Gabric has made a positive impact through research and community involvement. Gabric is a member of The ACT Lab, where student researchers collaborate with local companies to complete real-world actuarial projects under the supervision of faculty members. She has worked on multiple projects involving traditional and stochastic approaches, pricing and reserving methods, simulating profit sharing models, etc. Currently, the work of Gabric and her peers is under review for publication through the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Gabric is also performing independent research on COVID-19 and its related healthcare costs throughout her honors thesis project and applied master’s project. Furthermore, she recently began a research assistantship with Kenneth Zhou, FSA, PhD:

"Lily is a very smart and self-motivated student. I had the pleasure of teaching and working with her in the past year. She has a solid statistical background and the ability to quickly adapt new knowledge to solve research problems. I look forward to working with her on her PhD studies," said Zhou.

If it is not already apparent, Gabric is a skilled researcher, which is why she wants to pursue a doctoral degree. 

While excelling in the classroom and in research positions, Gabric is also committed to fostering the actuarial science community that surrounds ASU. This academic year, Gabric has served as the GIS @ ASU President, organizing events to connect members with their peers as well as industry professionals. She has coordinated numerous company visits, represented the chapter at international conferences, and led discussions on the importance of mental health as a college student. Gabric’s desire to remain involved in this organization that supports prospective actuaries is also one of the reasons she decided to continue her education at ASU.

Alongside her PhD in Statistics, Gabric wants to continue the pathway to earn both the ASA and FSA accreditations. These accreditations through the SOA, as well as her doctorate level education, will prepare her to be a well-rounded actuary upon graduation. Gabric has goals to become a professor, which she will be able to explore through the teaching assistantship offered alongside admission into the PhD program.

Jelena Milovanovic, ACIA, AIAA, PhD, has witnessed Gabric’s growth as an actuarial science student over the past three years and believes she is a great candidate for the program.

"Lily applies maturity and diligence to every aspect of her academic and professional careers. As a student in my courses and researcher in The ACT Lab, Lily has exceeded all my expectations and I am beyond grateful to continue to witness her graduate journey at the school," said Milovanovic.

GIS @ ASU members are lucky to have a role model like Gabric and wish her the best in the Statistics PhD program! Join us in congratulating Lydia Gabric as she embarks on the next chapter of her educational career.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

February 9, 2022
By Joe Simpson

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

As the spring semester kicks into full gear, it was great to gather in-person with fellow students for another spring meeting. On February 1, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) began this semester’s Mental Health Awareness series with an event centered on burnout and self-care. The meeting included the opportunity to mingle during dinner, a presentation on burnout and the role self-care plays in preventing it, and an activity for GIS @ ASU members to brainstorm and discuss their own personalized self-care plans.

To start off the meeting, GIS @ ASU members enjoyed a meal together before the commencement of the night’s main presentation. The chapter president, Lydia Gabric, and one of the chapter’s shadow students, Joe Simpson, began the semester’s mental health series by leading an illustrative presentation on how burnout can negatively affect many areas of one’s life, the ways self-care can be utilized to prevent burnout, and their past experiences with these topics. The presentation included a definition of what burnout is and the stages one goes through while experiencing burnout along with several signs and symptoms to help identify it. Additionally, several methods of mitigating and preventing burnout were discussed including exercising regularly, practicing healthy sleep habits, and willingly reaching out to others for help.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

The meeting concluded with an interactive discussion surrounding self-care and wellness. GIS @ ASU members were encouraged to check in with themselves by asking questions such as “How am I feeling today?” and “What are my emotional needs right now?” and discussing with other students nearby in small groups. After doing so, attendees had the opportunity to develop their own personalized self-care plan and brainstorm with other GIS @ ASU members on the best ways to implement this plan into their daily life. Finally, members were allowed to ask any questions and share any other thoughts on the activity.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all members in attendance for our first mental health awareness meeting of the spring semester along with the Treasury Team for coordinating dinner! We look forward to implementing our respective self-care plans and continuing our mental health series throughout this semester!

GIS @ ASU Attends the GIS Grand Chapter Regional Conference

February 7, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt

GIS Regional Conference

Since the 50th Annual GIS International Conference this fall, the members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) have anticipated our next opportunity to engage with other GIS students and industry sponsors. Fortunately, on January 28, GIS @ ASU had the chance to do just that at the GIS Regional Conference! GIS @ ASU members were able to attend the conference virtually, which consisted of a welcome and keynote, a career fair, and virtual interviews.

GIS Regional Conference

The keynote speaker was Judy Gonsalves, Division President of Chubb Bermuda, who gave an engaging and informative presentation on her own experiences in the insurance industry, as well as her advice for young insurance industry professionals. Gonsalves shared how she did not choose insurance, insurance chose her. She had no intention of working in the insurance industry, but rather became hooked after being hired at Chubb Bermuda, a subsidiary of Chubb, as an underwriter. Since then, she has worked her way to an executive position, however, not without unforeseen obstacles. Gonsalves shared that an unsatisfactory presentation to Chubb executives prompted her to seek a communication coach, allowing her to be a “communication chameleon,” and adapt her communication style to her intended audience. She emphasized the importance of communication in the insurance industry and how it enabled her to become a Chubb executive herself. Gonsalves shared the importance of taking risks as a young professional, because regardless of success or failure, risks can teach us things about ourselves and the world around us. 

Following the keynote, GIS students had the opportunity to network at the virtual career fair. While a virtual conference may not be as exciting as a traditional in-person conference, it does allow GIS members to have access to many different employers at their fingertips. There were five career fairs, one each for employers in the Northwest, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West regions. No matter where GIS students were attending the conference throughout the country, they had access to all five of the career fairs. Throughout the career fair, GIS members also had access to virtual interviews. Virtual interviews allow GIS members to have uninterrupted, one-on-one time with employers.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Grand Chapter for facilitating this invaluable opportunity for members to grow as young insurance professionals. The virtual platform operated seamlessly, allowing for our members to connect with other students and industry sponsors. 

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night 

February 1, 2022
By Lainey Waldman

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) strives to provide students with the proper resources to succeed throughout their academic and professional career. To accomplish this, on January 25, GIS @ ASU hosted a Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop focusing on crafting personal statements specifically for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) application process.

The meeting began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President (Lydia Gabric) and Vice President (Gina Gilkey). The pair guided members through the SoMSS application and explained how to apply to the many scholarships available. They then highlighted the 11 ASU actuarial-specific scholarships ranging in value from $500-$1000. They highly encouraged members to apply to every scholarship to increase their likelihood of winning an award.

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

After the presentation, GIS @ ASU officers led small breakout groups through a Personal Statement Workshop entailing a series of questions meant to help develop ideas and begin writing. Members had the opportunity to brainstorm for their personal statements utilizing questions like “What makes you unique?” and “What attracted you to actuarial science?”. The officers emphasized the importance of highlighting career ambitions and professional experience within personal statements. Through discussion, many students drafted overarching themes of their papers and prepared for applying to the SoMSS application.

The meeting concluded with the breakout groups coming together and sharing their experiences and ideas. GIS @ ASU thanks its members for attending and participating in the Spring 2022 Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop. We also want to remind our members that the SoMSS scholarship application is due on February 6 at 11:59 PM. Make sure to submit your applications before the deadline!

GIS @ ASU hosts in-person Spring Kickoff Meeting!

January 26, 2022
By Melanie Patten 

GIS @ ASU Spring Kickoff meeting

As winter break comes to a close and students prepare for the semester ahead, it was wonderful to see everyone in person safely for a spring semester welcome meeting. On January 18, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to see our members, including new and returning, at the Spring Kickoff Meeting. The meeting consisted of time to socialize over the dinner provided, introductions from the GIS @ ASU officers and committee members, an overview of all that GIS @ ASU has to offer this semester, and an interactive activity for members to learn more about one another. 

The attendees first received a warm welcome from GIS @ ASU leadership, who invited everyone to socialize amongst each other over tacos and burritos prior to the start of the informative presentation. Our chapter’s four officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, elaborated on the professional, academic, and social opportunities available through the organization. Some of the highlights included the emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the procedures to become an official member, and the upcoming events for the Spring semester (many of which will be in person). Members were also reminded of each of the places they can find GIS @ ASU social media accounts to stay up to date and receive reminders: Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

To finish off the first meeting of the semester, all attendees participated in a Kahoot game to get to know one another and their backgrounds. Members learned that about 75% of those in attendance have sat for an actuarial exam and that all but one are actuarial science majors. During the game, one of our committee members, Charlotte Cliatt, made sure to let everyone know that their favorite calculators should be the TI-30XS MultiView and the BA II Plus Professional, which stirred up quite a debate and some laughter. Following the game, students were given more time to socialize and ask questions to GIS @ ASU leadership. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank everyone, both current and soon-to-be members, for attending the Spring Kickoff Meeting, as well as our Treasury Team for going out of their way to provide dinner! We look forward to this semester with a packed schedule of events that will contribute to our members’ professional growth. We are hopeful that it will be a great semester! 

GIS @ ASU’s Fall D&I Event

November 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is especially proud to host events that further our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the actuarial field. On November 23, GIS @ ASU hosted representatives from several organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the actuarial field. The organizations shared their mission and the support they offer to actuaries and actuarial candidates from underrepresented groups.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Celeste Trevino who represented the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA). Trevino explained the numerous ways in which OLA supports Latinx aspiring actuaries through multiple programs such as mentoring, OLA academy for professional development, exam support, career fairs, and scholarships. She gave great personal insight into her experience as a member of OLA, mentioning the impact of programs like OLA Academy and OLA-specific internship opportunities on her career development.

Jeaninne Ingabire, representing the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), highlighted the barriers that exist for black actuarial candidates, as well as ways the IABA is combatting those barriers. She detailed the immense efforts taken by the IABA to increase awareness of the actuarial profession, offer financial support, build networks, and influence career development and growth for aspiring black actuaries. Ingabire also mentioned some incredible programs like the IABA Boot Camp and a mentorship program.

Next, GIS @ ASU welcomed two more organizations with strong values surrounding diversity and inclusion. Ron Gebhardtsbauer, a representative of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries (SAGAA), gave attendees background on the growing LGBTQ+ population in the United States and some of the challenges confronting the community in the workplace. He explained how SAGAA was founded to be a safe space and resource for LGBTQ+ actuarial talent and allies and gave insight into the ways SAGAA is supporting the community through their three pillars: networking, professional development, and company education.

Following the incredibly informative presentation from SAGAA, GIS @ ASU members were introduced to the recently founded Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA). Sandy Lowe and Norah Barnes emphasized NAWA’s goals of connecting and empowering women of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and life circumstances to be successful in the actuarial profession. They explained the formation of NAWA’s impact committees that strive to create a community of actuaries who identify as women and allies and to generate awareness about gender bias in the actuarial profession, concluding with a mention of ways to get involved with their mission.

GIS @ ASU greatly enjoyed hosting the first diversity and inclusion night of the year and is thrilled to help create a more inclusive, welcoming community at ASU. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the representatives from OLA, IABA, SAGAA, and NAWA, for taking the time to come speak with us and to introduce our students to their organizations. GIS @ ASU hopes their members will reach out to these organizations and take advantage of the great support and programs available to aspiring actuaries from underrepresented groups!

GIS @ ASU Attends CADS Fall Meeting

November 29, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) always works to maintain strong connections with local insurance organizations including CADS, the Casualty Actuaries of the Desert States. On November 17, CADS invited GIS @ ASU students to attend the organization’s Fall meeting and to listen to several presentations and initiatives about current P&C affairs. Among the attendees at the event were actuaries from several different P&C insurers, ranging from standard insurance carriers such as Allstate and Nationwide, as well as excess and surplus insurers such as Nautilus and GPW. 

The meeting had a large variety of agenda items and presentations spanning across several different fields, and GIS @ ASU members got to engage with and learn more about these topics. The meeting kicked off with administrative obligations, starting with the election of a new officer, Ryan Landers, and the transition of leadership from former president Mark Weihs to incoming president Jeff Durham, an alumnus and the first graduate of ASU's actuarial science program. Following this election, the discussion shifted to the current CADS budget as well as a timeline of upcoming events for members to attend. With all of the new business addressed, the spotlight turned to the several expert presentations that were much anticipated by all attendees.

The first presenter, Mark Kinder, gave a very relevant presentation on the 2022 ISO’s (an insurance data organization) General Liability releases, discussing items such as new rules, new forms, and upcoming loss cost revisions. Following Kinder, professor of practice John Zicarelli provided information about ASU’s actuarial science program, discussing accolades achieved by students and detailing the program growth in the past few years. Other presentations included Shawna Ackerman’s fascinating overview on earthquake statistics and their effect on catastrophic insurance and Todd Hess’ pertinent presentation about professionalism and reputational risk, derived from the important Actuarial Standards of Practice. Students were delighted to see a presentation about modeling floods and wildfires in Arizona from ASU’s very own assistant professor, Petar Jevtic. In addition, attendees also had the privilege to hear from CAS president Jessica Leong, who discussed ongoing CAS initiatives including the expansion of the D&I program, the implications of a recent organization-wide vote, and the continuation of computer-based testing exams.

Members of GIS @ ASU had an amazing time at the CADS Fall meeting, gaining more exposure with the local P&C community and learning about current insurance topics ranging from earthquake insurance to general liability loss trends. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the leadership at CADS for providing our members with the amazing opportunity to attend the meeting and gain more insight into actuarial work within the P&C industry. We greatly appreciate the support from CADS and look forward to attending future CADS meetings and events!

WSIA Visits GIS @ ASU for the First Time

November 24, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Changing pace from the usual company visits this semester, the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) visited the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) on November 16 to share information about the organization and how it can help college students interested in a career in insurance. The presentation from Kathleen Sanchez, Kimberly Curtis, and Laura Barron, covered the basics of wholesale and specialty insurance, what it is like to work in the field, and what the WSIA does.

The WSIA representatives began the presentation with an overview of wholesale, specialty, and surplus lines insurance and how the risks covered are unique, filling in areas that the standard insurance market does not cover. The educational section continued, describing how the surplus lines market works, from who might seek excess and surplus (E&S) insurance coverage, to a day in the life of a surplus lines professional. Curtis described the work she does at Nationwide E&S in treaty placement with collecting information to send to reinsurers, and Barron shared some insight into the large variety of risks she sees every day as a broker. Sanchez wrapped up the overview of the industry by describing different positions in the industry, informing students about different career paths before diving a little deeper into actuarial work on E&S teams for interested students.

After GIS @ ASU members gained a good understanding of wholesale and specialty insurance, the presentation shifted to focus on the WSIA. The WSIA provides opportunities for members to network, participate in regulatory and legislative advocacy, educate about the industry, promote wholesale value, and help recruit talent. Barron covered opportunities of interest to students watching the presentation, including internships, scholarships, mentors, and more.

GIS @ ASU thanks the WSIA for their presentation that informed members about the industry and the many opportunities available through the organization. We look forward to the next time the WSIA visits!

GIS @ ASU attends the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall Meeting

November 19, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to attend a local professional actuarial society meeting this week. On November 10, GIS @ ASU officers and club members virtually attended the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall meeting. Club members were given the opportunity to network and listen to two informative presentations focusing on how actuaries can be more productive in the workplace.

The meeting began with a networking Bingo session. Here, members were given the opportunity to meet some of their peers and play an interactive game to learn fun facts about one another. It was a fantastic opportunity to break the ice and give GIS @ ASU students a chance to connect with other actuaries in the Arizona community.

The networking session was then followed by a presentation from Bonnie Punch about adapting actuarial toolkits to account for changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most actuaries, especially in the health community, have had to address the influence of the pandemic on their modeling and determine what the best actuarial practices are going forward. One of the major questions that Punch proposed was is if it is best to continue modeling based on data before the pandemic or to use the past two years as a large part of future projections. While Punch explained that her department still uses pre-pandemic data as their main modeling source for the coming years, she still is using COVID-19 data to determine the “new normal” in the healthcare industry. She asserted that actuaries must consider how the demand for healthcare services has changed compared to pre-pandemic time and what kind of long-term impacts COVID-19 will have on mental and behavioral health services. 

After Punch’s presentation, Yiuxan Song presented on how to tell narratives with data. He explained the importance of effective graphics when communicating information to clients and those outside of the actuarial profession. He recommended creating graphics to display data through the following six strategies: understand the context, choose an appropriate visual, eliminate clutter, focus attention, think like a designer, and tell a story. He highlighted that the key is to understand the “so what?” of a study and to communicate that through the presentation graphic chosen. He also explained the importance of creating trust through visuals and not having them be misleading for the audience. 

GIS @ ASU thanks the Arizona Actuarial Club for hosting their Fall meeting and providing the opportunity for students to network and gain more insight into the industry. We look forward to the next meeting!
 

AST Visits GIS @ ASU

November 15, 2021
By Melanie Patten 

The end of the fall semester is just around the corner! This week, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) held the second to last company visit of the semester. On November 9, GIS @ ASU welcomed Actuarial Strategies and Tactics (AST) for an informational evening, consisting of presentations from their representatives and questions from our members. AST, founded by Bernon Erickson in 2012, is a small actuarial consulting firm built upon long-term, close-knit relationships with clients, as well as fellow staff. With just 12 employees, the company’s impact is significant with clients located in 19 states as well as the Caribbean. Throughout the virtual visit, AST’s representatives shared more information about their company culture, internship opportunities, and personal actuarial experiences. 

AST kicked off the meeting by providing an overview of the firm, located in Old Town Scottsdale. Representative Justin emphasized the importance of client communication and how these interactions feel like a partnership. Our members then had the opportunity to hear from the President and Founder of AST, Bernie Erickson. Erickson described his career path and what led him to create his own actuarial firm. At the beginning of his career, he came to the realization that, above all else, his goals are to take care of both his long-term clients and his staff. With such goals in mind, Erickson chose to achieve these by creating AST, where he can continue to teach actuarial work and provide opportunities for professional development to those at the start of their careers. As he introduced himself and AST, the company culture and three ethics became especially apparent: work, service, and team. GIS @ ASU was fortunate enough to hear from a number of current employees who had previously interned at AST before becoming full-time hires. Our members learned that some did not know what an actuary was prior to their internship but have yet to look back due to the great culture at AST. 

AST continued to entertain and engage our members with a fun activity: Jeopardy! GIS @ ASU members were divided into small breakout rooms on Zoom, each room containing two AST representatives. The six categories of the game were, Actuarial, Exam P, AST, Arizona, Name the Song, and Movies. From recognizing the probability density function of the Gamma distribution to reciting the 5 C’s of Arizona, the knowledge of each of our members was put to the test. This activity in breakout rooms also allowed GIS @ ASU to ask the AST employees more questions and to get to know them. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of the representatives from AST for spending their Tuesday evening with us! We are grateful to have learned more about the firm and to have had the opportunity to ask a wide variety of questions. We truly appreciate your time and look forward to AST’s next visit!

CSAA Visits GIS @ ASU

November 9, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

Company visits are the highlight of the Fall semester for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU). They offer our members the invaluable opportunity to gain connections in the actuarial science community. On November 2, GIS @ ASU was thrilled to virtually host the California State Auto Association (CSAA), following their company visit last Spring. The representatives of CSAA, Jiayi Huang and Shelly Zhou, prepared an informational and engaging meeting, providing our members a glimpse into the life of an analyst at CSAA.

After introductions from the CSAA representatives, the visit started with a challenging Kahoot about CSAA, with questions ranging from their history to the size of their membership base. This was a great way to engage everyone, as the members of GIS @ ASU love a game of Kahoot. From there, Huang and Zhou shared the various opportunities available to analysts at CSAA. They presented an overview of each actuarial department and emphasized the value of rotating across departments to become a well-rounded actuarial student. This allowed GIS @ ASU students to learn more about actuarial work and consider whether property and casualty insurance is of interest to them.

From there, the representatives of CSAA shared the employment opportunities available to members pursuing internships as well as full-time positions. Fortunately, both Huang and Zhou were past CSAA interns and could speak on the interesting projects they completed during their summer internships. They emphasized that interns at CSAA are assigned to real projects that will not only challenge them but also be of value to their team. Huang's intern project of creating a hurricane model for home insurance and Zhou’s intern project of investigating the loss ratio of auto policies in New Jersey were both great examples of the opportunities available to actuarial students at CSAA.

To wrap up the meeting, the CSAA representatives shared with GIS @ ASU the importance of finding an employer who is the right fit for you and prioritizing your growth as a young actuary. Members of GIS @ ASU always appreciate such insight from fellow young professionals. Thank you to CSAA for returning to GIS @ ASU for another successful company visit!

The College Leaders 2021 Awards Ceremony

November 4, 2021
By Gina Gilkey

Each year, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University honors distinguished alumni who have continued their successes since graduating, driving positive change locally and internationally through leadership, business, research, and community service. This growing list of ASU alumni shares remarkable achievements and excellence. President Lydia Gabric and Vice President Gina Gilkey from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) were nominated in recognition of being distinguished Student Leaders in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, an academic unit of The College. Hearing the inspiring success stories from many of the alumni in-person on ASU’s campus and having the opportunity to network at the reception afterwards was an invaluable experience.

The ceremony kicked off by recognizing four alumni - David Wilson, Herman Frazier, Lisa Pino, and Lisa Clark - who each shared their impressive and impactful career stories. They shared how they got to where they are now and how they achieved these milestones since graduating from ASU. Each story was incredibly inspiring and refreshing for Gabric and Gilkey to hear. For example, alumni David Wilson, who graduated from ASU’s Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. programs in microbiology, shared his career story and impact within the National Institute of Health, which partners with the Indian Health Service to support the Native American Research Centers for Health. He serves a crucial role for the Institute and undoubtedly has a positive impact on healthcare within the Native American populations. Following each of the four speeches, the distinguished Student Leaders were invited to ask the alumni a question in a panel format. Students were curious about how these alumni adapted to COVID-19’s challenges to continue making an impact in their careers as well as how they describe their proudest accomplishment.

After the ceremony, the distinguished alumni and Student Leaders were invited outdoors for refreshments and networking. Gabric and Gilkey took this opportunity to meet several alumni, including mathematics alumnus Peter Charron who was honored as a College Leader in 2015, and Laura Bush who earned a PhD in English and was recognized as a College Leader at last year's ceremony. Making these connections also made the night an incredible experience for our GIS @ ASU leadership. Thank you to The College for hosting this night to honor deserving alumni and inspire current students, as well as the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences for nominating two students from GIS @ ASU leadership. It was a night to remember, and GIS @ ASU looks forward to continuing to watch the distinguished ASU alumni network grow and succeed!

Edrington Health Consulting Visits GIS @ ASU

November 2, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to host yet another amazing company at its weekly meeting. On October 26, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Edrington Health Consulting (EHC) for a very informative and fun company visit. EHC, a Health Management Associated Company, is a small consulting firm that provides actuarial and financial services to health plans, state agencies, provider groups, and advocacy groups. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives from EHC kept our members engaged as they introduced the EHC team and the work they do and gave GIS @ ASU members a chance to try applying the information they learned about health claims reserving.

EHC kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the company, noting its growth of the current team after being started in 2014 by the company’s namesake, Kyle Edrington. They shared information about the work they do, foreshadowing the activity they had planned with their mention of incurred but not paid (IBNP) claims development. Next, EHC continued with introductions to the team, connecting with the GIS @ ASU members as they shared the aspects of their first job in the actuarial field that scared them most, from mentions of what seemed to be a never-ending list of acronyms to the intimidatingly impressive Microsoft Excel skills of their coworkers. After continuing with a glimpse into some of EHC’s collaborations with ASU, the representatives then segued into giving GIS @ ASU members some insight and background on health claims reserving, hinting at the many methods that exist for these calculations.

Next, GIS @ ASU members had the opportunity to put what they had learned about health claims reserving into practice in a fun take on The Price is Right: The Reserve is Right! Split into teams, the attendees were given information on healthcare claims data, including the number of enrollees in the health plan, the amount of money already spent paying claims, and an estimation of the percentage of claims that had been paid within each service month. They then had a chance to work some actuarial magic in Excel and predict how much money they would need in reserves to pay off the outstanding claims. Our members took some great approaches, calculating the total necessary reserve by trending more complete data from earlier months and accounting for the impact of COVID-19. The teams all did a fantastic job, with the team, Just for the Bezos Bucks, ultimately coming closest to predicting the correct reserve and the team, 70-7, being applauded for its choice in name. After wrapping up the entertaining activity, the representatives from EHC concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions that had arisen throughout the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to give a sincere thank you to the representatives from EHC who gave our members the incredible opportunity to hear about their company and gain invaluable insight into some of the functions actuaries have the chance to perform. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to EHC’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Attends CPCU I-Day

October 31, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Charted Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society invited its Arizona and Colorado chapters to virtually attend this year’s All Industry Day (I-Day) on October 22. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) was honored to receive the extended invitation and have the chance to learn about up-and-coming topics in the insurance industry as well as to network with and learn from working professionals. The event is a great way for GIS @ ASU’s members to get a glimpse into the industry and important events while still in school, which can be especially helpful while students are interviewing for internships.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction as to the flow of presentations and a quick breakout room session where attendees had the chance to get to know each other better. Once introductions were over, it was time to get into the presentations! Members had the chance to learn from many professionals in a variety of fields. Susan Kearney, Paul Rossi, Kodi Fitzkerrels, Mark Slaugh and Curt Devries, led the group through a diverse set of topics concerning the insurance industry today and fielded questions from the audience. The topics of this year’s event included an introduction to block chain, new drone technology, how to make the best of your day, the effects of legalizing cannabis, and the consequences surrounding social media. The group was also introduced to a variety of charities they could consider supporting. At the beginning of each presentation, the speaker spent a couple of minutes describing an organization they had chosen to support and what it means to them. Both the giving spirit and the many questions that flowed throughout the day made the event feel collaborative and immersive, despite its virtual platform.

The afternoon ended with a thank you to all the presenters and a gift card raffle to the attendees! It was interesting to see what subjects were covered in this year’s event and how students could use the knowledge presented in their everyday lives, such as in preparation for their interviews or during an internship. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Arizona Chapter of the CPCU for inviting us to this year’s I-Day and allowing students the chance to learn a bit more about important topics in the insurance industry. The chance to learn from and network with professionals in the industry is invaluable. GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the speakers who came to present and share their knowledge with the chapter. We look forward to the chance to attend next year’s I-Day!

IAT Visits GIS @ ASU

October 28,2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

IAT began the presentation with introductions from Kelsi Knoles, Haley Schuman, Shawn Baker, and Steven Locke, who each explained how they began working at IAT and what a typical workday looks like for them, highlighting some of the important skills they use and the types of projects on which they work. Moving onto more general information about the company, Locke covered IAT’s lines of businesses and how they differ from standard lines property and casualty insurance. Knoles then explained how the culture at IAT also differentiates the company from other insurers, particularly larger companies. Since IAT is smaller in size and has a culture that stresses the value and inclusion of every employee, Schuman and Baker gave some personal examples about how employees from all levels of the company show that culture every day at work. The group also highlighted IAT’s charitable endeavors and how employees get involved with Giving Week. The presentation was finished off with some information about career opportunities at IAT, such as how internships work and what different trainee programs are offered.

During the discussion portion of the evening, GIS @ ASU members were able to ask whatever questions were still on their minds. As GIS @ ASU learned during the presentation section, IAT employees receive great benefits; Schuman offered some specific details on the actuarial exam support that is available for employees looking to earn their credentials, which was great for the actuarial students in GIS @ ASU to hear. Those attending the meeting also got more insight from the representatives about work-life balance at IAT. Representatives explained how a typical week allows for great work-life balance, though there are naturally some busier points throughout the week or month depending on the type of work being done. The discussion portion was a great environment for students to gear the meeting towards their own points of interest about IAT.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives from IAT Insurance Group for spending their time visiting the club. It was a valuable time for members to learn about what the company does and to hear some personal examples about careers at IAT!

ASU Virtual High School Visit

October 21, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), in a joint venture with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuary Society (CAS), hosted a virtual high school visit on October 18. High school students were given the opportunity to learn about the actuarial profession, talk to professionals in the industry, and interact with GIS @ ASU officers.

The event began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President Lydia Gabric, focusing on actuarial science at Arizona State University and within GIS @ ASU. Gabric detailed the many degree options that ASU offers such as the actuarial science undergraduate, master’s, and 4+1 degrees. She continued to explain GIS @ ASU and how the organization fits into the actuarial science program at ASU. The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot session where students were given the opportunity to showcase their general actuarial science knowledge and mathematics skills. This allowed students to apply the information they just learned and earn some exciting SOA and CAS swag!

The meeting then transitioned into breakout rooms where students could ask questions that may have come up throughout the Zoom meeting. Students asked questions such as, “Do actuaries need graduate degrees to succeed?”, “Do I have to be an actuarial science major to become an actuary?”, and “What advice would you give to a high school student looking to become an actuary?”. Actuarial professionals in the meeting emphasized the importance of constantly being open to learning new things and adapting to challenges that would inevitably come.

The meeting ended with a visit from a CAS/SOA Joint Committee for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (JCIED) representative. He explained the continually growing emphasis on inclusion, equity, and diversity in the actuarial profession and how the CAS and the SOA are contributing to those goals. He also highlighted the ways that GIS @ ASU is incorporating those objectives into programming.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the CAS, SOA, and all the high school teachers and students who attended. We are honored by the opportunity to work with the next generation of actuaries and look forward to the opportunity to visit with more high school students in the future.

GIS @ ASU Celebrates IICF Week of Giving

October 20, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is composed of students who hope to make a difference in their communities, both in the present day and in their future careers. This week, they were given the opportunity to do so. On October 15, a total of 17 members of GIS @ ASU chose to give back to the community and volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank to celebrate the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Week of Giving. The IICF helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strength of the insurance industry in providing grants, volunteer service, and leadership. The IICF also encourages all insurance professionals to volunteer during Week of Giving, which took place from October 9-16 this year.

GIS @ ASU members spent their Friday afternoon helping St. Mary’s Food Bank by packing emergency food boxes for individuals and families in need. Activities within the assembly line included, but were not limited to, stocking products, breaking down cardboard boxes, and packing non-perishable food into boxes to be distributed. ASU students, along with other volunteers from across the valley, worked diligently to prepare 1,440 boxes for families and 1,200 bags for children in need. With the stress of midterms, school, and internships on the minds of many of those involved in GIS @ ASU, it was refreshing to team up with other volunteers to help reduce hunger in our community, as well as to further strengthen relationships with fellow actuarial science majors outside of the classroom. It is heartwarming to know that the energy of simply 60 volunteers were able to make the difference of 33,698 meals for those needing assistance in Phoenix.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of our members who volunteered their time, as well as St. Mary’s Food Bank for providing rewarding and easily accessible opportunities to give back to the community. We are grateful to have celebrated the IICF Week of Giving safely in-person this year. We look forward to volunteering together as a chapter again next year.

Humana Visits GIS @ ASU

October 14, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) has been on a roll with company visits, and this week was no different! On October 5, GIS @ ASU welcomed Humana for an informative and fun company visit. Humana is a large health insurance company with over 90,000 employees, earning them the 41st spot on the Fortune 500 list. Humana has a strong actuarial community, with opportunities in a wide range of departments. Humana’s representative, Matthew Coles, shared with GIS @ ASU members the exciting internship and full-time positions that Humana offers for actuarial students.

Humana kicked off the meeting by highlighting some of the fun events that take place during their summer internship. One of the favorites was the Intern Olympics, a chance for actuarial interns to collaborate in teams and compete in events. GIS @ ASU members enjoyed seeing the silly pictures shared from the Intern Olympics, featuring a handful of our members! Despite last summer’s internship being virtual, these events ensure that interns can still get to know each other and build friendships.

While interns at Humana have the chance to participate in the Intern Olympics, they also get the chance to develop their actuarial careers. Coles continued the presentation, touching on all aspects of Humana’s internship program. Interns at Humana complete meaningful actuarial work, allowing them to expand technically and gain valuable industry knowledge. Interns also get to complete two presentations, allowing them to not only share their actuarial work with other interns and departments, but also practice their presentation skills. Another perk of Humana’s internship is access to mentorship and networking. After a glimpse into Humana’s internship program, Coles shared with GIS @ ASU members how to get involved in the recruitment process.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Humana for attending this week’s meeting. Company visits are always a hit during the fall semester, offering members valuable time with the industry’s leaders. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Humana’s next visit!

GIS @ ASU Takes on the Virtual Actuarial Science Career Fair

October 6, 2021
By Alison Hansen

That time of year has rolled around again where students begin their hunt for internships and full-time positions. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) and Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) have successfully paired again to host the annual actuarial science virtual career fair on September 29. The career fair is an invaluable way for actuarial science students who are looking for internships or full-time positions to get face-to-face time with company representatives and ask questions about the industry or about a specific company. GIS @ ASU was excited to have 22 companies and the SOA attend this year’s event, as well as a total of 70 attending students in professional attire over Zoom.

The afternoon began with a panel of ASU Alumni, moderated by Jeff Durham from Allstate and Michael Brunner from Centene. Students kept the panelists and moderators busy with a constant flow of questions about preparing for exams, work-life balance, and the transition from school to their career. Alex Kirvan from AST, Hailey Walters from Allstate, Julie Tang from Mercer, and Kelsi Knoles from IAT Insurance shared their personal experience and expertise, each bringing a different perspective from property and casualty to life and health insurance or consulting versus the traditional insurance route, to the table.

Following the Alumni panel came time to network. Students had the opportunity to jump in and out of each company’s Zoom link to meet new people and ask general or company-specific questions. This time is invaluable to students because it gives them a chance to build connections and learn more about their future careers and possible future employing companies. After one hour of general networking, it was time for the reserved speed interviews. These 12-minute chats between representatives and individual students were held in separate breakout rooms, allowing students who did not have interviews to continue to network.

While a virtual career fair may not be what everyone is used to, it ended as a huge success for both students and company representatives! GIS @ ASU would like to thank the panelists and moderators for fielding students’ questions as well as all the companies who attended for their time. We look forward to seeing the results of the afternoon in the coming weeks.

Nationwide Visits GIS @ ASU

October 3, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was delighted to host another great company at its weekly meetings. On September 28, GIS @ ASU was proud to welcome Nationwide for a very informative and interesting company visit. Nationwide is a large insurer with business across a wide range of lines in property and casualty, excess and surplus/specialty, and financial. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives of Nationwide kept our members engaged as they shared more information about their company and employment opportunities while giving GIS @ ASU members a chance to try their hand at pricing insurance products.

Alex Perhac, Ryan Landers, Sean Lewis, and Nick Vogl started the meeting with some introductions in which they gave members a background on their actuarial path and shared some fun facts about themselves, from being a former math teacher to getting married two weeks ago! After learning about the representatives, Nationwide went on to give our members insight into their business and current job opportunities. They emphasized Nationwide’s great study program and actuarial rotation program and highlighted finding a community within the company through their Associate Resource Groups. They even elaborated on the hiring process for their actuarial opportunities, giving GIS @ ASU members great insight into the interview processes.

The presentation was then followed by a unique, interactive pricing activity. While being taught about the basic principles of pricing insurance products, GIS @ ASU members were shown some loss history data to use in pricing three different products: commercial auto, homeowner, and excess insurance. After submitting their prices, the profits, or losses for some, earned by attendees were revealed. With his correct prediction of a bad hurricane causing higher losses on some homeowners’ policies in 2022, Neil Bhardwaja earned the highest profit from his pricing decisions out of all the attendees who participated in Nationwide’s pricing activity! The representatives from Nationwide concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions they had come up with throughout earlier moments in the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives of Nationwide who gave our members the fantastic opportunity to hear about their business and receive insight into insurance pricing. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Nationwide’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Travels to the 50th Annual GIS International Conference

October 1, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Back in-person this year, officers and committee members representing the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) flew to Columbus, Ohio, to attend Gamma Iota Sigma’s 50th Annual International Conference from September 23-25. The three days were packed with speaker sessions covering a multitude of topics, keynote addresses, and networking opportunities for attendees.

On Thursday, the officers and committee members had the opportunity to attend several GammaSAID sessions and visit with companies present at the Career Fair. In one session titled “Bias and Fairness: A Spotlight on Race and Insurance”, attendees learned about proxy discrimination and disparate impact in auto insurance. This session provided great insight into the history of racial bias in insurance, as well as current practices that are under scrutiny for perpetuating bias in today’s society.

On Friday morning, a panel of executive leaders in the industry advised all of the aspiring professionals in the room about identifying ways to develop as future leaders of the insurance industry. Discussion of future careers continued through sessions such as “The Actuary of the Future: How to Prepare for a Changing World”, where panelists spoke about continual learning and diversifying one’s skillset to ensure growth throughout a career. These sessions were filled with great chances to broaden perspectives and reflect on one’s professional path. While not attending these thought-provoking sessions, GIS @ ASU leadership went to the Career Fair to learn about the companies and network with industry professionals.

The Annual Awards Dinner and Keynote Address was hosted on Friday night, honoring the 2020-2021 GIS @ ASU leadership with multiple awards for the incredible work they did for the chapter. The International Chapter Award recognizes chapters for work in alumni relations, chapter management, community service, GammaSAID diversity and inclusion, membership development, and public relations. Additionally, GIS @ ASU received the Excellent Chapter Award for 2020-2021. GIS @ ASU would like to extend congratulations to 2020-2021 President Kinsey Turk, who received the Thomas J. Miles Actuarial Award, which is presented to an exceptional actuarial science major.

“I am so proud of the former leadership team. I know none of us expected to be leading from our bedrooms miles apart, but we still managed to implement meaningful and impactful programs for our members and achieve the status of Excellent Chapter," said Turk. "As for myself, I am so honored to have been selected for such a prestigious award. I hope to continue to lean into the values of Thomas J. Miles as I begin my career in the insurance industry.”

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Nationwide in Scottsdale, who sponsored this trip to the 50th annual international conference, and continues to generously support our program and students since the commencement of the program in 2014. 

GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the Gamma Iota Sigma Grand Chapter for hosting the International Conference and coordinating so many informative and enriching events over the three-day conference. Being able to connect with other chapters from across the country led to great discussions about each chapter’s unique experiences and interests across risk management, insurance, and actuarial science. Officers and committee members are excited to return for weekly chapter meetings to further serve GIS @ ASU with the knowledge gained at the conference, and we look forward to what the 51st Annual International Conference has in store next year!

GIS @ ASU Attends American Indian Science and Engineering Society Conference

September 30, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is always looking for new ways to make a positive impact within the local community, and club officers were more than willing to step up for a community outreach opportunity offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). On September 24, GIS @ ASU treasurer Neil Bhardwaja had the incredible opportunity to attend the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference College and Career Fair, volunteering at the joint SOA/CAS exhibit. The AISES Conference, an annual symposium hosted this year at the Phoenix Convention Center, serves as a venue for Indigenous professionals and students from across North America to network and engage with STEM companies and organizations. This year, the event drew in over 2,500 conference participants, including over 100 companies with the likes of Amazon, Boeing, and the CIA, alongside prestigious colleges and nonprofit organizations.

Among these professional organizations at the conference were the CAS and SOA, who jointly organized the “Be an Actuary” exhibitor booth. The purpose of this booth was to introduce interested attendees to the actuarial profession and offer awareness about opportunities within the industry as well as scholarships. At the booth, professional actuaries from across the industry spectrum worked together to answer various questions from visitors regarding what actuaries do, the career path, and the perks and challenges of the job. Bhardwaja assisted in these efforts by providing information regarding the educational path for prospective actuaries as well as offering insight into pursuing an actuarial career while in college. Throughout the day, interested visitors cycled in to receive advice and guidance about how they could pursue a career as an actuary and how they could best leverage their technical skills and academic experiences to enter the profession. After engaging with the staff at the booth, visitors were able to receive important documents discussing online actuarial resources and scholarship opportunities as well as some special gifts including stress balls in the shape of a pencil and raffle tickets for the huge end-of-day raffle.

Throughout the event, GIS @ ASU was able to speak with several students, educators, and current professionals from across the continent, networking and forming strong connections with attendees. GIS @ ASU gained more insight into ways to assist locally through hearing the perspectives and knowledge of seasoned actuarial professionals, who offered key information about the industry and the resources available to assist disadvantaged individuals entering the actuarial profession. GIS @ ASU had an incredible experience attending the AISES conference and highlighting actuarial science to a community that has been historically underrepresented within the field. GIS @ ASU would like to thank AISES for hosting such a well-organized and meaningful event as well as the SOA and CAS for offering GIS @ ASU this opportunity to participate and make an impact!

Centene Visits GIS @ ASU

September 28, 2021
Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host yet another fantastic company at its weekly meeting. On September 21, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Centene for an informational and networking session with its members. Students were given the opportunity to interact with representatives Michael Brunner and Sean Kratsch while they shared their experiences with Centene.

Brunner and Kratsch began their presentation by explaining what exactly an actuary is and how to become one. They both thoroughly emphasized the importance of progressing through exams and finding a discipline of insurance that coincides with individual goals. They then continued to explain Centene’s Actuarial Development Program. This program helps actuarial analysts within their company by financially supporting employees through exams and incentivizing passing with bonuses and raises. Finally, the pair elaborated on the Centene actuarial intern experience. They highlighted Centene’s many offices including locations in Arizona, California, New York, and Florida. Current interns and GIS officers, Isabelle Welsh and Lydia Gabric, shared their perspective of the immersive intern experience. Welsh further elaborated on the strong support network Centene provides and how important that is in the beginning of one’s career.

The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot! session proctored by the Centene representatives. The categories varied from random trivia to math. It was a fantastic opportunity for GIS @ ASU members to connect with Centene on a social level along with the previously established professional level. After the exciting Kahoot!, members were given the opportunity to ask any final questions before the meeting adjourned. Here, Brunner was given the opportunity to emphasize how versatile work at Centene can be. Since Centene has hundreds of people working in the actuarial department, they have a vast array of resources and projects for employees to work on. Brunner said this was one of the main reasons why he loves Centene, and why he decided to stay with them over the years.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all the representatives from Centene who came to talk and share their experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity for members to learn more about the company and ask any questions about life as an actuary in health insurance. We look forward to your next company visit!

Mercer Visits GIS @ ASU

September 18, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to hold the third company visit of the semester. On September 14, GIS @ ASU was especially proud to welcome Mercer for yet another informational and entertaining company visit. Mercer is a large consulting firm with expertise across a wide range of disciplines, primarily involving health. Throughout the visit over Zoom, the representatives of Mercer kept our members engaged, as they shared more information about their company, their internship program, and a Mercer employee’s career story. 

The employees of Mercer began with a fun activity, allowing GIS @ ASU members to learn more about each of the Mercer representatives. The representatives gave introductions in which they elaborated on their positions within the company and shared fun facts about themselves. These fun facts ranged from an employee getting married in just two months to another gifting himself a banjo for nearly becoming a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. After learning more about the Mercer representatives and opening with a light-hearted activity, we gained insight into the business as a whole from Stacey Betz, who shared that Mercer treats their clients’ problems holistically. Betz explained there are approximately 70 credentialed actuaries within the company, providing a significant number of Mercer employees with whom to discuss the actuarial career path. 

Alex Sabrowsky and Michelle Torbit then enhanced the company visit by describing their previous experiences being a part of the internship program at Mercer. Each of them discussed how they were treated as though they were full-time analysts even as an intern, meaning that their work was of great value to the company at large. GIS @ ASU members learned that Mercer’s interns give a presentation to the government practice after their internships. Sabrowsky and Torbit ensured that our members were aware of the mentorship opportunities as well, stating that each intern is assigned to a mentor, or “buddy”, who eases the transition and remains in contact with the intern weekly. GIS @ ASU members were then fortunate enough to learn more about one of the career stories of Mercer’s own, Jacob Langerman, who was a GIS @ ASU officer back in 2015. As an actuarial analyst, Langerman has taken part in projects that involved behavioral health services, where Mercer views mental and physical healthcare of equal importance. It was informative and thought-provoking to learn more about Langerman’s career path from his first exam pass to his present-day as a successful consulting actuary. 

The company visit concluded with Mercer’s representatives setting aside time for our members to receive answers to questions that had been on their minds throughout the presentations, many of which emphasized the collaborative and accepting culture of the company. Lastly, to have one more activity, Mercer invited our members to play a game of movie trivia Kahoot, gifting the top three players with Starbucks gift cards. From all our members at GIS @ ASU, we truly appreciate your time and generosity and the opportunity to learn more about Mercer. We look forward to your next company visit!

Optumas Visits GIS @ ASU

September 10, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The fall semester is in full swing, and for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), this means company visits! On September 7, GIS @ ASU was lucky enough to host Optumas for their first-ever company visit with our chapter. Optumas is a small consulting firm based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, focused on reforming healthcare with people in mind. During this informative and engaging virtual visit, the Optumas representatives shared the ‘why’ behind their work and the opportunities available to GIS @ ASU members to get involved.

The Optumas representatives began their presentation with a powerful activity. The members of GIS @ ASU were asked to estimate where the United States would fall amongst other developed countries on a graph analyzing the relationship between GDP and healthcare expenditure. Upon revealing the tremendous healthcare expenditure of the U.S., a graph comparing healthcare expenditure with health outcomes was displayed. Despite significant healthcare expenditure, U.S. health outcomes are lacking when compared to other developed countries. At Optumas, consultants and analysts work together to face this issue, effectively allocating resources so that the most vulnerable populations of America have access to healthcare. Optumas employees are given a plethora of opportunities to solve problems, working with clients to improve the lives of real people.

After learning about Optumas’ mission and opportunities for GIS @ ASU members, members played two fun rounds of Kahoot, competing for prizes. The Kahoots tested members in a variety of categories, from Optumas trivia to ASU Athletics trivia. GIS @ ASU members even got to try to match dogs to their owner, one of the Optumas representatives. Members of GIS @ ASU love playing Kahoot, so this activity was a fun and engaging way to learn more about Optumas.

At the conclusion of the visit, Optumas was kind enough to host breakout rooms, allowing members to speak individually with any Optumas representative. This was a great way to have individual questions answered and get to know the people behind Optumas’ mission. From all the members of GIS @ ASU, thank you to Optumas for such a great company visit!

UnitedHealthcare Visits GIS @ ASU

September 8, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prides itself in its ability to help members gain connections in the actuarial science industry. One of the many ways that GIS @ ASU does so is through company visits. On August 31, GIS @ASU was proud to virtually host UnitedHealthcare as its first company visit of the fall semester. Club members were able to meet many representatives of the company and gain some insight as to what a “day in the life” looks like for an actuary at UnitedHealthcare.

The night started with a quick delve into UnitedHealthcare as a whole, with emphasis on their company culture, the type of work they specialize in, and everyone’s favorite, the internship program! Next, each representative spent some time going over what their day-to-day work looks like. This gave members a chance to see the type of work to expect in an entry level position, as well as further down in their career, and ask questions accordingly. GIS @ ASU was able to gain insight as to how someone new to the field handles full time work and preparing for exams and, additionally, how those in more managerial positions juggle working with clients in different time zones.

After learning about what to expect in future careers, it was time to jump into an activity. Attendees were split up into groups to look at an example of a real problem UnitedHealthcare actuaries have investigated. They were asked to look at the issue with fresh eyes and voice trends or possible solutions they could come up with. Problems ranged from how to handle the influx of hospital expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic to looking at trends in revenue and medical expenses over the 2019 to 2020 period. Regardless of the specific topic presented, members were excited to get their hands on some real data and use critical thinking to find a solution.

The evening concluded with a representative from each group practicing their public speaking skills by giving a quick overview of the solution their group created and a final farewell to all the guests. GIS @ ASU would like to thank all representatives from UnitedHealthcare who came out to talk to us about the work they do and field questions that members had about their company and life as an actuary. We appreciate the dedication to the club and its members.

GIS @ ASU Kicks Off Fall Semester With Welcome Meeting

August 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

As students wrap up their summer break and spring into the new school year, it was a refreshing experience to see everyone in person for a fall semester welcome meeting. During this event on August 24, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to have faculty and students, both new and returning, in attendance. The meeting consisted of introductions from the actuarial science faculty and the GIS @ ASU officers, an overview of GIS @ ASU, and a great interactive opportunity for members and potential new members to get to know one another.

The incoming group first received an enthusiastic welcome from faculty, in addition to current GIS @ ASU officers and committee members. The club's officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, gave members great insight into GIS @ ASU through an informative presentation on the events and opportunities available through the club. They emphasized the packed schedule for the upcoming fall semester, the importance of diversity and inclusion in GIS @ ASU, and the process for students to become official members. The attendees were also introduced to the GIS @ ASU social media pages to help them stay connected and updated with club activities: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Next, all members participated in a fun Kahoot game. This was an excellent way to learn about each other’s backgrounds, with students sharing interesting aspects of their lives, from having traveled all the way from Malaysia for school to having eight siblings! Following the game, new students were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other and the new officers, and to ask any other questions they had about GIS @ ASU.

Overall, it was very exciting to see everyone in person after a long series of virtual events. We look forward to this semester and continuing to see the many new faces interested in GIS @ ASU and actuarial science. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the actuarial science professors for welcoming students to the club and the new school year, and to members for enthusiastically attending!

GIS @ ASU Attends Welcome Week Events

August 23, 2021
By Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, and Hayley Osterkorn

As the summer of 2021 concludes and fall semester approaches, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) feels a wave of new beginnings and excitement to start the year off in-person with our peers and professors. With the variety of events that Arizona State University hosts at the start of each academic year, GIS @ ASU is always thrilled to introduce and represent the professional fraternity to new undergraduate and graduate students. The kappa chapter had the opportunity to attend three different events: the Graduate Student Orientation on August 17, and both the Undergraduate Fall Welcome and Passport to ASU on August 18.

On August 17, Lydia Gabric introduced GIS @ ASU at the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Graduate Student Orientation. Lydia described some of the professional, academic, and social events that GIS @ ASU hosts throughout the year for its members. The presentation also offered potential new members a sneak peek into some of the events planned for this upcoming semester and provided them with steps to join the organization.

The following morning, both president Lydia Gabric and vice president Gina Gilkey represented GIS @ ASU at the Undergraduate Fall Welcome. It was a pleasure for them to share just how much GIS @ ASU has enriched their ASU experience and to meet the incoming first year students declaring actuarial science, mathematics, data science, and more, as their majors.

The welcome week events concluded with Passport to ASU, where new and current students learned more about extracurricular involvement through the many student organizations at ASU. GIS @ ASU hosted an information booth, explaining to students from a variety of majors and interests what GIS @ ASU has to offer for students interested in risk management or insurance and how students can join the club.

Connecting with students during Welcome Week has been a great opportunity to expand awareness and membership for GIS @ ASU as the club prepares for its own Fall Welcome meeting on August 24. GIS @ ASU is excited to see interested students from the Graduate Student Orientation, Undergraduate Fall Welcome, and Passport to ASU at future events. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the school and university for hosting these welcome events.

GIS @ ASU President Attends 2021 GIS Leadership Symposium

August 18,2021
By Lydia Gabric

As the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prepares to start the school year with fresh ideas and new leadership, over 90 other chapters across the country are likewise doing the same. While every chapter is unique, they all share a similar goal: to support members in their pursuit of opportunities within the insurance and risk management industries.

This year, the Grand Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma invited officers from every chapter to attend the Leadership Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. During the conference, officers from a multitude of universities convened to exchange ideas, advice, and past experiences to help prepare for the upcoming school year. GIS @ ASU president Lydia Gabric had the privilege of attending this year’s Leadership Symposium and collaborating with officers from all over the country.

The symposium started on August 12, with a welcome breakfast and a set of introductions from the GIS Grand Chapter team who planned the event. Following this, officers were led through several different leadership trainings and networking opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to best build a professional network unique to the individual, how to walk-the-talk by identifying what each leader is bringing to the table, how officers can best support their chapters, and how to engage chapter members in GammaSAID programming. Officers were also able to meet for lunch with GIS Grand Chapter sustaining partners before attending the career fair.

The second day of the conference was spent in interactive breakout sessions dedicated to  guiding leaders through the organization and management of an effective chapter. The breakout sessions dove deeper into communication methods, member engagement, self-care management, event planning, and much more.

The Leadership Symposium was designed to provide opportunities to chapter leaders to network with fellow student leaders, connect them with industry partners, and equip them with tools and resources to effectively run their chapters. GIS @ ASU thanks the GIS Grand chapter for hosting this informative conference, and president Lydia Gabric is eager to utilize what she has learned  to help the Kappa chapter expand its reach, support its members, and host amazing events.

GIS @ ASU Attends Growth Actuary Virtual Summit

June 28, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

Actuaries from around the world gathered for the Growth Actuary Virtual Summit hosted by ProActuary this week. The conference spanned three days with dozens of informative speakers focused on developing the personal and technical skills necessary to succeed in the actuarial profession. Several officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended the summit on June 23rd-25th, connecting with other members of the actuarial community.

The event included speakers such as Caroline Grégoire, Manisha Dias, and Mark Farrell Ph.D. FIA. Grégoire shared her “Five Nuggets for Risk-Free Communication” in which she emphasized the importance of active listening. She also detailed the most effective practices when explaining actuarial conclusions to others in the workplace. During Dias’ “More Than an Actuary: Building Your Inner Leader & Brand”, she imparted the significance of not limiting opportunities and growth because of actuarial stereotypes. She asserted that actuarial science is a versatile profession that can be integrated into many impactful fields. Dr. Farrell, the seminar closer and a co-founder of ProActuary shared some of his top tips for success. One main suggestion was to focus not on where we are, but where we are going. He emphasized the importance of not being overly focused on the present, and instead, seeking unique and exciting opportunities for the future.

GIS @ ASU thanks ProActuary for providing such an amazing opportunity for growth and development. The summit allowed the officers to develop their skills in leadership and communication. We look forward to future events hosted by ProActuary and attending next year’s seminar!

GIS @ ASU News

GIS @ ASU Hosts Second Spring DE&I Event

April 21, 2022
By Alison Hansen

GIS @ ASU Hosts Second Spring DE&I Event

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prides itself in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and its mission to send students into the workforce with applicable skills in fostering DE&I. On April 12, GIS @ ASU hosted several organizations whose goals are to promote diversity in the actuarial field. The representatives were able to speak to members about the opportunities available within their organizations and ways that students can get involved.

Anthony Lucero and Larisa Cabral started the meeting off by introducing the Organization for Latino Actuaries (OLA). Members got to learn about OLA’s programs to help Latinx individuals interested in the actuarial field through finding scholarships, paying for exam materials, and getting internships through career fairs. Lucero also introduced a campus ambassador mentoring program that OLA is currently building to help expand their outreach at various universities throughout the country.

GIS @ ASU Hosts Second Spring DE&I Event

The International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) presented next, led by student ambassador, Ama Ampadu-Kissi. The goal of the IABA is to increase the number of Black actuaries as well as foster their growth within the field. GIS @ ASU members were able to hear about IABA's scholarships, networking events and bootcamps, which help people from all experiences who are interested in actuarial science to get valuable information about the field and one-on-one interaction with recruiters.

The next presenters were Ron Gebhardtsbauer of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries (SAGAA) and Celeste Trevino of the Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA). SAGAA is a relatively new organization with the mission of informing people about the LGBTQ+ community within actuarial science and the goal of growing to be able to offer scholarships to members to help them get their feet into the industry. Trevino spoke to NAWA’s mission of empowering women in the actuarial field by first getting them into the field, followed by helping them grow into managerial positions. She also explained the immense benefit of the vast network of mentors that can be obtained by joining the organization.

To wrap up the evening, Emil Chacko presented South Asian Network of Actuaries (SANA) for their debut appearance with GIS @ ASU. SANA is a new organization with the intent to help those from South Asian countries connect with actuaries and build their diversity within the actuarial field. Chacko also shared the organization’s goal to expand their network internationally and explained the benefit of expanding one’s professional network to include a diverse group of people with different experiences.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all the presenters for coming to our Spring DE&I meeting to describe their organization’s goals and for fielding students’ questions about their experiences in the industry. It was extremely helpful for our members to learn about these opportunities and bias in the workplace.

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

April 1, 2022
By Isabelle Welsh

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is proud to host events that promote the learning and growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion within our school and the actuarial profession. On March 22, GIS @ ASU jointly hosted a diversity and inclusion (D&I) question and answer session with ASU’s Mathematical Organization for Rehumanizing Education student club (MORE), who shared their extensive knowledge on a multitude of D&I topics.

The meeting kicked off with an introduction from MORE representatives, Jason Guglielmo, Julia Phelps, and Franklin Yu, who went over some of the current D&I initiatives being worked on by MORE, including an expansion of course evaluations to open discussion on DE&I in classes and instruction. Next, GIS @ ASU members Isabelle Welsh, Lea Petit, and Sarah Friedman, began the Q&A session by asking the panel of MORE representatives the many questions that GIS @ ASU members submitted or asked live about DE&I. The MORE representatives discussed a very interesting point on the lack of objectivity in the math field, both in an academic environment and through the interpretation of data. The panel also gave informative responses on how we can begin to recognize and combat our own unconscious biases through learning and focusing on self-awareness. GIS @ ASU members greatly appreciate the MORE representatives’ advice for people beginning to learn about DE&I, from reading research on the topic to staying updated with activists through Twitter to connecting with some of ASU’s knowledgeable faculty.

GIS @ ASU Collaborates with MORE for an Informative Diversity and Inclusion Q&A Session

Finally, the meeting concluded with an opportunity for GIS @ ASU members to discuss the impact and takeaways from the Q&A panel through a discussion with other attendees. GIS @ ASU members discussed their biggest takeaways from the Q&A session and talked about how they see DE&I looking in the future in the actuarial field. Our members also expressed excitement to continue learning about the topics spoken on by the MORE representatives and planned to read through recommended resources like the research of Rochelle Gutierrez.

GIS @ ASU greatly enjoyed hosting its first diversity and inclusion event of the Spring semester with more to come and is thrilled to be working towards creating a more inclusive, welcoming community at ASU. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the representatives from MORE for taking the time to come and share their knowledge with us and helping our members learn valuable skills and resources for promoting D&I. GIS @ ASU hopes that its members will take advantage of what they learned at this informative event and apply this knowledge in their lives and future careers.

Guest Speaker Elissa Kelly

March 27, 2022
By Emma Rao

Students often have a bright idea of their future but do not always know how to intentionally create this future for themselves. To help students gain a better understanding of how to navigate their future happiness, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) welcomed Ex-Corporate Executive Elissa Kelly to speak on how to live your personal definition of success.

Kelly started by describing the weight of the word “should.” She then challenged students to write down something that they keep telling themselves they should do and to create a plan on how to accomplish this. She incorporated her own personal examples of “should”s" throughout her life – from “should”s" related to her career and climbing the corporate ladder to “should”s" when she started a family. Kelly also described a three-step process to help students redirect their lives towards their own personal success, rather than what others think they “should” do. The first step in this process is to envision a snapshot of your future life. This is a goal of what you want your life to look like in the future. She asked students challenging questions such as, “What do you want from your life that you don’t already have?” and “What could be your happy?” The next step of this process is to create a strategy on how to get from your current life to your vision. She encouraged students to consider a time frame during this step and to think about ways they can prevent themselves from reverting back to what is comfortable. The final step is execution. In this step, the strategy from the second step is executed. Kelly reminded students that there will be hurdles in this step, but that they can overcome these hurdles.

The evening concluded with Kelly describing the importance of checking in with yourself and repeating this process when necessary. She explained that just as you evolve as a person over time, your idea of happiness also evolves. Dreams change and morph overtime, and it is okay if what used to be an important goal no longer is. However, it is key to create and execute a new strategy.

Listening to Kelly’s presentation was a great way for students to start thinking about what they want their life to look like and an encouraging push to start along that path. GIS @ ASU would like to thank Elissa Kelly for donating her time and leading this valuable discussion.

GIS Participates in Annual Travelers Case Study Competition

March 16, 2022
By Charles Daggs

On March 4, m winning a $1,000 prize. Participants had the opportunity to work on a real-world business scenario in the property and casualty lines of insurance and demonstrate their analytical skills to a panel of professionals.

After a brief overview, each of the five teams was provided four and a half hours to read over the case, determine premiums for multiple insurance lines, research the impact of COVID-19 on a specific industry sector, and make a comprehensive presentation. Each line of the policy—workmen’s compensation, cyber, general, and auto—had its own unique characteristics to take into consideration. After coming up with an initial price, the teams received feedback from a professional actuary from Travelers and some additional case information to adjust their calculations. Finally, each team gave a twenty-minute presentation to walk through their thought process for the case, talk about the challenges and solutions concerning COVID-19 for their assigned industry, and then respond to a few questions from the judges. 

When the presentations concluded, the judges deliberated while each team received feedback from an employed actuary at Travelers. After a short time, the team representing the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA) was declared the winner. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge congratulations to OLA for the victory, as well as to all the participants for their hard work! Additionally, thank you to all of the employees at Travelers for hosting and organizing this event!

GIS @ ASU Annual Mock Interview Night 

March 9, 2022
By Daniel Andresen

GIS @ ASU Annual Mock Interview Night 

First impressions matter, and practicing interview skills is a fantastic way for students to get experience in showcasing their skills and accomplishments to future employers. To aid in this practice, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosts an annual Mock Interview Night with industry professionals, and on March 1, representatives from 23 different companies across the actuarial sector arrived to participate. During this exciting event, students were given the opportunity to network over Zoom and receive detailed feedback on their interviewing abilities.

Vice President Gina Gilkey welcomed students and professionals and explained the structure of the event while President Lydia Gabric handled the technical aspect and set up virtual meeting rooms. After a little camaraderie and telling of some actuarial jokes, the event was primed and ready to begin.

As the first round of practice interviews commenced, questions flowed between students and the professionals. To maintain the professional environment during an interview, the actuarial interviewers asked behavioral and technical questions, giving students the chance to utilize interview techniques like the S.T.A.R. method, taught during the GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night. Following the 20-minute interviews, students were given 10 minutes of direct feedback and advice to improve their skills and make sure that they can cement a strong first impression. Professionals also provided resume tips and industry knowledge to help students stand out and become stronger applicants. After a short break, students attended a second round of interviews to receive more practice and feedback to help further develop their interview skills.

GIS @ ASU cannot thank enough the 23 fantastic companies that were able to make the Mock Interview Night such a success. We also appreciate the volunteers that took time out of their busy schedules to interview students and support the future faces of the actuarial community. Thank you all for making Mock Interview Night a success and providing students with this amazing opportunity!

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

February 22, 2022
By Lea Petit

Students spend a significant amount of time learning fundamental actuarial and mathematical concepts in order to become successful future actuaries. However, some questions are not as easily answered in the classroom, especially those related to the experience of working in the industry. Thus, on February 15, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host an informal Q&A panel session to give students the opportunity to ask those questions to three industry professionals. GIS @ ASU welcomed ASU alumni Michael Brunner and Lydia Tolman, as well as Paul Johnson, who also currently teaches an actuarial science course at ASU.

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

The night started with a question about what drew the professionals to actuarial science and the moment they realized they were in the right field. All three agreed that they enjoyed the nature of the work and the challenges they solve on a daily basis while also helping to make the world a better place. Next was a lighthearted discussion in which they advised on a wide range of topics such as balancing work responsibilities with studying for actuarial exams, how to become an effective manager, and the costs and benefits of a master’s degree.

With mental health being a focus for GIS @ ASU this semester, chapter president Lydia Gabric ended the night with a question on how to avoid burnout while balancing work priorities, actuarial exams, and other personal responsibilities. The panel gave valuable insight into how they have prioritized their mental health throughout their careers, including evaluating priorities, setting boundaries with their workload, and finding companies that foster growth and minimize stress.

One of the most valuable parts of GIS @ ASU membership is the opportunities provided to network with professionals in the actuarial industry and to ask questions on how to best prepare for the workplace. GIS @ ASU is very grateful for relationships such as those with Michael Brunner, Lydia Tolman, and Paul Johnson, and would like to sincerely thank them for their time.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

February 14, 2022
By Charles Daggs

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Students in the actuarial science program spend a lot of their energy on earning the proper credentials for the field through passing professional exams. This is great for filling out a resumé, showing commitment to potential employers, and landing that big interview. However, turning that energy into, “You’re hired!” is its own unique challenge. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is here to provide students with the tools to make their next interview a success. On February 8, GIS @ ASU hosted a presentation and workshop to help members create and refine their responses to common interview prompts.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Chapter president, Lydia Gabric, started off by showing a list of frequently asked interview questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.” and “Why should I hire you?” She and the GIS @ ASU officers provided some personal examples and tips on how they would answer. Other members were also encouraged to contribute their own examples and thought processes to present various approaches tailored to their unique personalities and experiences. Then, members broke out into groups to collaborate on finding answers to other questions.

Afterwards, the presentation introduced the S.T.A.R. method for tackling behavioral questions such as, “Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about?” Emphasis was placed on giving concise answers that told a positive and complete story. Members were encouraged to test their responses and receive feedback on how an interviewer might view them. With the right frame of mind, difficult experiences become stories of character growth.

Thank you to all GIS @ ASU members for attending the meeting and making it an interactive experience as well as the treasury team for organizing dinner! Members, remember to sign up by February 18 for the upcoming Mock Interview Night on March 1 for an opportunity to further practice your interview skills!

GIS @ ASU President to Pursue Statistics PhD

February 10, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt and Hayley Osterkorn

Lydia Gabric

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is excited to announce that current president Lydia (Lily) Gabric will be continuing her education at ASU in pursuit of a PhD in Statistics. Upon completing her final semester of her master’s degree as a part of ASU’s actuarial science 4+1 program, Gabric will continue her education and research at the doctorate level while remaining involved in the ASU actuarial community. Gabric hopes to build strong foundational knowledge in statistical modeling and analysis to solve problems and answer questions that require complex actuarial analysis. 

In her time as an actuarial science student at ASU, Gabric has made a positive impact through research and community involvement. Gabric is a member of The ACT Lab, where student researchers collaborate with local companies to complete real-world actuarial projects under the supervision of faculty members. She has worked on multiple projects involving traditional and stochastic approaches, pricing and reserving methods, simulating profit sharing models, etc. Currently, the work of Gabric and her peers is under review for publication through the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Gabric is also performing independent research on COVID-19 and its related healthcare costs throughout her honors thesis project and applied master’s project. Furthermore, she recently began a research assistantship with Kenneth Zhou, FSA, PhD:

"Lily is a very smart and self-motivated student. I had the pleasure of teaching and working with her in the past year. She has a solid statistical background and the ability to quickly adapt new knowledge to solve research problems. I look forward to working with her on her PhD studies," said Zhou.

If it is not already apparent, Gabric is a skilled researcher, which is why she wants to pursue a doctoral degree. 

While excelling in the classroom and in research positions, Gabric is also committed to fostering the actuarial science community that surrounds ASU. This academic year, Gabric has served as the GIS @ ASU President, organizing events to connect members with their peers as well as industry professionals. She has coordinated numerous company visits, represented the chapter at international conferences, and led discussions on the importance of mental health as a college student. Gabric’s desire to remain involved in this organization that supports prospective actuaries is also one of the reasons she decided to continue her education at ASU.

Alongside her PhD in Statistics, Gabric wants to continue the pathway to earn both the ASA and FSA accreditations. These accreditations through the SOA, as well as her doctorate level education, will prepare her to be a well-rounded actuary upon graduation. Gabric has goals to become a professor, which she will be able to explore through the teaching assistantship offered alongside admission into the PhD program.

Jelena Milovanovic, ACIA, AIAA, PhD, has witnessed Gabric’s growth as an actuarial science student over the past three years and believes she is a great candidate for the program.

"Lily applies maturity and diligence to every aspect of her academic and professional careers. As a student in my courses and researcher in The ACT Lab, Lily has exceeded all my expectations and I am beyond grateful to continue to witness her graduate journey at the school," said Milovanovic.

GIS @ ASU members are lucky to have a role model like Gabric and wish her the best in the Statistics PhD program! Join us in congratulating Lydia Gabric as she embarks on the next chapter of her educational career.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

February 9, 2022
By Joe Simpson

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

As the spring semester kicks into full gear, it was great to gather in-person with fellow students for another spring meeting. On February 1, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) began this semester’s Mental Health Awareness series with an event centered on burnout and self-care. The meeting included the opportunity to mingle during dinner, a presentation on burnout and the role self-care plays in preventing it, and an activity for GIS @ ASU members to brainstorm and discuss their own personalized self-care plans.

To start off the meeting, GIS @ ASU members enjoyed a meal together before the commencement of the night’s main presentation. The chapter president, Lydia Gabric, and one of the chapter’s shadow students, Joe Simpson, began the semester’s mental health series by leading an illustrative presentation on how burnout can negatively affect many areas of one’s life, the ways self-care can be utilized to prevent burnout, and their past experiences with these topics. The presentation included a definition of what burnout is and the stages one goes through while experiencing burnout along with several signs and symptoms to help identify it. Additionally, several methods of mitigating and preventing burnout were discussed including exercising regularly, practicing healthy sleep habits, and willingly reaching out to others for help.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

The meeting concluded with an interactive discussion surrounding self-care and wellness. GIS @ ASU members were encouraged to check in with themselves by asking questions such as “How am I feeling today?” and “What are my emotional needs right now?” and discussing with other students nearby in small groups. After doing so, attendees had the opportunity to develop their own personalized self-care plan and brainstorm with other GIS @ ASU members on the best ways to implement this plan into their daily life. Finally, members were allowed to ask any questions and share any other thoughts on the activity.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all members in attendance for our first mental health awareness meeting of the spring semester along with the Treasury Team for coordinating dinner! We look forward to implementing our respective self-care plans and continuing our mental health series throughout this semester!

GIS @ ASU Attends the GIS Grand Chapter Regional Conference

February 7, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt

GIS Regional Conference

Since the 50th Annual GIS International Conference this fall, the members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) have anticipated our next opportunity to engage with other GIS students and industry sponsors. Fortunately, on January 28, GIS @ ASU had the chance to do just that at the GIS Regional Conference! GIS @ ASU members were able to attend the conference virtually, which consisted of a welcome and keynote, a career fair, and virtual interviews.

GIS Regional Conference

The keynote speaker was Judy Gonsalves, Division President of Chubb Bermuda, who gave an engaging and informative presentation on her own experiences in the insurance industry, as well as her advice for young insurance industry professionals. Gonsalves shared how she did not choose insurance, insurance chose her. She had no intention of working in the insurance industry, but rather became hooked after being hired at Chubb Bermuda, a subsidiary of Chubb, as an underwriter. Since then, she has worked her way to an executive position, however, not without unforeseen obstacles. Gonsalves shared that an unsatisfactory presentation to Chubb executives prompted her to seek a communication coach, allowing her to be a “communication chameleon,” and adapt her communication style to her intended audience. She emphasized the importance of communication in the insurance industry and how it enabled her to become a Chubb executive herself. Gonsalves shared the importance of taking risks as a young professional, because regardless of success or failure, risks can teach us things about ourselves and the world around us. 

Following the keynote, GIS students had the opportunity to network at the virtual career fair. While a virtual conference may not be as exciting as a traditional in-person conference, it does allow GIS members to have access to many different employers at their fingertips. There were five career fairs, one each for employers in the Northwest, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West regions. No matter where GIS students were attending the conference throughout the country, they had access to all five of the career fairs. Throughout the career fair, GIS members also had access to virtual interviews. Virtual interviews allow GIS members to have uninterrupted, one-on-one time with employers.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Grand Chapter for facilitating this invaluable opportunity for members to grow as young insurance professionals. The virtual platform operated seamlessly, allowing for our members to connect with other students and industry sponsors. 

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night 

February 1, 2022
By Lainey Waldman

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) strives to provide students with the proper resources to succeed throughout their academic and professional career. To accomplish this, on January 25, GIS @ ASU hosted a Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop focusing on crafting personal statements specifically for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) application process.

The meeting began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President (Lydia Gabric) and Vice President (Gina Gilkey). The pair guided members through the SoMSS application and explained how to apply to the many scholarships available. They then highlighted the 11 ASU actuarial-specific scholarships ranging in value from $500-$1000. They highly encouraged members to apply to every scholarship to increase their likelihood of winning an award.

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

After the presentation, GIS @ ASU officers led small breakout groups through a Personal Statement Workshop entailing a series of questions meant to help develop ideas and begin writing. Members had the opportunity to brainstorm for their personal statements utilizing questions like “What makes you unique?” and “What attracted you to actuarial science?”. The officers emphasized the importance of highlighting career ambitions and professional experience within personal statements. Through discussion, many students drafted overarching themes of their papers and prepared for applying to the SoMSS application.

The meeting concluded with the breakout groups coming together and sharing their experiences and ideas. GIS @ ASU thanks its members for attending and participating in the Spring 2022 Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop. We also want to remind our members that the SoMSS scholarship application is due on February 6 at 11:59 PM. Make sure to submit your applications before the deadline!

GIS @ ASU hosts in-person Spring Kickoff Meeting!

January 26, 2022
By Melanie Patten 

GIS @ ASU Spring Kickoff meeting

As winter break comes to a close and students prepare for the semester ahead, it was wonderful to see everyone in person safely for a spring semester welcome meeting. On January 18, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to see our members, including new and returning, at the Spring Kickoff Meeting. The meeting consisted of time to socialize over the dinner provided, introductions from the GIS @ ASU officers and committee members, an overview of all that GIS @ ASU has to offer this semester, and an interactive activity for members to learn more about one another. 

The attendees first received a warm welcome from GIS @ ASU leadership, who invited everyone to socialize amongst each other over tacos and burritos prior to the start of the informative presentation. Our chapter’s four officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, elaborated on the professional, academic, and social opportunities available through the organization. Some of the highlights included the emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the procedures to become an official member, and the upcoming events for the Spring semester (many of which will be in person). Members were also reminded of each of the places they can find GIS @ ASU social media accounts to stay up to date and receive reminders: Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

To finish off the first meeting of the semester, all attendees participated in a Kahoot game to get to know one another and their backgrounds. Members learned that about 75% of those in attendance have sat for an actuarial exam and that all but one are actuarial science majors. During the game, one of our committee members, Charlotte Cliatt, made sure to let everyone know that their favorite calculators should be the TI-30XS MultiView and the BA II Plus Professional, which stirred up quite a debate and some laughter. Following the game, students were given more time to socialize and ask questions to GIS @ ASU leadership. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank everyone, both current and soon-to-be members, for attending the Spring Kickoff Meeting, as well as our Treasury Team for going out of their way to provide dinner! We look forward to this semester with a packed schedule of events that will contribute to our members’ professional growth. We are hopeful that it will be a great semester! 

GIS @ ASU’s Fall D&I Event

November 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is especially proud to host events that further our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the actuarial field. On November 23, GIS @ ASU hosted representatives from several organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the actuarial field. The organizations shared their mission and the support they offer to actuaries and actuarial candidates from underrepresented groups.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Celeste Trevino who represented the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA). Trevino explained the numerous ways in which OLA supports Latinx aspiring actuaries through multiple programs such as mentoring, OLA academy for professional development, exam support, career fairs, and scholarships. She gave great personal insight into her experience as a member of OLA, mentioning the impact of programs like OLA Academy and OLA-specific internship opportunities on her career development.

Jeaninne Ingabire, representing the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), highlighted the barriers that exist for black actuarial candidates, as well as ways the IABA is combatting those barriers. She detailed the immense efforts taken by the IABA to increase awareness of the actuarial profession, offer financial support, build networks, and influence career development and growth for aspiring black actuaries. Ingabire also mentioned some incredible programs like the IABA Boot Camp and a mentorship program.

Next, GIS @ ASU welcomed two more organizations with strong values surrounding diversity and inclusion. Ron Gebhardtsbauer, a representative of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries (SAGAA), gave attendees background on the growing LGBTQ+ population in the United States and some of the challenges confronting the community in the workplace. He explained how SAGAA was founded to be a safe space and resource for LGBTQ+ actuarial talent and allies and gave insight into the ways SAGAA is supporting the community through their three pillars: networking, professional development, and company education.

Following the incredibly informative presentation from SAGAA, GIS @ ASU members were introduced to the recently founded Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA). Sandy Lowe and Norah Barnes emphasized NAWA’s goals of connecting and empowering women of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and life circumstances to be successful in the actuarial profession. They explained the formation of NAWA’s impact committees that strive to create a community of actuaries who identify as women and allies and to generate awareness about gender bias in the actuarial profession, concluding with a mention of ways to get involved with their mission.

GIS @ ASU greatly enjoyed hosting the first diversity and inclusion night of the year and is thrilled to help create a more inclusive, welcoming community at ASU. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the representatives from OLA, IABA, SAGAA, and NAWA, for taking the time to come speak with us and to introduce our students to their organizations. GIS @ ASU hopes their members will reach out to these organizations and take advantage of the great support and programs available to aspiring actuaries from underrepresented groups!

GIS @ ASU Attends CADS Fall Meeting

November 29, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) always works to maintain strong connections with local insurance organizations including CADS, the Casualty Actuaries of the Desert States. On November 17, CADS invited GIS @ ASU students to attend the organization’s Fall meeting and to listen to several presentations and initiatives about current P&C affairs. Among the attendees at the event were actuaries from several different P&C insurers, ranging from standard insurance carriers such as Allstate and Nationwide, as well as excess and surplus insurers such as Nautilus and GPW. 

The meeting had a large variety of agenda items and presentations spanning across several different fields, and GIS @ ASU members got to engage with and learn more about these topics. The meeting kicked off with administrative obligations, starting with the election of a new officer, Ryan Landers, and the transition of leadership from former president Mark Weihs to incoming president Jeff Durham, an alumnus and the first graduate of ASU's actuarial science program. Following this election, the discussion shifted to the current CADS budget as well as a timeline of upcoming events for members to attend. With all of the new business addressed, the spotlight turned to the several expert presentations that were much anticipated by all attendees.

The first presenter, Mark Kinder, gave a very relevant presentation on the 2022 ISO’s (an insurance data organization) General Liability releases, discussing items such as new rules, new forms, and upcoming loss cost revisions. Following Kinder, professor of practice John Zicarelli provided information about ASU’s actuarial science program, discussing accolades achieved by students and detailing the program growth in the past few years. Other presentations included Shawna Ackerman’s fascinating overview on earthquake statistics and their effect on catastrophic insurance and Todd Hess’ pertinent presentation about professionalism and reputational risk, derived from the important Actuarial Standards of Practice. Students were delighted to see a presentation about modeling floods and wildfires in Arizona from ASU’s very own assistant professor, Petar Jevtic. In addition, attendees also had the privilege to hear from CAS president Jessica Leong, who discussed ongoing CAS initiatives including the expansion of the D&I program, the implications of a recent organization-wide vote, and the continuation of computer-based testing exams.

Members of GIS @ ASU had an amazing time at the CADS Fall meeting, gaining more exposure with the local P&C community and learning about current insurance topics ranging from earthquake insurance to general liability loss trends. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the leadership at CADS for providing our members with the amazing opportunity to attend the meeting and gain more insight into actuarial work within the P&C industry. We greatly appreciate the support from CADS and look forward to attending future CADS meetings and events!

WSIA Visits GIS @ ASU for the First Time

November 24, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Changing pace from the usual company visits this semester, the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) visited the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) on November 16 to share information about the organization and how it can help college students interested in a career in insurance. The presentation from Kathleen Sanchez, Kimberly Curtis, and Laura Barron, covered the basics of wholesale and specialty insurance, what it is like to work in the field, and what the WSIA does.

The WSIA representatives began the presentation with an overview of wholesale, specialty, and surplus lines insurance and how the risks covered are unique, filling in areas that the standard insurance market does not cover. The educational section continued, describing how the surplus lines market works, from who might seek excess and surplus (E&S) insurance coverage, to a day in the life of a surplus lines professional. Curtis described the work she does at Nationwide E&S in treaty placement with collecting information to send to reinsurers, and Barron shared some insight into the large variety of risks she sees every day as a broker. Sanchez wrapped up the overview of the industry by describing different positions in the industry, informing students about different career paths before diving a little deeper into actuarial work on E&S teams for interested students.

After GIS @ ASU members gained a good understanding of wholesale and specialty insurance, the presentation shifted to focus on the WSIA. The WSIA provides opportunities for members to network, participate in regulatory and legislative advocacy, educate about the industry, promote wholesale value, and help recruit talent. Barron covered opportunities of interest to students watching the presentation, including internships, scholarships, mentors, and more.

GIS @ ASU thanks the WSIA for their presentation that informed members about the industry and the many opportunities available through the organization. We look forward to the next time the WSIA visits!

GIS @ ASU attends the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall Meeting

November 19, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to attend a local professional actuarial society meeting this week. On November 10, GIS @ ASU officers and club members virtually attended the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall meeting. Club members were given the opportunity to network and listen to two informative presentations focusing on how actuaries can be more productive in the workplace.

The meeting began with a networking Bingo session. Here, members were given the opportunity to meet some of their peers and play an interactive game to learn fun facts about one another. It was a fantastic opportunity to break the ice and give GIS @ ASU students a chance to connect with other actuaries in the Arizona community.

The networking session was then followed by a presentation from Bonnie Punch about adapting actuarial toolkits to account for changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most actuaries, especially in the health community, have had to address the influence of the pandemic on their modeling and determine what the best actuarial practices are going forward. One of the major questions that Punch proposed was is if it is best to continue modeling based on data before the pandemic or to use the past two years as a large part of future projections. While Punch explained that her department still uses pre-pandemic data as their main modeling source for the coming years, she still is using COVID-19 data to determine the “new normal” in the healthcare industry. She asserted that actuaries must consider how the demand for healthcare services has changed compared to pre-pandemic time and what kind of long-term impacts COVID-19 will have on mental and behavioral health services. 

After Punch’s presentation, Yiuxan Song presented on how to tell narratives with data. He explained the importance of effective graphics when communicating information to clients and those outside of the actuarial profession. He recommended creating graphics to display data through the following six strategies: understand the context, choose an appropriate visual, eliminate clutter, focus attention, think like a designer, and tell a story. He highlighted that the key is to understand the “so what?” of a study and to communicate that through the presentation graphic chosen. He also explained the importance of creating trust through visuals and not having them be misleading for the audience. 

GIS @ ASU thanks the Arizona Actuarial Club for hosting their Fall meeting and providing the opportunity for students to network and gain more insight into the industry. We look forward to the next meeting!
 

AST Visits GIS @ ASU

November 15, 2021
By Melanie Patten 

The end of the fall semester is just around the corner! This week, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) held the second to last company visit of the semester. On November 9, GIS @ ASU welcomed Actuarial Strategies and Tactics (AST) for an informational evening, consisting of presentations from their representatives and questions from our members. AST, founded by Bernon Erickson in 2012, is a small actuarial consulting firm built upon long-term, close-knit relationships with clients, as well as fellow staff. With just 12 employees, the company’s impact is significant with clients located in 19 states as well as the Caribbean. Throughout the virtual visit, AST’s representatives shared more information about their company culture, internship opportunities, and personal actuarial experiences. 

AST kicked off the meeting by providing an overview of the firm, located in Old Town Scottsdale. Representative Justin emphasized the importance of client communication and how these interactions feel like a partnership. Our members then had the opportunity to hear from the President and Founder of AST, Bernie Erickson. Erickson described his career path and what led him to create his own actuarial firm. At the beginning of his career, he came to the realization that, above all else, his goals are to take care of both his long-term clients and his staff. With such goals in mind, Erickson chose to achieve these by creating AST, where he can continue to teach actuarial work and provide opportunities for professional development to those at the start of their careers. As he introduced himself and AST, the company culture and three ethics became especially apparent: work, service, and team. GIS @ ASU was fortunate enough to hear from a number of current employees who had previously interned at AST before becoming full-time hires. Our members learned that some did not know what an actuary was prior to their internship but have yet to look back due to the great culture at AST. 

AST continued to entertain and engage our members with a fun activity: Jeopardy! GIS @ ASU members were divided into small breakout rooms on Zoom, each room containing two AST representatives. The six categories of the game were, Actuarial, Exam P, AST, Arizona, Name the Song, and Movies. From recognizing the probability density function of the Gamma distribution to reciting the 5 C’s of Arizona, the knowledge of each of our members was put to the test. This activity in breakout rooms also allowed GIS @ ASU to ask the AST employees more questions and to get to know them. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of the representatives from AST for spending their Tuesday evening with us! We are grateful to have learned more about the firm and to have had the opportunity to ask a wide variety of questions. We truly appreciate your time and look forward to AST’s next visit!

CSAA Visits GIS @ ASU

November 9, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

Company visits are the highlight of the Fall semester for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU). They offer our members the invaluable opportunity to gain connections in the actuarial science community. On November 2, GIS @ ASU was thrilled to virtually host the California State Auto Association (CSAA), following their company visit last Spring. The representatives of CSAA, Jiayi Huang and Shelly Zhou, prepared an informational and engaging meeting, providing our members a glimpse into the life of an analyst at CSAA.

After introductions from the CSAA representatives, the visit started with a challenging Kahoot about CSAA, with questions ranging from their history to the size of their membership base. This was a great way to engage everyone, as the members of GIS @ ASU love a game of Kahoot. From there, Huang and Zhou shared the various opportunities available to analysts at CSAA. They presented an overview of each actuarial department and emphasized the value of rotating across departments to become a well-rounded actuarial student. This allowed GIS @ ASU students to learn more about actuarial work and consider whether property and casualty insurance is of interest to them.

From there, the representatives of CSAA shared the employment opportunities available to members pursuing internships as well as full-time positions. Fortunately, both Huang and Zhou were past CSAA interns and could speak on the interesting projects they completed during their summer internships. They emphasized that interns at CSAA are assigned to real projects that will not only challenge them but also be of value to their team. Huang's intern project of creating a hurricane model for home insurance and Zhou’s intern project of investigating the loss ratio of auto policies in New Jersey were both great examples of the opportunities available to actuarial students at CSAA.

To wrap up the meeting, the CSAA representatives shared with GIS @ ASU the importance of finding an employer who is the right fit for you and prioritizing your growth as a young actuary. Members of GIS @ ASU always appreciate such insight from fellow young professionals. Thank you to CSAA for returning to GIS @ ASU for another successful company visit!

The College Leaders 2021 Awards Ceremony

November 4, 2021
By Gina Gilkey

Each year, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University honors distinguished alumni who have continued their successes since graduating, driving positive change locally and internationally through leadership, business, research, and community service. This growing list of ASU alumni shares remarkable achievements and excellence. President Lydia Gabric and Vice President Gina Gilkey from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) were nominated in recognition of being distinguished Student Leaders in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, an academic unit of The College. Hearing the inspiring success stories from many of the alumni in-person on ASU’s campus and having the opportunity to network at the reception afterwards was an invaluable experience.

The ceremony kicked off by recognizing four alumni - David Wilson, Herman Frazier, Lisa Pino, and Lisa Clark - who each shared their impressive and impactful career stories. They shared how they got to where they are now and how they achieved these milestones since graduating from ASU. Each story was incredibly inspiring and refreshing for Gabric and Gilkey to hear. For example, alumni David Wilson, who graduated from ASU’s Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. programs in microbiology, shared his career story and impact within the National Institute of Health, which partners with the Indian Health Service to support the Native American Research Centers for Health. He serves a crucial role for the Institute and undoubtedly has a positive impact on healthcare within the Native American populations. Following each of the four speeches, the distinguished Student Leaders were invited to ask the alumni a question in a panel format. Students were curious about how these alumni adapted to COVID-19’s challenges to continue making an impact in their careers as well as how they describe their proudest accomplishment.

After the ceremony, the distinguished alumni and Student Leaders were invited outdoors for refreshments and networking. Gabric and Gilkey took this opportunity to meet several alumni, including mathematics alumnus Peter Charron who was honored as a College Leader in 2015, and Laura Bush who earned a PhD in English and was recognized as a College Leader at last year's ceremony. Making these connections also made the night an incredible experience for our GIS @ ASU leadership. Thank you to The College for hosting this night to honor deserving alumni and inspire current students, as well as the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences for nominating two students from GIS @ ASU leadership. It was a night to remember, and GIS @ ASU looks forward to continuing to watch the distinguished ASU alumni network grow and succeed!

Edrington Health Consulting Visits GIS @ ASU

November 2, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to host yet another amazing company at its weekly meeting. On October 26, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Edrington Health Consulting (EHC) for a very informative and fun company visit. EHC, a Health Management Associated Company, is a small consulting firm that provides actuarial and financial services to health plans, state agencies, provider groups, and advocacy groups. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives from EHC kept our members engaged as they introduced the EHC team and the work they do and gave GIS @ ASU members a chance to try applying the information they learned about health claims reserving.

EHC kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the company, noting its growth of the current team after being started in 2014 by the company’s namesake, Kyle Edrington. They shared information about the work they do, foreshadowing the activity they had planned with their mention of incurred but not paid (IBNP) claims development. Next, EHC continued with introductions to the team, connecting with the GIS @ ASU members as they shared the aspects of their first job in the actuarial field that scared them most, from mentions of what seemed to be a never-ending list of acronyms to the intimidatingly impressive Microsoft Excel skills of their coworkers. After continuing with a glimpse into some of EHC’s collaborations with ASU, the representatives then segued into giving GIS @ ASU members some insight and background on health claims reserving, hinting at the many methods that exist for these calculations.

Next, GIS @ ASU members had the opportunity to put what they had learned about health claims reserving into practice in a fun take on The Price is Right: The Reserve is Right! Split into teams, the attendees were given information on healthcare claims data, including the number of enrollees in the health plan, the amount of money already spent paying claims, and an estimation of the percentage of claims that had been paid within each service month. They then had a chance to work some actuarial magic in Excel and predict how much money they would need in reserves to pay off the outstanding claims. Our members took some great approaches, calculating the total necessary reserve by trending more complete data from earlier months and accounting for the impact of COVID-19. The teams all did a fantastic job, with the team, Just for the Bezos Bucks, ultimately coming closest to predicting the correct reserve and the team, 70-7, being applauded for its choice in name. After wrapping up the entertaining activity, the representatives from EHC concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions that had arisen throughout the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to give a sincere thank you to the representatives from EHC who gave our members the incredible opportunity to hear about their company and gain invaluable insight into some of the functions actuaries have the chance to perform. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to EHC’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Attends CPCU I-Day

October 31, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Charted Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society invited its Arizona and Colorado chapters to virtually attend this year’s All Industry Day (I-Day) on October 22. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) was honored to receive the extended invitation and have the chance to learn about up-and-coming topics in the insurance industry as well as to network with and learn from working professionals. The event is a great way for GIS @ ASU’s members to get a glimpse into the industry and important events while still in school, which can be especially helpful while students are interviewing for internships.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction as to the flow of presentations and a quick breakout room session where attendees had the chance to get to know each other better. Once introductions were over, it was time to get into the presentations! Members had the chance to learn from many professionals in a variety of fields. Susan Kearney, Paul Rossi, Kodi Fitzkerrels, Mark Slaugh and Curt Devries, led the group through a diverse set of topics concerning the insurance industry today and fielded questions from the audience. The topics of this year’s event included an introduction to block chain, new drone technology, how to make the best of your day, the effects of legalizing cannabis, and the consequences surrounding social media. The group was also introduced to a variety of charities they could consider supporting. At the beginning of each presentation, the speaker spent a couple of minutes describing an organization they had chosen to support and what it means to them. Both the giving spirit and the many questions that flowed throughout the day made the event feel collaborative and immersive, despite its virtual platform.

The afternoon ended with a thank you to all the presenters and a gift card raffle to the attendees! It was interesting to see what subjects were covered in this year’s event and how students could use the knowledge presented in their everyday lives, such as in preparation for their interviews or during an internship. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Arizona Chapter of the CPCU for inviting us to this year’s I-Day and allowing students the chance to learn a bit more about important topics in the insurance industry. The chance to learn from and network with professionals in the industry is invaluable. GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the speakers who came to present and share their knowledge with the chapter. We look forward to the chance to attend next year’s I-Day!

IAT Visits GIS @ ASU

October 28,2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

IAT began the presentation with introductions from Kelsi Knoles, Haley Schuman, Shawn Baker, and Steven Locke, who each explained how they began working at IAT and what a typical workday looks like for them, highlighting some of the important skills they use and the types of projects on which they work. Moving onto more general information about the company, Locke covered IAT’s lines of businesses and how they differ from standard lines property and casualty insurance. Knoles then explained how the culture at IAT also differentiates the company from other insurers, particularly larger companies. Since IAT is smaller in size and has a culture that stresses the value and inclusion of every employee, Schuman and Baker gave some personal examples about how employees from all levels of the company show that culture every day at work. The group also highlighted IAT’s charitable endeavors and how employees get involved with Giving Week. The presentation was finished off with some information about career opportunities at IAT, such as how internships work and what different trainee programs are offered.

During the discussion portion of the evening, GIS @ ASU members were able to ask whatever questions were still on their minds. As GIS @ ASU learned during the presentation section, IAT employees receive great benefits; Schuman offered some specific details on the actuarial exam support that is available for employees looking to earn their credentials, which was great for the actuarial students in GIS @ ASU to hear. Those attending the meeting also got more insight from the representatives about work-life balance at IAT. Representatives explained how a typical week allows for great work-life balance, though there are naturally some busier points throughout the week or month depending on the type of work being done. The discussion portion was a great environment for students to gear the meeting towards their own points of interest about IAT.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives from IAT Insurance Group for spending their time visiting the club. It was a valuable time for members to learn about what the company does and to hear some personal examples about careers at IAT!

ASU Virtual High School Visit

October 21, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), in a joint venture with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuary Society (CAS), hosted a virtual high school visit on October 18. High school students were given the opportunity to learn about the actuarial profession, talk to professionals in the industry, and interact with GIS @ ASU officers.

The event began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President Lydia Gabric, focusing on actuarial science at Arizona State University and within GIS @ ASU. Gabric detailed the many degree options that ASU offers such as the actuarial science undergraduate, master’s, and 4+1 degrees. She continued to explain GIS @ ASU and how the organization fits into the actuarial science program at ASU. The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot session where students were given the opportunity to showcase their general actuarial science knowledge and mathematics skills. This allowed students to apply the information they just learned and earn some exciting SOA and CAS swag!

The meeting then transitioned into breakout rooms where students could ask questions that may have come up throughout the Zoom meeting. Students asked questions such as, “Do actuaries need graduate degrees to succeed?”, “Do I have to be an actuarial science major to become an actuary?”, and “What advice would you give to a high school student looking to become an actuary?”. Actuarial professionals in the meeting emphasized the importance of constantly being open to learning new things and adapting to challenges that would inevitably come.

The meeting ended with a visit from a CAS/SOA Joint Committee for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (JCIED) representative. He explained the continually growing emphasis on inclusion, equity, and diversity in the actuarial profession and how the CAS and the SOA are contributing to those goals. He also highlighted the ways that GIS @ ASU is incorporating those objectives into programming.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the CAS, SOA, and all the high school teachers and students who attended. We are honored by the opportunity to work with the next generation of actuaries and look forward to the opportunity to visit with more high school students in the future.

GIS @ ASU Celebrates IICF Week of Giving

October 20, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is composed of students who hope to make a difference in their communities, both in the present day and in their future careers. This week, they were given the opportunity to do so. On October 15, a total of 17 members of GIS @ ASU chose to give back to the community and volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank to celebrate the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Week of Giving. The IICF helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strength of the insurance industry in providing grants, volunteer service, and leadership. The IICF also encourages all insurance professionals to volunteer during Week of Giving, which took place from October 9-16 this year.

GIS @ ASU members spent their Friday afternoon helping St. Mary’s Food Bank by packing emergency food boxes for individuals and families in need. Activities within the assembly line included, but were not limited to, stocking products, breaking down cardboard boxes, and packing non-perishable food into boxes to be distributed. ASU students, along with other volunteers from across the valley, worked diligently to prepare 1,440 boxes for families and 1,200 bags for children in need. With the stress of midterms, school, and internships on the minds of many of those involved in GIS @ ASU, it was refreshing to team up with other volunteers to help reduce hunger in our community, as well as to further strengthen relationships with fellow actuarial science majors outside of the classroom. It is heartwarming to know that the energy of simply 60 volunteers were able to make the difference of 33,698 meals for those needing assistance in Phoenix.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of our members who volunteered their time, as well as St. Mary’s Food Bank for providing rewarding and easily accessible opportunities to give back to the community. We are grateful to have celebrated the IICF Week of Giving safely in-person this year. We look forward to volunteering together as a chapter again next year.

Humana Visits GIS @ ASU

October 14, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) has been on a roll with company visits, and this week was no different! On October 5, GIS @ ASU welcomed Humana for an informative and fun company visit. Humana is a large health insurance company with over 90,000 employees, earning them the 41st spot on the Fortune 500 list. Humana has a strong actuarial community, with opportunities in a wide range of departments. Humana’s representative, Matthew Coles, shared with GIS @ ASU members the exciting internship and full-time positions that Humana offers for actuarial students.

Humana kicked off the meeting by highlighting some of the fun events that take place during their summer internship. One of the favorites was the Intern Olympics, a chance for actuarial interns to collaborate in teams and compete in events. GIS @ ASU members enjoyed seeing the silly pictures shared from the Intern Olympics, featuring a handful of our members! Despite last summer’s internship being virtual, these events ensure that interns can still get to know each other and build friendships.

While interns at Humana have the chance to participate in the Intern Olympics, they also get the chance to develop their actuarial careers. Coles continued the presentation, touching on all aspects of Humana’s internship program. Interns at Humana complete meaningful actuarial work, allowing them to expand technically and gain valuable industry knowledge. Interns also get to complete two presentations, allowing them to not only share their actuarial work with other interns and departments, but also practice their presentation skills. Another perk of Humana’s internship is access to mentorship and networking. After a glimpse into Humana’s internship program, Coles shared with GIS @ ASU members how to get involved in the recruitment process.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Humana for attending this week’s meeting. Company visits are always a hit during the fall semester, offering members valuable time with the industry’s leaders. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Humana’s next visit!

GIS @ ASU Takes on the Virtual Actuarial Science Career Fair

October 6, 2021
By Alison Hansen

That time of year has rolled around again where students begin their hunt for internships and full-time positions. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) and Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) have successfully paired again to host the annual actuarial science virtual career fair on September 29. The career fair is an invaluable way for actuarial science students who are looking for internships or full-time positions to get face-to-face time with company representatives and ask questions about the industry or about a specific company. GIS @ ASU was excited to have 22 companies and the SOA attend this year’s event, as well as a total of 70 attending students in professional attire over Zoom.

The afternoon began with a panel of ASU Alumni, moderated by Jeff Durham from Allstate and Michael Brunner from Centene. Students kept the panelists and moderators busy with a constant flow of questions about preparing for exams, work-life balance, and the transition from school to their career. Alex Kirvan from AST, Hailey Walters from Allstate, Julie Tang from Mercer, and Kelsi Knoles from IAT Insurance shared their personal experience and expertise, each bringing a different perspective from property and casualty to life and health insurance or consulting versus the traditional insurance route, to the table.

Following the Alumni panel came time to network. Students had the opportunity to jump in and out of each company’s Zoom link to meet new people and ask general or company-specific questions. This time is invaluable to students because it gives them a chance to build connections and learn more about their future careers and possible future employing companies. After one hour of general networking, it was time for the reserved speed interviews. These 12-minute chats between representatives and individual students were held in separate breakout rooms, allowing students who did not have interviews to continue to network.

While a virtual career fair may not be what everyone is used to, it ended as a huge success for both students and company representatives! GIS @ ASU would like to thank the panelists and moderators for fielding students’ questions as well as all the companies who attended for their time. We look forward to seeing the results of the afternoon in the coming weeks.

Nationwide Visits GIS @ ASU

October 3, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was delighted to host another great company at its weekly meetings. On September 28, GIS @ ASU was proud to welcome Nationwide for a very informative and interesting company visit. Nationwide is a large insurer with business across a wide range of lines in property and casualty, excess and surplus/specialty, and financial. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives of Nationwide kept our members engaged as they shared more information about their company and employment opportunities while giving GIS @ ASU members a chance to try their hand at pricing insurance products.

Alex Perhac, Ryan Landers, Sean Lewis, and Nick Vogl started the meeting with some introductions in which they gave members a background on their actuarial path and shared some fun facts about themselves, from being a former math teacher to getting married two weeks ago! After learning about the representatives, Nationwide went on to give our members insight into their business and current job opportunities. They emphasized Nationwide’s great study program and actuarial rotation program and highlighted finding a community within the company through their Associate Resource Groups. They even elaborated on the hiring process for their actuarial opportunities, giving GIS @ ASU members great insight into the interview processes.

The presentation was then followed by a unique, interactive pricing activity. While being taught about the basic principles of pricing insurance products, GIS @ ASU members were shown some loss history data to use in pricing three different products: commercial auto, homeowner, and excess insurance. After submitting their prices, the profits, or losses for some, earned by attendees were revealed. With his correct prediction of a bad hurricane causing higher losses on some homeowners’ policies in 2022, Neil Bhardwaja earned the highest profit from his pricing decisions out of all the attendees who participated in Nationwide’s pricing activity! The representatives from Nationwide concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions they had come up with throughout earlier moments in the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives of Nationwide who gave our members the fantastic opportunity to hear about their business and receive insight into insurance pricing. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Nationwide’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Travels to the 50th Annual GIS International Conference

October 1, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Back in-person this year, officers and committee members representing the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) flew to Columbus, Ohio, to attend Gamma Iota Sigma’s 50th Annual International Conference from September 23-25. The three days were packed with speaker sessions covering a multitude of topics, keynote addresses, and networking opportunities for attendees.

On Thursday, the officers and committee members had the opportunity to attend several GammaSAID sessions and visit with companies present at the Career Fair. In one session titled “Bias and Fairness: A Spotlight on Race and Insurance”, attendees learned about proxy discrimination and disparate impact in auto insurance. This session provided great insight into the history of racial bias in insurance, as well as current practices that are under scrutiny for perpetuating bias in today’s society.

On Friday morning, a panel of executive leaders in the industry advised all of the aspiring professionals in the room about identifying ways to develop as future leaders of the insurance industry. Discussion of future careers continued through sessions such as “The Actuary of the Future: How to Prepare for a Changing World”, where panelists spoke about continual learning and diversifying one’s skillset to ensure growth throughout a career. These sessions were filled with great chances to broaden perspectives and reflect on one’s professional path. While not attending these thought-provoking sessions, GIS @ ASU leadership went to the Career Fair to learn about the companies and network with industry professionals.

The Annual Awards Dinner and Keynote Address was hosted on Friday night, honoring the 2020-2021 GIS @ ASU leadership with multiple awards for the incredible work they did for the chapter. The International Chapter Award recognizes chapters for work in alumni relations, chapter management, community service, GammaSAID diversity and inclusion, membership development, and public relations. Additionally, GIS @ ASU received the Excellent Chapter Award for 2020-2021. GIS @ ASU would like to extend congratulations to 2020-2021 President Kinsey Turk, who received the Thomas J. Miles Actuarial Award, which is presented to an exceptional actuarial science major.

“I am so proud of the former leadership team. I know none of us expected to be leading from our bedrooms miles apart, but we still managed to implement meaningful and impactful programs for our members and achieve the status of Excellent Chapter," said Turk. "As for myself, I am so honored to have been selected for such a prestigious award. I hope to continue to lean into the values of Thomas J. Miles as I begin my career in the insurance industry.”

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Nationwide in Scottsdale, who sponsored this trip to the 50th annual international conference, and continues to generously support our program and students since the commencement of the program in 2014. 

GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the Gamma Iota Sigma Grand Chapter for hosting the International Conference and coordinating so many informative and enriching events over the three-day conference. Being able to connect with other chapters from across the country led to great discussions about each chapter’s unique experiences and interests across risk management, insurance, and actuarial science. Officers and committee members are excited to return for weekly chapter meetings to further serve GIS @ ASU with the knowledge gained at the conference, and we look forward to what the 51st Annual International Conference has in store next year!

GIS @ ASU Attends American Indian Science and Engineering Society Conference

September 30, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is always looking for new ways to make a positive impact within the local community, and club officers were more than willing to step up for a community outreach opportunity offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). On September 24, GIS @ ASU treasurer Neil Bhardwaja had the incredible opportunity to attend the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference College and Career Fair, volunteering at the joint SOA/CAS exhibit. The AISES Conference, an annual symposium hosted this year at the Phoenix Convention Center, serves as a venue for Indigenous professionals and students from across North America to network and engage with STEM companies and organizations. This year, the event drew in over 2,500 conference participants, including over 100 companies with the likes of Amazon, Boeing, and the CIA, alongside prestigious colleges and nonprofit organizations.

Among these professional organizations at the conference were the CAS and SOA, who jointly organized the “Be an Actuary” exhibitor booth. The purpose of this booth was to introduce interested attendees to the actuarial profession and offer awareness about opportunities within the industry as well as scholarships. At the booth, professional actuaries from across the industry spectrum worked together to answer various questions from visitors regarding what actuaries do, the career path, and the perks and challenges of the job. Bhardwaja assisted in these efforts by providing information regarding the educational path for prospective actuaries as well as offering insight into pursuing an actuarial career while in college. Throughout the day, interested visitors cycled in to receive advice and guidance about how they could pursue a career as an actuary and how they could best leverage their technical skills and academic experiences to enter the profession. After engaging with the staff at the booth, visitors were able to receive important documents discussing online actuarial resources and scholarship opportunities as well as some special gifts including stress balls in the shape of a pencil and raffle tickets for the huge end-of-day raffle.

Throughout the event, GIS @ ASU was able to speak with several students, educators, and current professionals from across the continent, networking and forming strong connections with attendees. GIS @ ASU gained more insight into ways to assist locally through hearing the perspectives and knowledge of seasoned actuarial professionals, who offered key information about the industry and the resources available to assist disadvantaged individuals entering the actuarial profession. GIS @ ASU had an incredible experience attending the AISES conference and highlighting actuarial science to a community that has been historically underrepresented within the field. GIS @ ASU would like to thank AISES for hosting such a well-organized and meaningful event as well as the SOA and CAS for offering GIS @ ASU this opportunity to participate and make an impact!

Centene Visits GIS @ ASU

September 28, 2021
Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host yet another fantastic company at its weekly meeting. On September 21, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Centene for an informational and networking session with its members. Students were given the opportunity to interact with representatives Michael Brunner and Sean Kratsch while they shared their experiences with Centene.

Brunner and Kratsch began their presentation by explaining what exactly an actuary is and how to become one. They both thoroughly emphasized the importance of progressing through exams and finding a discipline of insurance that coincides with individual goals. They then continued to explain Centene’s Actuarial Development Program. This program helps actuarial analysts within their company by financially supporting employees through exams and incentivizing passing with bonuses and raises. Finally, the pair elaborated on the Centene actuarial intern experience. They highlighted Centene’s many offices including locations in Arizona, California, New York, and Florida. Current interns and GIS officers, Isabelle Welsh and Lydia Gabric, shared their perspective of the immersive intern experience. Welsh further elaborated on the strong support network Centene provides and how important that is in the beginning of one’s career.

The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot! session proctored by the Centene representatives. The categories varied from random trivia to math. It was a fantastic opportunity for GIS @ ASU members to connect with Centene on a social level along with the previously established professional level. After the exciting Kahoot!, members were given the opportunity to ask any final questions before the meeting adjourned. Here, Brunner was given the opportunity to emphasize how versatile work at Centene can be. Since Centene has hundreds of people working in the actuarial department, they have a vast array of resources and projects for employees to work on. Brunner said this was one of the main reasons why he loves Centene, and why he decided to stay with them over the years.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all the representatives from Centene who came to talk and share their experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity for members to learn more about the company and ask any questions about life as an actuary in health insurance. We look forward to your next company visit!

Mercer Visits GIS @ ASU

September 18, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to hold the third company visit of the semester. On September 14, GIS @ ASU was especially proud to welcome Mercer for yet another informational and entertaining company visit. Mercer is a large consulting firm with expertise across a wide range of disciplines, primarily involving health. Throughout the visit over Zoom, the representatives of Mercer kept our members engaged, as they shared more information about their company, their internship program, and a Mercer employee’s career story. 

The employees of Mercer began with a fun activity, allowing GIS @ ASU members to learn more about each of the Mercer representatives. The representatives gave introductions in which they elaborated on their positions within the company and shared fun facts about themselves. These fun facts ranged from an employee getting married in just two months to another gifting himself a banjo for nearly becoming a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. After learning more about the Mercer representatives and opening with a light-hearted activity, we gained insight into the business as a whole from Stacey Betz, who shared that Mercer treats their clients’ problems holistically. Betz explained there are approximately 70 credentialed actuaries within the company, providing a significant number of Mercer employees with whom to discuss the actuarial career path. 

Alex Sabrowsky and Michelle Torbit then enhanced the company visit by describing their previous experiences being a part of the internship program at Mercer. Each of them discussed how they were treated as though they were full-time analysts even as an intern, meaning that their work was of great value to the company at large. GIS @ ASU members learned that Mercer’s interns give a presentation to the government practice after their internships. Sabrowsky and Torbit ensured that our members were aware of the mentorship opportunities as well, stating that each intern is assigned to a mentor, or “buddy”, who eases the transition and remains in contact with the intern weekly. GIS @ ASU members were then fortunate enough to learn more about one of the career stories of Mercer’s own, Jacob Langerman, who was a GIS @ ASU officer back in 2015. As an actuarial analyst, Langerman has taken part in projects that involved behavioral health services, where Mercer views mental and physical healthcare of equal importance. It was informative and thought-provoking to learn more about Langerman’s career path from his first exam pass to his present-day as a successful consulting actuary. 

The company visit concluded with Mercer’s representatives setting aside time for our members to receive answers to questions that had been on their minds throughout the presentations, many of which emphasized the collaborative and accepting culture of the company. Lastly, to have one more activity, Mercer invited our members to play a game of movie trivia Kahoot, gifting the top three players with Starbucks gift cards. From all our members at GIS @ ASU, we truly appreciate your time and generosity and the opportunity to learn more about Mercer. We look forward to your next company visit!

Optumas Visits GIS @ ASU

September 10, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The fall semester is in full swing, and for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), this means company visits! On September 7, GIS @ ASU was lucky enough to host Optumas for their first-ever company visit with our chapter. Optumas is a small consulting firm based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, focused on reforming healthcare with people in mind. During this informative and engaging virtual visit, the Optumas representatives shared the ‘why’ behind their work and the opportunities available to GIS @ ASU members to get involved.

The Optumas representatives began their presentation with a powerful activity. The members of GIS @ ASU were asked to estimate where the United States would fall amongst other developed countries on a graph analyzing the relationship between GDP and healthcare expenditure. Upon revealing the tremendous healthcare expenditure of the U.S., a graph comparing healthcare expenditure with health outcomes was displayed. Despite significant healthcare expenditure, U.S. health outcomes are lacking when compared to other developed countries. At Optumas, consultants and analysts work together to face this issue, effectively allocating resources so that the most vulnerable populations of America have access to healthcare. Optumas employees are given a plethora of opportunities to solve problems, working with clients to improve the lives of real people.

After learning about Optumas’ mission and opportunities for GIS @ ASU members, members played two fun rounds of Kahoot, competing for prizes. The Kahoots tested members in a variety of categories, from Optumas trivia to ASU Athletics trivia. GIS @ ASU members even got to try to match dogs to their owner, one of the Optumas representatives. Members of GIS @ ASU love playing Kahoot, so this activity was a fun and engaging way to learn more about Optumas.

At the conclusion of the visit, Optumas was kind enough to host breakout rooms, allowing members to speak individually with any Optumas representative. This was a great way to have individual questions answered and get to know the people behind Optumas’ mission. From all the members of GIS @ ASU, thank you to Optumas for such a great company visit!

UnitedHealthcare Visits GIS @ ASU

September 8, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prides itself in its ability to help members gain connections in the actuarial science industry. One of the many ways that GIS @ ASU does so is through company visits. On August 31, GIS @ASU was proud to virtually host UnitedHealthcare as its first company visit of the fall semester. Club members were able to meet many representatives of the company and gain some insight as to what a “day in the life” looks like for an actuary at UnitedHealthcare.

The night started with a quick delve into UnitedHealthcare as a whole, with emphasis on their company culture, the type of work they specialize in, and everyone’s favorite, the internship program! Next, each representative spent some time going over what their day-to-day work looks like. This gave members a chance to see the type of work to expect in an entry level position, as well as further down in their career, and ask questions accordingly. GIS @ ASU was able to gain insight as to how someone new to the field handles full time work and preparing for exams and, additionally, how those in more managerial positions juggle working with clients in different time zones.

After learning about what to expect in future careers, it was time to jump into an activity. Attendees were split up into groups to look at an example of a real problem UnitedHealthcare actuaries have investigated. They were asked to look at the issue with fresh eyes and voice trends or possible solutions they could come up with. Problems ranged from how to handle the influx of hospital expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic to looking at trends in revenue and medical expenses over the 2019 to 2020 period. Regardless of the specific topic presented, members were excited to get their hands on some real data and use critical thinking to find a solution.

The evening concluded with a representative from each group practicing their public speaking skills by giving a quick overview of the solution their group created and a final farewell to all the guests. GIS @ ASU would like to thank all representatives from UnitedHealthcare who came out to talk to us about the work they do and field questions that members had about their company and life as an actuary. We appreciate the dedication to the club and its members.

GIS @ ASU Kicks Off Fall Semester With Welcome Meeting

August 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

As students wrap up their summer break and spring into the new school year, it was a refreshing experience to see everyone in person for a fall semester welcome meeting. During this event on August 24, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to have faculty and students, both new and returning, in attendance. The meeting consisted of introductions from the actuarial science faculty and the GIS @ ASU officers, an overview of GIS @ ASU, and a great interactive opportunity for members and potential new members to get to know one another.

The incoming group first received an enthusiastic welcome from faculty, in addition to current GIS @ ASU officers and committee members. The club's officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, gave members great insight into GIS @ ASU through an informative presentation on the events and opportunities available through the club. They emphasized the packed schedule for the upcoming fall semester, the importance of diversity and inclusion in GIS @ ASU, and the process for students to become official members. The attendees were also introduced to the GIS @ ASU social media pages to help them stay connected and updated with club activities: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Next, all members participated in a fun Kahoot game. This was an excellent way to learn about each other’s backgrounds, with students sharing interesting aspects of their lives, from having traveled all the way from Malaysia for school to having eight siblings! Following the game, new students were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other and the new officers, and to ask any other questions they had about GIS @ ASU.

Overall, it was very exciting to see everyone in person after a long series of virtual events. We look forward to this semester and continuing to see the many new faces interested in GIS @ ASU and actuarial science. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the actuarial science professors for welcoming students to the club and the new school year, and to members for enthusiastically attending!

GIS @ ASU Attends Welcome Week Events

August 23, 2021
By Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, and Hayley Osterkorn

As the summer of 2021 concludes and fall semester approaches, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) feels a wave of new beginnings and excitement to start the year off in-person with our peers and professors. With the variety of events that Arizona State University hosts at the start of each academic year, GIS @ ASU is always thrilled to introduce and represent the professional fraternity to new undergraduate and graduate students. The kappa chapter had the opportunity to attend three different events: the Graduate Student Orientation on August 17, and both the Undergraduate Fall Welcome and Passport to ASU on August 18.

On August 17, Lydia Gabric introduced GIS @ ASU at the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Graduate Student Orientation. Lydia described some of the professional, academic, and social events that GIS @ ASU hosts throughout the year for its members. The presentation also offered potential new members a sneak peek into some of the events planned for this upcoming semester and provided them with steps to join the organization.

The following morning, both president Lydia Gabric and vice president Gina Gilkey represented GIS @ ASU at the Undergraduate Fall Welcome. It was a pleasure for them to share just how much GIS @ ASU has enriched their ASU experience and to meet the incoming first year students declaring actuarial science, mathematics, data science, and more, as their majors.

The welcome week events concluded with Passport to ASU, where new and current students learned more about extracurricular involvement through the many student organizations at ASU. GIS @ ASU hosted an information booth, explaining to students from a variety of majors and interests what GIS @ ASU has to offer for students interested in risk management or insurance and how students can join the club.

Connecting with students during Welcome Week has been a great opportunity to expand awareness and membership for GIS @ ASU as the club prepares for its own Fall Welcome meeting on August 24. GIS @ ASU is excited to see interested students from the Graduate Student Orientation, Undergraduate Fall Welcome, and Passport to ASU at future events. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the school and university for hosting these welcome events.

GIS @ ASU President Attends 2021 GIS Leadership Symposium

August 18,2021
By Lydia Gabric

As the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prepares to start the school year with fresh ideas and new leadership, over 90 other chapters across the country are likewise doing the same. While every chapter is unique, they all share a similar goal: to support members in their pursuit of opportunities within the insurance and risk management industries.

This year, the Grand Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma invited officers from every chapter to attend the Leadership Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. During the conference, officers from a multitude of universities convened to exchange ideas, advice, and past experiences to help prepare for the upcoming school year. GIS @ ASU president Lydia Gabric had the privilege of attending this year’s Leadership Symposium and collaborating with officers from all over the country.

The symposium started on August 12, with a welcome breakfast and a set of introductions from the GIS Grand Chapter team who planned the event. Following this, officers were led through several different leadership trainings and networking opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to best build a professional network unique to the individual, how to walk-the-talk by identifying what each leader is bringing to the table, how officers can best support their chapters, and how to engage chapter members in GammaSAID programming. Officers were also able to meet for lunch with GIS Grand Chapter sustaining partners before attending the career fair.

The second day of the conference was spent in interactive breakout sessions dedicated to  guiding leaders through the organization and management of an effective chapter. The breakout sessions dove deeper into communication methods, member engagement, self-care management, event planning, and much more.

The Leadership Symposium was designed to provide opportunities to chapter leaders to network with fellow student leaders, connect them with industry partners, and equip them with tools and resources to effectively run their chapters. GIS @ ASU thanks the GIS Grand chapter for hosting this informative conference, and president Lydia Gabric is eager to utilize what she has learned  to help the Kappa chapter expand its reach, support its members, and host amazing events.

GIS @ ASU Attends Growth Actuary Virtual Summit

June 28, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

Actuaries from around the world gathered for the Growth Actuary Virtual Summit hosted by ProActuary this week. The conference spanned three days with dozens of informative speakers focused on developing the personal and technical skills necessary to succeed in the actuarial profession. Several officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended the summit on June 23rd-25th, connecting with other members of the actuarial community.

The event included speakers such as Caroline Grégoire, Manisha Dias, and Mark Farrell Ph.D. FIA. Grégoire shared her “Five Nuggets for Risk-Free Communication” in which she emphasized the importance of active listening. She also detailed the most effective practices when explaining actuarial conclusions to others in the workplace. During Dias’ “More Than an Actuary: Building Your Inner Leader & Brand”, she imparted the significance of not limiting opportunities and growth because of actuarial stereotypes. She asserted that actuarial science is a versatile profession that can be integrated into many impactful fields. Dr. Farrell, the seminar closer and a co-founder of ProActuary shared some of his top tips for success. One main suggestion was to focus not on where we are, but where we are going. He emphasized the importance of not being overly focused on the present, and instead, seeking unique and exciting opportunities for the future.

GIS @ ASU thanks ProActuary for providing such an amazing opportunity for growth and development. The summit allowed the officers to develop their skills in leadership and communication. We look forward to future events hosted by ProActuary and attending next year’s seminar!

Latest GIS@ASU News

GIS Welcomes ASU Counseling Services for a Stress and Mental Health Event 

March 2, 2022
By Emily Harris

GIS Welcomes ASU Counseling Services for a Stress and Mental Health Event

During this time of the semester, students can start to feel their stress levels rise. Many times students try to push through these few weeks, unaware of some better ways to cope with the multitude of stressors that they may be experiencing. To shed light on this subject and provide ways to exit this stress cycle more quickly, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) invited Grace Kirker from ASU Counseling Services to speak on February 22.

The discussion started out with stress, how stress is defined, and how responses to stress can be very different for different people. Kirker’s interactive presentation revealed that even though each person in the audience is part of the same or a closely related major, there were still differences in how stressors affected them. The discussion then moved into a look at the stress cycle, but more importantly, how to exit the cycle. Kirker guided the discussion on different healthy ways of practicing self-care and how it is especially beneficial during this point in students’ lives. The discussion emphasized how self-care can take on many forms for different people and how stress relief can even change over time within oneself.

GIS Welcomes ASU Counseling Services for a Stress and Mental Health Event

The evening ended with Kirker explaining different ways to plan self-care for yourself and knowing when to seek support. While also being important for future growth, support takes on many forms. Support may be reaching out to a trusted family member or seeking one of ASU’s counseling services. Overall, the night highlighted the different forms that stress can take, how to best exit the stress cycle, and the importance of working with yourself rather than against yourself.

Throughout the mental health series this semester, GIS @ ASU is grateful to provide students with these insights and resources to set themselves up for a successful future. GIS @ ASU would like to thank Grace Kirker from ASU Counseling Services for taking the time to lead the discussion for the members of GIS @ ASU.

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

February 22, 2022
By Lea Petit

Students spend a significant amount of time learning fundamental actuarial and mathematical concepts in order to become successful future actuaries. However, some questions are not as easily answered in the classroom, especially those related to the experience of working in the industry. Thus, on February 15, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host an informal Q&A panel session to give students the opportunity to ask those questions to three industry professionals. GIS @ ASU welcomed ASU alumni Michael Brunner and Lydia Tolman, as well as Paul Johnson, who also currently teaches an actuarial science course at ASU.

GIS @ ASU Welcomes Three Industry Professionals for an Informal Q&A Panel

The night started with a question about what drew the professionals to actuarial science and the moment they realized they were in the right field. All three agreed that they enjoyed the nature of the work and the challenges they solve on a daily basis while also helping to make the world a better place. Next was a lighthearted discussion in which they advised on a wide range of topics such as balancing work responsibilities with studying for actuarial exams, how to become an effective manager, and the costs and benefits of a master’s degree.

With mental health being a focus for GIS @ ASU this semester, chapter president Lydia Gabric ended the night with a question on how to avoid burnout while balancing work priorities, actuarial exams, and other personal responsibilities. The panel gave valuable insight into how they have prioritized their mental health throughout their careers, including evaluating priorities, setting boundaries with their workload, and finding companies that foster growth and minimize stress.

One of the most valuable parts of GIS @ ASU membership is the opportunities provided to network with professionals in the actuarial industry and to ask questions on how to best prepare for the workplace. GIS @ ASU is very grateful for relationships such as those with Michael Brunner, Lydia Tolman, and Paul Johnson, and would like to sincerely thank them for their time.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

February 14, 2022
By Charles Daggs

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Students in the actuarial science program spend a lot of their energy on earning the proper credentials for the field through passing professional exams. This is great for filling out a resumé, showing commitment to potential employers, and landing that big interview. However, turning that energy into, “You’re hired!” is its own unique challenge. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is here to provide students with the tools to make their next interview a success. On February 8, GIS @ ASU hosted a presentation and workshop to help members create and refine their responses to common interview prompts.

GIS @ ASU Interview Prep Night

Chapter president, Lydia Gabric, started off by showing a list of frequently asked interview questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.” and “Why should I hire you?” She and the GIS @ ASU officers provided some personal examples and tips on how they would answer. Other members were also encouraged to contribute their own examples and thought processes to present various approaches tailored to their unique personalities and experiences. Then, members broke out into groups to collaborate on finding answers to other questions.

Afterwards, the presentation introduced the S.T.A.R. method for tackling behavioral questions such as, “Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about?” Emphasis was placed on giving concise answers that told a positive and complete story. Members were encouraged to test their responses and receive feedback on how an interviewer might view them. With the right frame of mind, difficult experiences become stories of character growth.

Thank you to all GIS @ ASU members for attending the meeting and making it an interactive experience as well as the treasury team for organizing dinner! Members, remember to sign up by February 18 for the upcoming Mock Interview Night on March 1 for an opportunity to further practice your interview skills!

GIS @ ASU President to Pursue Statistics PhD

February 10, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt and Hayley Osterkorn

Lydia Gabric

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is excited to announce that current president Lydia (Lily) Gabric will be continuing her education at ASU in pursuit of a PhD in Statistics. Upon completing her final semester of her master’s degree as a part of ASU’s actuarial science 4+1 program, Gabric will continue her education and research at the doctorate level while remaining involved in the ASU actuarial community. Gabric hopes to build strong foundational knowledge in statistical modeling and analysis to solve problems and answer questions that require complex actuarial analysis. 

In her time as an actuarial science student at ASU, Gabric has made a positive impact through research and community involvement. Gabric is a member of The ACT Lab, where student researchers collaborate with local companies to complete real-world actuarial projects under the supervision of faculty members. She has worked on multiple projects involving traditional and stochastic approaches, pricing and reserving methods, simulating profit sharing models, etc. Currently, the work of Gabric and her peers is under review for publication through the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Gabric is also performing independent research on COVID-19 and its related healthcare costs throughout her honors thesis project and applied master’s project. Furthermore, she recently began a research assistantship with Kenneth Zhou, FSA, PhD:

"Lily is a very smart and self-motivated student. I had the pleasure of teaching and working with her in the past year. She has a solid statistical background and the ability to quickly adapt new knowledge to solve research problems. I look forward to working with her on her PhD studies," said Zhou.

If it is not already apparent, Gabric is a skilled researcher, which is why she wants to pursue a doctoral degree. 

While excelling in the classroom and in research positions, Gabric is also committed to fostering the actuarial science community that surrounds ASU. This academic year, Gabric has served as the GIS @ ASU President, organizing events to connect members with their peers as well as industry professionals. She has coordinated numerous company visits, represented the chapter at international conferences, and led discussions on the importance of mental health as a college student. Gabric’s desire to remain involved in this organization that supports prospective actuaries is also one of the reasons she decided to continue her education at ASU.

Alongside her PhD in Statistics, Gabric wants to continue the pathway to earn both the ASA and FSA accreditations. These accreditations through the SOA, as well as her doctorate level education, will prepare her to be a well-rounded actuary upon graduation. Gabric has goals to become a professor, which she will be able to explore through the teaching assistantship offered alongside admission into the PhD program.

Jelena Milovanovic, ACIA, AIAA, PhD, has witnessed Gabric’s growth as an actuarial science student over the past three years and believes she is a great candidate for the program.

"Lily applies maturity and diligence to every aspect of her academic and professional careers. As a student in my courses and researcher in The ACT Lab, Lily has exceeded all my expectations and I am beyond grateful to continue to witness her graduate journey at the school," said Milovanovic.

GIS @ ASU members are lucky to have a role model like Gabric and wish her the best in the Statistics PhD program! Join us in congratulating Lydia Gabric as she embarks on the next chapter of her educational career.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

February 9, 2022
By Joe Simpson

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

As the spring semester kicks into full gear, it was great to gather in-person with fellow students for another spring meeting. On February 1, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) began this semester’s Mental Health Awareness series with an event centered on burnout and self-care. The meeting included the opportunity to mingle during dinner, a presentation on burnout and the role self-care plays in preventing it, and an activity for GIS @ ASU members to brainstorm and discuss their own personalized self-care plans.

To start off the meeting, GIS @ ASU members enjoyed a meal together before the commencement of the night’s main presentation. The chapter president, Lydia Gabric, and one of the chapter’s shadow students, Joe Simpson, began the semester’s mental health series by leading an illustrative presentation on how burnout can negatively affect many areas of one’s life, the ways self-care can be utilized to prevent burnout, and their past experiences with these topics. The presentation included a definition of what burnout is and the stages one goes through while experiencing burnout along with several signs and symptoms to help identify it. Additionally, several methods of mitigating and preventing burnout were discussed including exercising regularly, practicing healthy sleep habits, and willingly reaching out to others for help.

GIS @ ASU Begins Mental Health Series

The meeting concluded with an interactive discussion surrounding self-care and wellness. GIS @ ASU members were encouraged to check in with themselves by asking questions such as “How am I feeling today?” and “What are my emotional needs right now?” and discussing with other students nearby in small groups. After doing so, attendees had the opportunity to develop their own personalized self-care plan and brainstorm with other GIS @ ASU members on the best ways to implement this plan into their daily life. Finally, members were allowed to ask any questions and share any other thoughts on the activity.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all members in attendance for our first mental health awareness meeting of the spring semester along with the Treasury Team for coordinating dinner! We look forward to implementing our respective self-care plans and continuing our mental health series throughout this semester!

GIS @ ASU Attends the GIS Grand Chapter Regional Conference

February 7, 2022
By Charlotte Cliatt

GIS Regional Conference

Since the 50th Annual GIS International Conference this fall, the members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) have anticipated our next opportunity to engage with other GIS students and industry sponsors. Fortunately, on January 28, GIS @ ASU had the chance to do just that at the GIS Regional Conference! GIS @ ASU members were able to attend the conference virtually, which consisted of a welcome and keynote, a career fair, and virtual interviews.

GIS Regional Conference

The keynote speaker was Judy Gonsalves, Division President of Chubb Bermuda, who gave an engaging and informative presentation on her own experiences in the insurance industry, as well as her advice for young insurance industry professionals. Gonsalves shared how she did not choose insurance, insurance chose her. She had no intention of working in the insurance industry, but rather became hooked after being hired at Chubb Bermuda, a subsidiary of Chubb, as an underwriter. Since then, she has worked her way to an executive position, however, not without unforeseen obstacles. Gonsalves shared that an unsatisfactory presentation to Chubb executives prompted her to seek a communication coach, allowing her to be a “communication chameleon,” and adapt her communication style to her intended audience. She emphasized the importance of communication in the insurance industry and how it enabled her to become a Chubb executive herself. Gonsalves shared the importance of taking risks as a young professional, because regardless of success or failure, risks can teach us things about ourselves and the world around us. 

Following the keynote, GIS students had the opportunity to network at the virtual career fair. While a virtual conference may not be as exciting as a traditional in-person conference, it does allow GIS members to have access to many different employers at their fingertips. There were five career fairs, one each for employers in the Northwest, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West regions. No matter where GIS students were attending the conference throughout the country, they had access to all five of the career fairs. Throughout the career fair, GIS members also had access to virtual interviews. Virtual interviews allow GIS members to have uninterrupted, one-on-one time with employers.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Grand Chapter for facilitating this invaluable opportunity for members to grow as young insurance professionals. The virtual platform operated seamlessly, allowing for our members to connect with other students and industry sponsors. 

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night 

February 1, 2022
By Lainey Waldman

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) strives to provide students with the proper resources to succeed throughout their academic and professional career. To accomplish this, on January 25, GIS @ ASU hosted a Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop focusing on crafting personal statements specifically for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) application process.

The meeting began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President (Lydia Gabric) and Vice President (Gina Gilkey). The pair guided members through the SoMSS application and explained how to apply to the many scholarships available. They then highlighted the 11 ASU actuarial-specific scholarships ranging in value from $500-$1000. They highly encouraged members to apply to every scholarship to increase their likelihood of winning an award.

GIS @ ASU Scholarship Night

After the presentation, GIS @ ASU officers led small breakout groups through a Personal Statement Workshop entailing a series of questions meant to help develop ideas and begin writing. Members had the opportunity to brainstorm for their personal statements utilizing questions like “What makes you unique?” and “What attracted you to actuarial science?”. The officers emphasized the importance of highlighting career ambitions and professional experience within personal statements. Through discussion, many students drafted overarching themes of their papers and prepared for applying to the SoMSS application.

The meeting concluded with the breakout groups coming together and sharing their experiences and ideas. GIS @ ASU thanks its members for attending and participating in the Spring 2022 Scholarship Night and Personal Statement Workshop. We also want to remind our members that the SoMSS scholarship application is due on February 6 at 11:59 PM. Make sure to submit your applications before the deadline!

GIS @ ASU hosts in-person Spring Kickoff Meeting!

January 26, 2022
By Melanie Patten 

GIS @ ASU Spring Kickoff meeting

As winter break comes to a close and students prepare for the semester ahead, it was wonderful to see everyone in person safely for a spring semester welcome meeting. On January 18, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to see our members, including new and returning, at the Spring Kickoff Meeting. The meeting consisted of time to socialize over the dinner provided, introductions from the GIS @ ASU officers and committee members, an overview of all that GIS @ ASU has to offer this semester, and an interactive activity for members to learn more about one another. 

The attendees first received a warm welcome from GIS @ ASU leadership, who invited everyone to socialize amongst each other over tacos and burritos prior to the start of the informative presentation. Our chapter’s four officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, elaborated on the professional, academic, and social opportunities available through the organization. Some of the highlights included the emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the procedures to become an official member, and the upcoming events for the Spring semester (many of which will be in person). Members were also reminded of each of the places they can find GIS @ ASU social media accounts to stay up to date and receive reminders: Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

To finish off the first meeting of the semester, all attendees participated in a Kahoot game to get to know one another and their backgrounds. Members learned that about 75% of those in attendance have sat for an actuarial exam and that all but one are actuarial science majors. During the game, one of our committee members, Charlotte Cliatt, made sure to let everyone know that their favorite calculators should be the TI-30XS MultiView and the BA II Plus Professional, which stirred up quite a debate and some laughter. Following the game, students were given more time to socialize and ask questions to GIS @ ASU leadership. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank everyone, both current and soon-to-be members, for attending the Spring Kickoff Meeting, as well as our Treasury Team for going out of their way to provide dinner! We look forward to this semester with a packed schedule of events that will contribute to our members’ professional growth. We are hopeful that it will be a great semester! 

GIS @ ASU’s Fall D&I Event

November 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is especially proud to host events that further our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the actuarial field. On November 23, GIS @ ASU hosted representatives from several organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the actuarial field. The organizations shared their mission and the support they offer to actuaries and actuarial candidates from underrepresented groups.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Celeste Trevino who represented the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA). Trevino explained the numerous ways in which OLA supports Latinx aspiring actuaries through multiple programs such as mentoring, OLA academy for professional development, exam support, career fairs, and scholarships. She gave great personal insight into her experience as a member of OLA, mentioning the impact of programs like OLA Academy and OLA-specific internship opportunities on her career development.

Jeaninne Ingabire, representing the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), highlighted the barriers that exist for black actuarial candidates, as well as ways the IABA is combatting those barriers. She detailed the immense efforts taken by the IABA to increase awareness of the actuarial profession, offer financial support, build networks, and influence career development and growth for aspiring black actuaries. Ingabire also mentioned some incredible programs like the IABA Boot Camp and a mentorship program.

Next, GIS @ ASU welcomed two more organizations with strong values surrounding diversity and inclusion. Ron Gebhardtsbauer, a representative of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries (SAGAA), gave attendees background on the growing LGBTQ+ population in the United States and some of the challenges confronting the community in the workplace. He explained how SAGAA was founded to be a safe space and resource for LGBTQ+ actuarial talent and allies and gave insight into the ways SAGAA is supporting the community through their three pillars: networking, professional development, and company education.

Following the incredibly informative presentation from SAGAA, GIS @ ASU members were introduced to the recently founded Network of Actuarial Women and Allies (NAWA). Sandy Lowe and Norah Barnes emphasized NAWA’s goals of connecting and empowering women of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and life circumstances to be successful in the actuarial profession. They explained the formation of NAWA’s impact committees that strive to create a community of actuaries who identify as women and allies and to generate awareness about gender bias in the actuarial profession, concluding with a mention of ways to get involved with their mission.

GIS @ ASU greatly enjoyed hosting the first diversity and inclusion night of the year and is thrilled to help create a more inclusive, welcoming community at ASU. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the representatives from OLA, IABA, SAGAA, and NAWA, for taking the time to come speak with us and to introduce our students to their organizations. GIS @ ASU hopes their members will reach out to these organizations and take advantage of the great support and programs available to aspiring actuaries from underrepresented groups!

GIS @ ASU Attends CADS Fall Meeting

November 29, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) always works to maintain strong connections with local insurance organizations including CADS, the Casualty Actuaries of the Desert States. On November 17, CADS invited GIS @ ASU students to attend the organization’s Fall meeting and to listen to several presentations and initiatives about current P&C affairs. Among the attendees at the event were actuaries from several different P&C insurers, ranging from standard insurance carriers such as Allstate and Nationwide, as well as excess and surplus insurers such as Nautilus and GPW. 

The meeting had a large variety of agenda items and presentations spanning across several different fields, and GIS @ ASU members got to engage with and learn more about these topics. The meeting kicked off with administrative obligations, starting with the election of a new officer, Ryan Landers, and the transition of leadership from former president Mark Weihs to incoming president Jeff Durham, an alumnus and the first graduate of ASU's actuarial science program. Following this election, the discussion shifted to the current CADS budget as well as a timeline of upcoming events for members to attend. With all of the new business addressed, the spotlight turned to the several expert presentations that were much anticipated by all attendees.

The first presenter, Mark Kinder, gave a very relevant presentation on the 2022 ISO’s (an insurance data organization) General Liability releases, discussing items such as new rules, new forms, and upcoming loss cost revisions. Following Kinder, professor of practice John Zicarelli provided information about ASU’s actuarial science program, discussing accolades achieved by students and detailing the program growth in the past few years. Other presentations included Shawna Ackerman’s fascinating overview on earthquake statistics and their effect on catastrophic insurance and Todd Hess’ pertinent presentation about professionalism and reputational risk, derived from the important Actuarial Standards of Practice. Students were delighted to see a presentation about modeling floods and wildfires in Arizona from ASU’s very own assistant professor, Petar Jevtic. In addition, attendees also had the privilege to hear from CAS president Jessica Leong, who discussed ongoing CAS initiatives including the expansion of the D&I program, the implications of a recent organization-wide vote, and the continuation of computer-based testing exams.

Members of GIS @ ASU had an amazing time at the CADS Fall meeting, gaining more exposure with the local P&C community and learning about current insurance topics ranging from earthquake insurance to general liability loss trends. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the leadership at CADS for providing our members with the amazing opportunity to attend the meeting and gain more insight into actuarial work within the P&C industry. We greatly appreciate the support from CADS and look forward to attending future CADS meetings and events!

WSIA Visits GIS @ ASU for the First Time

November 24, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Changing pace from the usual company visits this semester, the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) visited the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) on November 16 to share information about the organization and how it can help college students interested in a career in insurance. The presentation from Kathleen Sanchez, Kimberly Curtis, and Laura Barron, covered the basics of wholesale and specialty insurance, what it is like to work in the field, and what the WSIA does.

The WSIA representatives began the presentation with an overview of wholesale, specialty, and surplus lines insurance and how the risks covered are unique, filling in areas that the standard insurance market does not cover. The educational section continued, describing how the surplus lines market works, from who might seek excess and surplus (E&S) insurance coverage, to a day in the life of a surplus lines professional. Curtis described the work she does at Nationwide E&S in treaty placement with collecting information to send to reinsurers, and Barron shared some insight into the large variety of risks she sees every day as a broker. Sanchez wrapped up the overview of the industry by describing different positions in the industry, informing students about different career paths before diving a little deeper into actuarial work on E&S teams for interested students.

After GIS @ ASU members gained a good understanding of wholesale and specialty insurance, the presentation shifted to focus on the WSIA. The WSIA provides opportunities for members to network, participate in regulatory and legislative advocacy, educate about the industry, promote wholesale value, and help recruit talent. Barron covered opportunities of interest to students watching the presentation, including internships, scholarships, mentors, and more.

GIS @ ASU thanks the WSIA for their presentation that informed members about the industry and the many opportunities available through the organization. We look forward to the next time the WSIA visits!

GIS @ ASU attends the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall Meeting

November 19, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to attend a local professional actuarial society meeting this week. On November 10, GIS @ ASU officers and club members virtually attended the Arizona Actuarial Club Fall meeting. Club members were given the opportunity to network and listen to two informative presentations focusing on how actuaries can be more productive in the workplace.

The meeting began with a networking Bingo session. Here, members were given the opportunity to meet some of their peers and play an interactive game to learn fun facts about one another. It was a fantastic opportunity to break the ice and give GIS @ ASU students a chance to connect with other actuaries in the Arizona community.

The networking session was then followed by a presentation from Bonnie Punch about adapting actuarial toolkits to account for changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most actuaries, especially in the health community, have had to address the influence of the pandemic on their modeling and determine what the best actuarial practices are going forward. One of the major questions that Punch proposed was is if it is best to continue modeling based on data before the pandemic or to use the past two years as a large part of future projections. While Punch explained that her department still uses pre-pandemic data as their main modeling source for the coming years, she still is using COVID-19 data to determine the “new normal” in the healthcare industry. She asserted that actuaries must consider how the demand for healthcare services has changed compared to pre-pandemic time and what kind of long-term impacts COVID-19 will have on mental and behavioral health services. 

After Punch’s presentation, Yiuxan Song presented on how to tell narratives with data. He explained the importance of effective graphics when communicating information to clients and those outside of the actuarial profession. He recommended creating graphics to display data through the following six strategies: understand the context, choose an appropriate visual, eliminate clutter, focus attention, think like a designer, and tell a story. He highlighted that the key is to understand the “so what?” of a study and to communicate that through the presentation graphic chosen. He also explained the importance of creating trust through visuals and not having them be misleading for the audience. 

GIS @ ASU thanks the Arizona Actuarial Club for hosting their Fall meeting and providing the opportunity for students to network and gain more insight into the industry. We look forward to the next meeting!
 

AST Visits GIS @ ASU

November 15, 2021
By Melanie Patten 

The end of the fall semester is just around the corner! This week, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) held the second to last company visit of the semester. On November 9, GIS @ ASU welcomed Actuarial Strategies and Tactics (AST) for an informational evening, consisting of presentations from their representatives and questions from our members. AST, founded by Bernon Erickson in 2012, is a small actuarial consulting firm built upon long-term, close-knit relationships with clients, as well as fellow staff. With just 12 employees, the company’s impact is significant with clients located in 19 states as well as the Caribbean. Throughout the virtual visit, AST’s representatives shared more information about their company culture, internship opportunities, and personal actuarial experiences. 

AST kicked off the meeting by providing an overview of the firm, located in Old Town Scottsdale. Representative Justin emphasized the importance of client communication and how these interactions feel like a partnership. Our members then had the opportunity to hear from the President and Founder of AST, Bernie Erickson. Erickson described his career path and what led him to create his own actuarial firm. At the beginning of his career, he came to the realization that, above all else, his goals are to take care of both his long-term clients and his staff. With such goals in mind, Erickson chose to achieve these by creating AST, where he can continue to teach actuarial work and provide opportunities for professional development to those at the start of their careers. As he introduced himself and AST, the company culture and three ethics became especially apparent: work, service, and team. GIS @ ASU was fortunate enough to hear from a number of current employees who had previously interned at AST before becoming full-time hires. Our members learned that some did not know what an actuary was prior to their internship but have yet to look back due to the great culture at AST. 

AST continued to entertain and engage our members with a fun activity: Jeopardy! GIS @ ASU members were divided into small breakout rooms on Zoom, each room containing two AST representatives. The six categories of the game were, Actuarial, Exam P, AST, Arizona, Name the Song, and Movies. From recognizing the probability density function of the Gamma distribution to reciting the 5 C’s of Arizona, the knowledge of each of our members was put to the test. This activity in breakout rooms also allowed GIS @ ASU to ask the AST employees more questions and to get to know them. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of the representatives from AST for spending their Tuesday evening with us! We are grateful to have learned more about the firm and to have had the opportunity to ask a wide variety of questions. We truly appreciate your time and look forward to AST’s next visit!

CSAA Visits GIS @ ASU

November 9, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

Company visits are the highlight of the Fall semester for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU). They offer our members the invaluable opportunity to gain connections in the actuarial science community. On November 2, GIS @ ASU was thrilled to virtually host the California State Auto Association (CSAA), following their company visit last Spring. The representatives of CSAA, Jiayi Huang and Shelly Zhou, prepared an informational and engaging meeting, providing our members a glimpse into the life of an analyst at CSAA.

After introductions from the CSAA representatives, the visit started with a challenging Kahoot about CSAA, with questions ranging from their history to the size of their membership base. This was a great way to engage everyone, as the members of GIS @ ASU love a game of Kahoot. From there, Huang and Zhou shared the various opportunities available to analysts at CSAA. They presented an overview of each actuarial department and emphasized the value of rotating across departments to become a well-rounded actuarial student. This allowed GIS @ ASU students to learn more about actuarial work and consider whether property and casualty insurance is of interest to them.

From there, the representatives of CSAA shared the employment opportunities available to members pursuing internships as well as full-time positions. Fortunately, both Huang and Zhou were past CSAA interns and could speak on the interesting projects they completed during their summer internships. They emphasized that interns at CSAA are assigned to real projects that will not only challenge them but also be of value to their team. Huang's intern project of creating a hurricane model for home insurance and Zhou’s intern project of investigating the loss ratio of auto policies in New Jersey were both great examples of the opportunities available to actuarial students at CSAA.

To wrap up the meeting, the CSAA representatives shared with GIS @ ASU the importance of finding an employer who is the right fit for you and prioritizing your growth as a young actuary. Members of GIS @ ASU always appreciate such insight from fellow young professionals. Thank you to CSAA for returning to GIS @ ASU for another successful company visit!

The College Leaders 2021 Awards Ceremony

November 4, 2021
By Gina Gilkey

Each year, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University honors distinguished alumni who have continued their successes since graduating, driving positive change locally and internationally through leadership, business, research, and community service. This growing list of ASU alumni shares remarkable achievements and excellence. President Lydia Gabric and Vice President Gina Gilkey from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) were nominated in recognition of being distinguished Student Leaders in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, an academic unit of The College. Hearing the inspiring success stories from many of the alumni in-person on ASU’s campus and having the opportunity to network at the reception afterwards was an invaluable experience.

The ceremony kicked off by recognizing four alumni - David Wilson, Herman Frazier, Lisa Pino, and Lisa Clark - who each shared their impressive and impactful career stories. They shared how they got to where they are now and how they achieved these milestones since graduating from ASU. Each story was incredibly inspiring and refreshing for Gabric and Gilkey to hear. For example, alumni David Wilson, who graduated from ASU’s Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. programs in microbiology, shared his career story and impact within the National Institute of Health, which partners with the Indian Health Service to support the Native American Research Centers for Health. He serves a crucial role for the Institute and undoubtedly has a positive impact on healthcare within the Native American populations. Following each of the four speeches, the distinguished Student Leaders were invited to ask the alumni a question in a panel format. Students were curious about how these alumni adapted to COVID-19’s challenges to continue making an impact in their careers as well as how they describe their proudest accomplishment.

After the ceremony, the distinguished alumni and Student Leaders were invited outdoors for refreshments and networking. Gabric and Gilkey took this opportunity to meet several alumni, including mathematics alumnus Peter Charron who was honored as a College Leader in 2015, and Laura Bush who earned a PhD in English and was recognized as a College Leader at last year's ceremony. Making these connections also made the night an incredible experience for our GIS @ ASU leadership. Thank you to The College for hosting this night to honor deserving alumni and inspire current students, as well as the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences for nominating two students from GIS @ ASU leadership. It was a night to remember, and GIS @ ASU looks forward to continuing to watch the distinguished ASU alumni network grow and succeed!

Edrington Health Consulting Visits GIS @ ASU

November 2, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to host yet another amazing company at its weekly meeting. On October 26, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Edrington Health Consulting (EHC) for a very informative and fun company visit. EHC, a Health Management Associated Company, is a small consulting firm that provides actuarial and financial services to health plans, state agencies, provider groups, and advocacy groups. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives from EHC kept our members engaged as they introduced the EHC team and the work they do and gave GIS @ ASU members a chance to try applying the information they learned about health claims reserving.

EHC kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the company, noting its growth of the current team after being started in 2014 by the company’s namesake, Kyle Edrington. They shared information about the work they do, foreshadowing the activity they had planned with their mention of incurred but not paid (IBNP) claims development. Next, EHC continued with introductions to the team, connecting with the GIS @ ASU members as they shared the aspects of their first job in the actuarial field that scared them most, from mentions of what seemed to be a never-ending list of acronyms to the intimidatingly impressive Microsoft Excel skills of their coworkers. After continuing with a glimpse into some of EHC’s collaborations with ASU, the representatives then segued into giving GIS @ ASU members some insight and background on health claims reserving, hinting at the many methods that exist for these calculations.

Next, GIS @ ASU members had the opportunity to put what they had learned about health claims reserving into practice in a fun take on The Price is Right: The Reserve is Right! Split into teams, the attendees were given information on healthcare claims data, including the number of enrollees in the health plan, the amount of money already spent paying claims, and an estimation of the percentage of claims that had been paid within each service month. They then had a chance to work some actuarial magic in Excel and predict how much money they would need in reserves to pay off the outstanding claims. Our members took some great approaches, calculating the total necessary reserve by trending more complete data from earlier months and accounting for the impact of COVID-19. The teams all did a fantastic job, with the team, Just for the Bezos Bucks, ultimately coming closest to predicting the correct reserve and the team, 70-7, being applauded for its choice in name. After wrapping up the entertaining activity, the representatives from EHC concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions that had arisen throughout the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to give a sincere thank you to the representatives from EHC who gave our members the incredible opportunity to hear about their company and gain invaluable insight into some of the functions actuaries have the chance to perform. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to EHC’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Attends CPCU I-Day

October 31, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Charted Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society invited its Arizona and Colorado chapters to virtually attend this year’s All Industry Day (I-Day) on October 22. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ASU) was honored to receive the extended invitation and have the chance to learn about up-and-coming topics in the insurance industry as well as to network with and learn from working professionals. The event is a great way for GIS @ ASU’s members to get a glimpse into the industry and important events while still in school, which can be especially helpful while students are interviewing for internships.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction as to the flow of presentations and a quick breakout room session where attendees had the chance to get to know each other better. Once introductions were over, it was time to get into the presentations! Members had the chance to learn from many professionals in a variety of fields. Susan Kearney, Paul Rossi, Kodi Fitzkerrels, Mark Slaugh and Curt Devries, led the group through a diverse set of topics concerning the insurance industry today and fielded questions from the audience. The topics of this year’s event included an introduction to block chain, new drone technology, how to make the best of your day, the effects of legalizing cannabis, and the consequences surrounding social media. The group was also introduced to a variety of charities they could consider supporting. At the beginning of each presentation, the speaker spent a couple of minutes describing an organization they had chosen to support and what it means to them. Both the giving spirit and the many questions that flowed throughout the day made the event feel collaborative and immersive, despite its virtual platform.

The afternoon ended with a thank you to all the presenters and a gift card raffle to the attendees! It was interesting to see what subjects were covered in this year’s event and how students could use the knowledge presented in their everyday lives, such as in preparation for their interviews or during an internship. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Arizona Chapter of the CPCU for inviting us to this year’s I-Day and allowing students the chance to learn a bit more about important topics in the insurance industry. The chance to learn from and network with professionals in the industry is invaluable. GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the speakers who came to present and share their knowledge with the chapter. We look forward to the chance to attend next year’s I-Day!

IAT Visits GIS @ ASU

October 28,2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

IAT began the presentation with introductions from Kelsi Knoles, Haley Schuman, Shawn Baker, and Steven Locke, who each explained how they began working at IAT and what a typical workday looks like for them, highlighting some of the important skills they use and the types of projects on which they work. Moving onto more general information about the company, Locke covered IAT’s lines of businesses and how they differ from standard lines property and casualty insurance. Knoles then explained how the culture at IAT also differentiates the company from other insurers, particularly larger companies. Since IAT is smaller in size and has a culture that stresses the value and inclusion of every employee, Schuman and Baker gave some personal examples about how employees from all levels of the company show that culture every day at work. The group also highlighted IAT’s charitable endeavors and how employees get involved with Giving Week. The presentation was finished off with some information about career opportunities at IAT, such as how internships work and what different trainee programs are offered.

During the discussion portion of the evening, GIS @ ASU members were able to ask whatever questions were still on their minds. As GIS @ ASU learned during the presentation section, IAT employees receive great benefits; Schuman offered some specific details on the actuarial exam support that is available for employees looking to earn their credentials, which was great for the actuarial students in GIS @ ASU to hear. Those attending the meeting also got more insight from the representatives about work-life balance at IAT. Representatives explained how a typical week allows for great work-life balance, though there are naturally some busier points throughout the week or month depending on the type of work being done. The discussion portion was a great environment for students to gear the meeting towards their own points of interest about IAT.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives from IAT Insurance Group for spending their time visiting the club. It was a valuable time for members to learn about what the company does and to hear some personal examples about careers at IAT!

ASU Virtual High School Visit

October 21, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), in a joint venture with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuary Society (CAS), hosted a virtual high school visit on October 18. High school students were given the opportunity to learn about the actuarial profession, talk to professionals in the industry, and interact with GIS @ ASU officers.

The event began with a presentation from GIS @ ASU President Lydia Gabric, focusing on actuarial science at Arizona State University and within GIS @ ASU. Gabric detailed the many degree options that ASU offers such as the actuarial science undergraduate, master’s, and 4+1 degrees. She continued to explain GIS @ ASU and how the organization fits into the actuarial science program at ASU. The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot session where students were given the opportunity to showcase their general actuarial science knowledge and mathematics skills. This allowed students to apply the information they just learned and earn some exciting SOA and CAS swag!

The meeting then transitioned into breakout rooms where students could ask questions that may have come up throughout the Zoom meeting. Students asked questions such as, “Do actuaries need graduate degrees to succeed?”, “Do I have to be an actuarial science major to become an actuary?”, and “What advice would you give to a high school student looking to become an actuary?”. Actuarial professionals in the meeting emphasized the importance of constantly being open to learning new things and adapting to challenges that would inevitably come.

The meeting ended with a visit from a CAS/SOA Joint Committee for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (JCIED) representative. He explained the continually growing emphasis on inclusion, equity, and diversity in the actuarial profession and how the CAS and the SOA are contributing to those goals. He also highlighted the ways that GIS @ ASU is incorporating those objectives into programming.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the CAS, SOA, and all the high school teachers and students who attended. We are honored by the opportunity to work with the next generation of actuaries and look forward to the opportunity to visit with more high school students in the future.

GIS @ ASU Celebrates IICF Week of Giving

October 20, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is composed of students who hope to make a difference in their communities, both in the present day and in their future careers. This week, they were given the opportunity to do so. On October 15, a total of 17 members of GIS @ ASU chose to give back to the community and volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank to celebrate the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Week of Giving. The IICF helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strength of the insurance industry in providing grants, volunteer service, and leadership. The IICF also encourages all insurance professionals to volunteer during Week of Giving, which took place from October 9-16 this year.

GIS @ ASU members spent their Friday afternoon helping St. Mary’s Food Bank by packing emergency food boxes for individuals and families in need. Activities within the assembly line included, but were not limited to, stocking products, breaking down cardboard boxes, and packing non-perishable food into boxes to be distributed. ASU students, along with other volunteers from across the valley, worked diligently to prepare 1,440 boxes for families and 1,200 bags for children in need. With the stress of midterms, school, and internships on the minds of many of those involved in GIS @ ASU, it was refreshing to team up with other volunteers to help reduce hunger in our community, as well as to further strengthen relationships with fellow actuarial science majors outside of the classroom. It is heartwarming to know that the energy of simply 60 volunteers were able to make the difference of 33,698 meals for those needing assistance in Phoenix.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank each of our members who volunteered their time, as well as St. Mary’s Food Bank for providing rewarding and easily accessible opportunities to give back to the community. We are grateful to have celebrated the IICF Week of Giving safely in-person this year. We look forward to volunteering together as a chapter again next year.

Humana Visits GIS @ ASU

October 14, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) has been on a roll with company visits, and this week was no different! On October 5, GIS @ ASU welcomed Humana for an informative and fun company visit. Humana is a large health insurance company with over 90,000 employees, earning them the 41st spot on the Fortune 500 list. Humana has a strong actuarial community, with opportunities in a wide range of departments. Humana’s representative, Matthew Coles, shared with GIS @ ASU members the exciting internship and full-time positions that Humana offers for actuarial students.

Humana kicked off the meeting by highlighting some of the fun events that take place during their summer internship. One of the favorites was the Intern Olympics, a chance for actuarial interns to collaborate in teams and compete in events. GIS @ ASU members enjoyed seeing the silly pictures shared from the Intern Olympics, featuring a handful of our members! Despite last summer’s internship being virtual, these events ensure that interns can still get to know each other and build friendships.

While interns at Humana have the chance to participate in the Intern Olympics, they also get the chance to develop their actuarial careers. Coles continued the presentation, touching on all aspects of Humana’s internship program. Interns at Humana complete meaningful actuarial work, allowing them to expand technically and gain valuable industry knowledge. Interns also get to complete two presentations, allowing them to not only share their actuarial work with other interns and departments, but also practice their presentation skills. Another perk of Humana’s internship is access to mentorship and networking. After a glimpse into Humana’s internship program, Coles shared with GIS @ ASU members how to get involved in the recruitment process.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Humana for attending this week’s meeting. Company visits are always a hit during the fall semester, offering members valuable time with the industry’s leaders. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Humana’s next visit!

GIS @ ASU Takes on the Virtual Actuarial Science Career Fair

October 6, 2021
By Alison Hansen

That time of year has rolled around again where students begin their hunt for internships and full-time positions. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) and Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) have successfully paired again to host the annual actuarial science virtual career fair on September 29. The career fair is an invaluable way for actuarial science students who are looking for internships or full-time positions to get face-to-face time with company representatives and ask questions about the industry or about a specific company. GIS @ ASU was excited to have 22 companies and the SOA attend this year’s event, as well as a total of 70 attending students in professional attire over Zoom.

The afternoon began with a panel of ASU Alumni, moderated by Jeff Durham from Allstate and Michael Brunner from Centene. Students kept the panelists and moderators busy with a constant flow of questions about preparing for exams, work-life balance, and the transition from school to their career. Alex Kirvan from AST, Hailey Walters from Allstate, Julie Tang from Mercer, and Kelsi Knoles from IAT Insurance shared their personal experience and expertise, each bringing a different perspective from property and casualty to life and health insurance or consulting versus the traditional insurance route, to the table.

Following the Alumni panel came time to network. Students had the opportunity to jump in and out of each company’s Zoom link to meet new people and ask general or company-specific questions. This time is invaluable to students because it gives them a chance to build connections and learn more about their future careers and possible future employing companies. After one hour of general networking, it was time for the reserved speed interviews. These 12-minute chats between representatives and individual students were held in separate breakout rooms, allowing students who did not have interviews to continue to network.

While a virtual career fair may not be what everyone is used to, it ended as a huge success for both students and company representatives! GIS @ ASU would like to thank the panelists and moderators for fielding students’ questions as well as all the companies who attended for their time. We look forward to seeing the results of the afternoon in the coming weeks.

Nationwide Visits GIS @ ASU

October 3, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was delighted to host another great company at its weekly meetings. On September 28, GIS @ ASU was proud to welcome Nationwide for a very informative and interesting company visit. Nationwide is a large insurer with business across a wide range of lines in property and casualty, excess and surplus/specialty, and financial. Throughout the virtual visit, the representatives of Nationwide kept our members engaged as they shared more information about their company and employment opportunities while giving GIS @ ASU members a chance to try their hand at pricing insurance products.

Alex Perhac, Ryan Landers, Sean Lewis, and Nick Vogl started the meeting with some introductions in which they gave members a background on their actuarial path and shared some fun facts about themselves, from being a former math teacher to getting married two weeks ago! After learning about the representatives, Nationwide went on to give our members insight into their business and current job opportunities. They emphasized Nationwide’s great study program and actuarial rotation program and highlighted finding a community within the company through their Associate Resource Groups. They even elaborated on the hiring process for their actuarial opportunities, giving GIS @ ASU members great insight into the interview processes.

The presentation was then followed by a unique, interactive pricing activity. While being taught about the basic principles of pricing insurance products, GIS @ ASU members were shown some loss history data to use in pricing three different products: commercial auto, homeowner, and excess insurance. After submitting their prices, the profits, or losses for some, earned by attendees were revealed. With his correct prediction of a bad hurricane causing higher losses on some homeowners’ policies in 2022, Neil Bhardwaja earned the highest profit from his pricing decisions out of all the attendees who participated in Nationwide’s pricing activity! The representatives from Nationwide concluded with an opportunity for our members to ask the questions they had come up with throughout earlier moments in the event.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the representatives of Nationwide who gave our members the fantastic opportunity to hear about their business and receive insight into insurance pricing. We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to Nationwide’s next company visit!

GIS @ ASU Travels to the 50th Annual GIS International Conference

October 1, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

Back in-person this year, officers and committee members representing the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) flew to Columbus, Ohio, to attend Gamma Iota Sigma’s 50th Annual International Conference from September 23-25. The three days were packed with speaker sessions covering a multitude of topics, keynote addresses, and networking opportunities for attendees.

On Thursday, the officers and committee members had the opportunity to attend several GammaSAID sessions and visit with companies present at the Career Fair. In one session titled “Bias and Fairness: A Spotlight on Race and Insurance”, attendees learned about proxy discrimination and disparate impact in auto insurance. This session provided great insight into the history of racial bias in insurance, as well as current practices that are under scrutiny for perpetuating bias in today’s society.

On Friday morning, a panel of executive leaders in the industry advised all of the aspiring professionals in the room about identifying ways to develop as future leaders of the insurance industry. Discussion of future careers continued through sessions such as “The Actuary of the Future: How to Prepare for a Changing World”, where panelists spoke about continual learning and diversifying one’s skillset to ensure growth throughout a career. These sessions were filled with great chances to broaden perspectives and reflect on one’s professional path. While not attending these thought-provoking sessions, GIS @ ASU leadership went to the Career Fair to learn about the companies and network with industry professionals.

The Annual Awards Dinner and Keynote Address was hosted on Friday night, honoring the 2020-2021 GIS @ ASU leadership with multiple awards for the incredible work they did for the chapter. The International Chapter Award recognizes chapters for work in alumni relations, chapter management, community service, GammaSAID diversity and inclusion, membership development, and public relations. Additionally, GIS @ ASU received the Excellent Chapter Award for 2020-2021. GIS @ ASU would like to extend congratulations to 2020-2021 President Kinsey Turk, who received the Thomas J. Miles Actuarial Award, which is presented to an exceptional actuarial science major.

“I am so proud of the former leadership team. I know none of us expected to be leading from our bedrooms miles apart, but we still managed to implement meaningful and impactful programs for our members and achieve the status of Excellent Chapter," said Turk. "As for myself, I am so honored to have been selected for such a prestigious award. I hope to continue to lean into the values of Thomas J. Miles as I begin my career in the insurance industry.”

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Nationwide in Scottsdale, who sponsored this trip to the 50th annual international conference, and continues to generously support our program and students since the commencement of the program in 2014. 

GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the Gamma Iota Sigma Grand Chapter for hosting the International Conference and coordinating so many informative and enriching events over the three-day conference. Being able to connect with other chapters from across the country led to great discussions about each chapter’s unique experiences and interests across risk management, insurance, and actuarial science. Officers and committee members are excited to return for weekly chapter meetings to further serve GIS @ ASU with the knowledge gained at the conference, and we look forward to what the 51st Annual International Conference has in store next year!

GIS @ ASU Attends American Indian Science and Engineering Society Conference

September 30, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is always looking for new ways to make a positive impact within the local community, and club officers were more than willing to step up for a community outreach opportunity offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). On September 24, GIS @ ASU treasurer Neil Bhardwaja had the incredible opportunity to attend the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference College and Career Fair, volunteering at the joint SOA/CAS exhibit. The AISES Conference, an annual symposium hosted this year at the Phoenix Convention Center, serves as a venue for Indigenous professionals and students from across North America to network and engage with STEM companies and organizations. This year, the event drew in over 2,500 conference participants, including over 100 companies with the likes of Amazon, Boeing, and the CIA, alongside prestigious colleges and nonprofit organizations.

Among these professional organizations at the conference were the CAS and SOA, who jointly organized the “Be an Actuary” exhibitor booth. The purpose of this booth was to introduce interested attendees to the actuarial profession and offer awareness about opportunities within the industry as well as scholarships. At the booth, professional actuaries from across the industry spectrum worked together to answer various questions from visitors regarding what actuaries do, the career path, and the perks and challenges of the job. Bhardwaja assisted in these efforts by providing information regarding the educational path for prospective actuaries as well as offering insight into pursuing an actuarial career while in college. Throughout the day, interested visitors cycled in to receive advice and guidance about how they could pursue a career as an actuary and how they could best leverage their technical skills and academic experiences to enter the profession. After engaging with the staff at the booth, visitors were able to receive important documents discussing online actuarial resources and scholarship opportunities as well as some special gifts including stress balls in the shape of a pencil and raffle tickets for the huge end-of-day raffle.

Throughout the event, GIS @ ASU was able to speak with several students, educators, and current professionals from across the continent, networking and forming strong connections with attendees. GIS @ ASU gained more insight into ways to assist locally through hearing the perspectives and knowledge of seasoned actuarial professionals, who offered key information about the industry and the resources available to assist disadvantaged individuals entering the actuarial profession. GIS @ ASU had an incredible experience attending the AISES conference and highlighting actuarial science to a community that has been historically underrepresented within the field. GIS @ ASU would like to thank AISES for hosting such a well-organized and meaningful event as well as the SOA and CAS for offering GIS @ ASU this opportunity to participate and make an impact!

Centene Visits GIS @ ASU

September 28, 2021
Lainey Waldman

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was excited to host yet another fantastic company at its weekly meeting. On September 21, GIS @ ASU virtually welcomed Centene for an informational and networking session with its members. Students were given the opportunity to interact with representatives Michael Brunner and Sean Kratsch while they shared their experiences with Centene.

Brunner and Kratsch began their presentation by explaining what exactly an actuary is and how to become one. They both thoroughly emphasized the importance of progressing through exams and finding a discipline of insurance that coincides with individual goals. They then continued to explain Centene’s Actuarial Development Program. This program helps actuarial analysts within their company by financially supporting employees through exams and incentivizing passing with bonuses and raises. Finally, the pair elaborated on the Centene actuarial intern experience. They highlighted Centene’s many offices including locations in Arizona, California, New York, and Florida. Current interns and GIS officers, Isabelle Welsh and Lydia Gabric, shared their perspective of the immersive intern experience. Welsh further elaborated on the strong support network Centene provides and how important that is in the beginning of one’s career.

The presentation was then followed by an interactive Kahoot! session proctored by the Centene representatives. The categories varied from random trivia to math. It was a fantastic opportunity for GIS @ ASU members to connect with Centene on a social level along with the previously established professional level. After the exciting Kahoot!, members were given the opportunity to ask any final questions before the meeting adjourned. Here, Brunner was given the opportunity to emphasize how versatile work at Centene can be. Since Centene has hundreds of people working in the actuarial department, they have a vast array of resources and projects for employees to work on. Brunner said this was one of the main reasons why he loves Centene, and why he decided to stay with them over the years.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all the representatives from Centene who came to talk and share their experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity for members to learn more about the company and ask any questions about life as an actuary in health insurance. We look forward to your next company visit!

Mercer Visits GIS @ ASU

September 18, 2021
By Melanie Patten

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to hold the third company visit of the semester. On September 14, GIS @ ASU was especially proud to welcome Mercer for yet another informational and entertaining company visit. Mercer is a large consulting firm with expertise across a wide range of disciplines, primarily involving health. Throughout the visit over Zoom, the representatives of Mercer kept our members engaged, as they shared more information about their company, their internship program, and a Mercer employee’s career story. 

The employees of Mercer began with a fun activity, allowing GIS @ ASU members to learn more about each of the Mercer representatives. The representatives gave introductions in which they elaborated on their positions within the company and shared fun facts about themselves. These fun facts ranged from an employee getting married in just two months to another gifting himself a banjo for nearly becoming a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. After learning more about the Mercer representatives and opening with a light-hearted activity, we gained insight into the business as a whole from Stacey Betz, who shared that Mercer treats their clients’ problems holistically. Betz explained there are approximately 70 credentialed actuaries within the company, providing a significant number of Mercer employees with whom to discuss the actuarial career path. 

Alex Sabrowsky and Michelle Torbit then enhanced the company visit by describing their previous experiences being a part of the internship program at Mercer. Each of them discussed how they were treated as though they were full-time analysts even as an intern, meaning that their work was of great value to the company at large. GIS @ ASU members learned that Mercer’s interns give a presentation to the government practice after their internships. Sabrowsky and Torbit ensured that our members were aware of the mentorship opportunities as well, stating that each intern is assigned to a mentor, or “buddy”, who eases the transition and remains in contact with the intern weekly. GIS @ ASU members were then fortunate enough to learn more about one of the career stories of Mercer’s own, Jacob Langerman, who was a GIS @ ASU officer back in 2015. As an actuarial analyst, Langerman has taken part in projects that involved behavioral health services, where Mercer views mental and physical healthcare of equal importance. It was informative and thought-provoking to learn more about Langerman’s career path from his first exam pass to his present-day as a successful consulting actuary. 

The company visit concluded with Mercer’s representatives setting aside time for our members to receive answers to questions that had been on their minds throughout the presentations, many of which emphasized the collaborative and accepting culture of the company. Lastly, to have one more activity, Mercer invited our members to play a game of movie trivia Kahoot, gifting the top three players with Starbucks gift cards. From all our members at GIS @ ASU, we truly appreciate your time and generosity and the opportunity to learn more about Mercer. We look forward to your next company visit!

Optumas Visits GIS @ ASU

September 10, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

The fall semester is in full swing, and for members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), this means company visits! On September 7, GIS @ ASU was lucky enough to host Optumas for their first-ever company visit with our chapter. Optumas is a small consulting firm based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, focused on reforming healthcare with people in mind. During this informative and engaging virtual visit, the Optumas representatives shared the ‘why’ behind their work and the opportunities available to GIS @ ASU members to get involved.

The Optumas representatives began their presentation with a powerful activity. The members of GIS @ ASU were asked to estimate where the United States would fall amongst other developed countries on a graph analyzing the relationship between GDP and healthcare expenditure. Upon revealing the tremendous healthcare expenditure of the U.S., a graph comparing healthcare expenditure with health outcomes was displayed. Despite significant healthcare expenditure, U.S. health outcomes are lacking when compared to other developed countries. At Optumas, consultants and analysts work together to face this issue, effectively allocating resources so that the most vulnerable populations of America have access to healthcare. Optumas employees are given a plethora of opportunities to solve problems, working with clients to improve the lives of real people.

After learning about Optumas’ mission and opportunities for GIS @ ASU members, members played two fun rounds of Kahoot, competing for prizes. The Kahoots tested members in a variety of categories, from Optumas trivia to ASU Athletics trivia. GIS @ ASU members even got to try to match dogs to their owner, one of the Optumas representatives. Members of GIS @ ASU love playing Kahoot, so this activity was a fun and engaging way to learn more about Optumas.

At the conclusion of the visit, Optumas was kind enough to host breakout rooms, allowing members to speak individually with any Optumas representative. This was a great way to have individual questions answered and get to know the people behind Optumas’ mission. From all the members of GIS @ ASU, thank you to Optumas for such a great company visit!

UnitedHealthcare Visits GIS @ ASU

September 8, 2021
By Alison Hansen

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prides itself in its ability to help members gain connections in the actuarial science industry. One of the many ways that GIS @ ASU does so is through company visits. On August 31, GIS @ASU was proud to virtually host UnitedHealthcare as its first company visit of the fall semester. Club members were able to meet many representatives of the company and gain some insight as to what a “day in the life” looks like for an actuary at UnitedHealthcare.

The night started with a quick delve into UnitedHealthcare as a whole, with emphasis on their company culture, the type of work they specialize in, and everyone’s favorite, the internship program! Next, each representative spent some time going over what their day-to-day work looks like. This gave members a chance to see the type of work to expect in an entry level position, as well as further down in their career, and ask questions accordingly. GIS @ ASU was able to gain insight as to how someone new to the field handles full time work and preparing for exams and, additionally, how those in more managerial positions juggle working with clients in different time zones.

After learning about what to expect in future careers, it was time to jump into an activity. Attendees were split up into groups to look at an example of a real problem UnitedHealthcare actuaries have investigated. They were asked to look at the issue with fresh eyes and voice trends or possible solutions they could come up with. Problems ranged from how to handle the influx of hospital expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic to looking at trends in revenue and medical expenses over the 2019 to 2020 period. Regardless of the specific topic presented, members were excited to get their hands on some real data and use critical thinking to find a solution.

The evening concluded with a representative from each group practicing their public speaking skills by giving a quick overview of the solution their group created and a final farewell to all the guests. GIS @ ASU would like to thank all representatives from UnitedHealthcare who came out to talk to us about the work they do and field questions that members had about their company and life as an actuary. We appreciate the dedication to the club and its members.

GIS @ ASU Kicks Off Fall Semester With Welcome Meeting

August 30, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

As students wrap up their summer break and spring into the new school year, it was a refreshing experience to see everyone in person for a fall semester welcome meeting. During this event on August 24, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to have faculty and students, both new and returning, in attendance. The meeting consisted of introductions from the actuarial science faculty and the GIS @ ASU officers, an overview of GIS @ ASU, and a great interactive opportunity for members and potential new members to get to know one another.

The incoming group first received an enthusiastic welcome from faculty, in addition to current GIS @ ASU officers and committee members. The club's officers, Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, Neil Bhardwaja, and Isabelle Welsh, gave members great insight into GIS @ ASU through an informative presentation on the events and opportunities available through the club. They emphasized the packed schedule for the upcoming fall semester, the importance of diversity and inclusion in GIS @ ASU, and the process for students to become official members. The attendees were also introduced to the GIS @ ASU social media pages to help them stay connected and updated with club activities: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Next, all members participated in a fun Kahoot game. This was an excellent way to learn about each other’s backgrounds, with students sharing interesting aspects of their lives, from having traveled all the way from Malaysia for school to having eight siblings! Following the game, new students were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other and the new officers, and to ask any other questions they had about GIS @ ASU.

Overall, it was very exciting to see everyone in person after a long series of virtual events. We look forward to this semester and continuing to see the many new faces interested in GIS @ ASU and actuarial science. GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to the actuarial science professors for welcoming students to the club and the new school year, and to members for enthusiastically attending!

GIS @ ASU Attends Welcome Week Events

August 23, 2021
By Lydia Gabric, Gina Gilkey, and Hayley Osterkorn

As the summer of 2021 concludes and fall semester approaches, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) feels a wave of new beginnings and excitement to start the year off in-person with our peers and professors. With the variety of events that Arizona State University hosts at the start of each academic year, GIS @ ASU is always thrilled to introduce and represent the professional fraternity to new undergraduate and graduate students. The kappa chapter had the opportunity to attend three different events: the Graduate Student Orientation on August 17, and both the Undergraduate Fall Welcome and Passport to ASU on August 18.

On August 17, Lydia Gabric introduced GIS @ ASU at the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Graduate Student Orientation. Lydia described some of the professional, academic, and social events that GIS @ ASU hosts throughout the year for its members. The presentation also offered potential new members a sneak peek into some of the events planned for this upcoming semester and provided them with steps to join the organization.

The following morning, both president Lydia Gabric and vice president Gina Gilkey represented GIS @ ASU at the Undergraduate Fall Welcome. It was a pleasure for them to share just how much GIS @ ASU has enriched their ASU experience and to meet the incoming first year students declaring actuarial science, mathematics, data science, and more, as their majors.

The welcome week events concluded with Passport to ASU, where new and current students learned more about extracurricular involvement through the many student organizations at ASU. GIS @ ASU hosted an information booth, explaining to students from a variety of majors and interests what GIS @ ASU has to offer for students interested in risk management or insurance and how students can join the club.

Connecting with students during Welcome Week has been a great opportunity to expand awareness and membership for GIS @ ASU as the club prepares for its own Fall Welcome meeting on August 24. GIS @ ASU is excited to see interested students from the Graduate Student Orientation, Undergraduate Fall Welcome, and Passport to ASU at future events. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the school and university for hosting these welcome events.

GIS @ ASU President Attends 2021 GIS Leadership Symposium

August 18,2021
By Lydia Gabric

As the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) prepares to start the school year with fresh ideas and new leadership, over 90 other chapters across the country are likewise doing the same. While every chapter is unique, they all share a similar goal: to support members in their pursuit of opportunities within the insurance and risk management industries.

This year, the Grand Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma invited officers from every chapter to attend the Leadership Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. During the conference, officers from a multitude of universities convened to exchange ideas, advice, and past experiences to help prepare for the upcoming school year. GIS @ ASU president Lydia Gabric had the privilege of attending this year’s Leadership Symposium and collaborating with officers from all over the country.

The symposium started on August 12, with a welcome breakfast and a set of introductions from the GIS Grand Chapter team who planned the event. Following this, officers were led through several different leadership trainings and networking opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to best build a professional network unique to the individual, how to walk-the-talk by identifying what each leader is bringing to the table, how officers can best support their chapters, and how to engage chapter members in GammaSAID programming. Officers were also able to meet for lunch with GIS Grand Chapter sustaining partners before attending the career fair.

The second day of the conference was spent in interactive breakout sessions dedicated to  guiding leaders through the organization and management of an effective chapter. The breakout sessions dove deeper into communication methods, member engagement, self-care management, event planning, and much more.

The Leadership Symposium was designed to provide opportunities to chapter leaders to network with fellow student leaders, connect them with industry partners, and equip them with tools and resources to effectively run their chapters. GIS @ ASU thanks the GIS Grand chapter for hosting this informative conference, and president Lydia Gabric is eager to utilize what she has learned  to help the Kappa chapter expand its reach, support its members, and host amazing events.

GIS @ ASU Attends Growth Actuary Virtual Summit

June 28, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

Actuaries from around the world gathered for the Growth Actuary Virtual Summit hosted by ProActuary this week. The conference spanned three days with dozens of informative speakers focused on developing the personal and technical skills necessary to succeed in the actuarial profession. Several officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended the summit on June 23rd-25th, connecting with other members of the actuarial community.

The event included speakers such as Caroline Grégoire, Manisha Dias, and Mark Farrell Ph.D. FIA. Grégoire shared her “Five Nuggets for Risk-Free Communication” in which she emphasized the importance of active listening. She also detailed the most effective practices when explaining actuarial conclusions to others in the workplace. During Dias’ “More Than an Actuary: Building Your Inner Leader & Brand”, she imparted the significance of not limiting opportunities and growth because of actuarial stereotypes. She asserted that actuarial science is a versatile profession that can be integrated into many impactful fields. Dr. Farrell, the seminar closer and a co-founder of ProActuary shared some of his top tips for success. One main suggestion was to focus not on where we are, but where we are going. He emphasized the importance of not being overly focused on the present, and instead, seeking unique and exciting opportunities for the future.

GIS @ ASU thanks ProActuary for providing such an amazing opportunity for growth and development. The summit allowed the officers to develop their skills in leadership and communication. We look forward to future events hosted by ProActuary and attending next year’s seminar!