GIS @ ASU News Archive 2020-2021

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!

May 3, 2021
By Dylan Ketcham

Each year, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) plans and organizes an international case study challenge in order to see what inspiring ideas the rising cohort of actuarial students can bring to this constantly changing industry. This year the topic of parametric insurance was explored, and over sixty teams all over the world participated. The ASU team, Quap LeGoibs Consulting, consisting of Simon Edwards, Carsten Rolofson, Dylan Ketcham, and Brady Lybarger, competed in this case study, while receiving valuable advice from faculty adviser Dr. Hongjuan Zhou. Continuing ASU’s successful streak from 2018, we are pleased to share that the team placed third for their eight-week hard work and performance.

ASU team Quap LeGoibs Consulting: Simon Edwards, Carsten Rolofson, Dylan Ketcham, and Brady Lybarger

The crux of the case study involved covering the health costs for various triggers in two fictitious countries, Palȍmϊnϊa and Ambernϊa, using a parametric insurance product. This product was designed to make sure that if health costs increased due to the worsening of certain health metrics, such as rates of diabetes or blood pressure, a health plan would receive adequate compensation to be able to cover those increased costs. The team did this by analyzing population trends, health costs across the two countries, and the distributions of the various health metrics. With this analysis, the team was able to design a long term, government-focused product that not only covered the relevant costs in a justifiable way, but also had the potential to turn a profit for the company that would take on the risk.

With the product designed and a comprehensive written report created, the ASU team was selected to present their process and projections to an impressive team of judges, composed of experienced professionals and educators from different countries. The ASU team impressed the judges with their comprehensive presentation and insightful answers to the challenging questions, earning third place amongst the six finalists, chosen from over 60 applicants.

ASU is proud to have had the opportunity to showcase their talented students, and is thankful to the SOA for organizing the competition. Getting a chance to work with real-life issues and trends allows students to enter the industry with the most well rounded perspective possible, and promotes growth and curiosity amongst students. Thanks to the SOA for their continued support!

April 26, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are an important part of any organization’s growth and evolution. As the semester drew to a close, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosted representatives from several diversity and inclusion groups, who shared their mission and ways in which they are supporting underrepresented members of the actuarial community.

GIS @ ASU first welcomed Kaila Dockery, representing the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA). Dockery explained the ways in which IABA is supporting Black actuaries in the field, while also raising awareness of the underrepresentation of Black actuaries. The IABA also hosts two events that are aiming to aid aspiring Black actuaries. Their bootcamp program is 4-5 days of professionalism training and interview practice to prepare students for recruiting season. Also, their exam preparation program provides students with the resources to succeed in their SOA Financial Mathematics exam.

Next, Mallika Bender, representing the Joint Committee for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (JCIED), highlighted the drastic disparity in representation of the Black and Latino communities in the insurance industry. She then continued to highlight how JCIED has been attempting to help underrepresented communities overcome barriers to entry and advancement through programs such as Be an Actuary Day and the Exam Reimbursement Program.

Finally, Anji Li and Regina Kintana, representing the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA), shared their organization’s mission to aid Latino students in the actuarial community. Similarly to JCIED, OLA focuses on providing resources to overcome barriers entering the profession. OLA provides a variety of scholarships and exam support stipends to help overcome the financial barriers facing many Latino students. OLA also hosts an event focusing on the development of professional tools such as LinkedIn. GIS @ ASU’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer Fernando Correa Chavez also shared his experience with OLA, noting its “fantastic scholarship program”.

GIS @ ASU wants to thank all three organizations for coming to share their experiences and missions to help the underrepresented actuarial communities. Students, please apply to any of the programs mentioned above!

Bootcamp Program
Application Deadline: May 31, 2021

Exam Preparation Program,of%20exam%20prep%20software%20and%20exam%20registration%20fees.
Application Deadline: May 7, 2021

Exam Reimbursement Program
Application Deadline: Rolling

OLA Academy
Application Deadline: Rolling

Other OLA Opportunities
Application Deadline: Varies

April 21, 2021
By Fernando Correa Chavez

On April 14, the officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended a virtual student panel hosted by the Arizona Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society Chapter. While entirely virtual, the CPCU chapter still hosts these recurring meetings over Zoom to connect insurance professionals in the valley together. Fernando Correa Chavez, Dylan Ketcham, Jonathan Kiperman, and Kinsey Turk were invited to share their expertise and insight on how to start a successful actuarial student career path.

The panel started off with an announcement by Lamont Boyd, the vice-president of the Arizona CPCU. He quickly gave an update on CPCU membership and volunteering opportunities. Then the student panel began, with Caroline West moderating the forum. GIS @ ASU officers were asked several questions, ranging from how they decided that actuarial science would be their primary focus of study to what advice they would give to students starting their first internships. The officers were also asked what trends they are seeing in the insurance industry right now that could have a lasting impact such as InsurTech and changes in the litigation environment. This information proved to be extremely useful to GIS @ ASU’s newest members, since it gave them an insight on how to be successful in the actuarial program. Moreover, learning this information early on allows the students to have plenty of time to develop, and apply the information throughout their educational career.

Once the panel moderators were done asking questions, the audience was then given a chance to ask officers any questions they had. During this last part of the event, students were able to ask any lingering questions that were not answered in the initial discussion. Overall, this student panel proved to be an exciting and informative event.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the AZ CPCU society chapter for inviting GIS @ ASU’s officers to share their expertise at their meeting. The opportunity to speak at the CPCU meeting was an invaluable experience for GIS @ ASU’s officers. The chapter looks forward to continuing partnership with the CPCU to host future student panels, virtually or in-person, in future semesters.

April 14, 2021
By Alison Hansen

Travelers Insurance hosted its 13th annual Actuarial Case Competition on Friday, March 26 virtually, allowing students across the country to participate. The competition presented students with an opportunity to gain valuable experience by working on a reserving problem. Additionally, the daylong event gave 5 teams of 6 students each a chance to meet and network with practicing actuaries. This year, Alison Hansen represented the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) on the Casualty and Actuarial Society’s (CAS) team. Alison along with five other students from University of Texas, Brigham Young University, Penn State University and Middle Tennessee University led the CAS’s team to victory earning a $2,000 prize ($1,000 match by the CAS was added to Travelers’ original $1,000 prize) to split between them.

Each team, given a set of data for a fictitious auto insurance agency, was asked to present a reasonable estimate for reserves. The challenge each team faced was how to creatively account for extra losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and defend their rational to a panel of experienced judges. After four and a half hours of calculations and analyses, teams presented their work to the judges which consisted of Travelers’ employees. A brief Q&A session followed after each presentation, enabling teams to explain their approach to the judges. While all teams demonstrated their creative and innovative solutions, ultimately the CAS team was announced as the winner!

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Travelers and all the volunteers who helped make the event possible and providing students with the exposure to a real-life example of an actuarial work. Alison and her team greatly appreciated the experience and support and insights of practicing actuaries during the event. Furthermore, GIS @ ASU would like to thank the CAS for the opportunity to represent them in Travelers’ competition and for their continual support.

April 13, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

Although a regularity during the fall semester, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) had the pleasure of hosting a company visit this spring. On April 6th, GIS @ ASU welcomed the California State Auto Association (CSAA) Insurance Group to a virtual meeting to share information on their actuarial department, as well as internship and employment opportunities available to our members. After introductions from the CSAA representatives, CSAA kicked off their first-ever company visit with GIS @ ASU!

Following an overview of the company, Nick Klinka and Milton Wong from CSAA presented their actuarial department, offering members a chance to participate virtually. GIS @ ASU members practiced critical thinking skills by answering questions related to CSAA actuaries' work in each sector of the department. When discussing pricing and research, GIS @ ASU members were asked to identify variables that could be used to segment risk classes. With the help of technology, members could enter answers into their phones and watch them pop up on the presentation slide! Applying what they've learned in the classroom to real-world events, GIS @ ASU members were also asked how they believed COVID-19 had impacted auto claims. This format of question-and-answer was a fun way to encourage discussion in a virtual setting.

Next, former intern Jiayi Hunag offered an overview of CSAA's summer internship program. During this 10-week program, interns have the opportunity to verse themselves in property and casualty insurance, prepare and present a project, and even travel to the CSAA office in Las Vegas! Now a full-time employee, Jiayi presented on CSAA's actuarial study program, emphasizing the support provided to actuarial students as they study and sit for exams. Furthermore, he explained the programs CSAA offers to promote work-life balance, health and wellness, and professional development. Afterward, the representatives opened the floor to questions, elaborating further on their personal experiences working at CSAA.

GIS @ ASU was so lucky to have CSAA this spring, offering our new members the chance to attend a company visit. Thank you to the CSAA representatives for holding an interactive and informative event!

April 5, 2021
By Hayley Osterkorn

On March 30, four teams presented their work for the annual Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Case Study competition to a panel of judges: Jeff Durham (Allstate), Ryan Lander (Allstate), Tony Strazzara (Actuarial Strategies and Tactics), Lydia Tolman (Wakely), and Bob Bessen (Bessen Consulting), in hopes of winning $2,500 prize money ($1,500 was sponsored by the CAS and $1,000 was sponsored by the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) at ASU). 

For this year’s case study, teams created a pricing strategy for a dormitory renter’s insurance product made by fictional company Alpha Beta Gamma Insurance. Each of the four groups developed a predictive model based on the provided data to determine risk tiers and their respective estimated base premiums. In addition to actuarial calculations made for the renter’s insurance model, teams had to consider the business and marketing sides of selling the insurance product. This case study provided an excellent opportunity for students to utilize technical and creative skills acquired in class.

Team Paranormal Distributions As with all the previous case study competitions, each team had 20 minutes to present its analysis, with an additional five minutes allocated for questions from the judges. After four impressive presentations, the judges decided upon team Paranormal Distributions as the winner.  The Paranormal Distribution team consisted of Neil Bhardwaja, Lydia Gabric, Hayley Osterkorn, and Kinsey Turk.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank all of the judges for their time and feedback, making this night yet another positive learning experience for the teams. Furthermore, GIS @ ASU would also like to thank the CAS for providing this opportunity to its members every spring!

March 30, 2021
By James Cooper

On March 23, the GIS @ ASU Leadership and Shadow Students hosted a professional development presentation, sharing various ways to develop as a growing insurance industry professional. Shadow Students Hayley Osterkorn and Alison Hansen teamed up with officers Dylan Ketcham, Jon Kiperman and James Cooper to present this useful information supplemental to the company visits, career fairs, and mock interview nights hosted by GIS @ ASU. The most important topics brought up were filling out your resume, supplemental application materials, communication skills, and social media presence.

To start out, officers presented on specific tips on how to fill out your resume. Students in the program have access to resume review events and resources, but this presentation specifically taught students ways to find more experiences to fill the voids in their experience, including case studies, technical skill proficiencies, and leadership experiences. Then, officers presented on supplemental materials to applications, where they both gave examples of effective cover letters and their importance to an applicant’s profile. Additionally, an activity was done, designed to help improve verbal communication skills through email. The audience was able to give feedback on common email mistakes, and the group had a better understanding of how to connect with other professionals and teammates through digital correspondence. Finally, members were informed on the importance of a professional social media presence. Tips and tricks for websites like Linkedin and Handshake were presented, and even more on the importance of keeping a professional presence on common public social media accounts like Instagram or Twitter. All around, this presentation gave students a great insight into how to build themselves professionally, and how to maintain a reputable status in the workforce.

The GIS @ ASU leadership would like to thank all those in attendance, and we look forward to hosting more in our professional development workshop series. Next week students will demonstrate what they’ve learned in class in the CAS Case Study competition!

March 22, 2021
By Neil Bhardwaja

While the 21st century has seen significant progress being made on the path for equality for all, there are still areas where social, racial, and gender inequality are still prevalent. As an organization, GIS @ ASU must stay informed on these inequalities to be the best organization it can be. On March 16, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) invited the recently founded ASU club MORE, The Mathematical Organization for Rehumanizing Education, to present to club members about equity and social issues in mathematics. Jason Guglielmo, the president of MORE, kicked off the event by discussing the club’s mission of learning, highlighting social inequality issues in mathematics, and introducing club officers. After these brief introductions, Jason guided GIS members through specific definitions and understanding some social justice nuances. Students were able to learn the difference between equality and equity, as well as inclusion and diversity.

As a club dedicated to exploring racial, gender, and social inequality in the field of mathematics, MORE’s presentation centered around presenting key real-world examples of these divides as well as discussing scenarios to highlight the qualitative side of these issues. Franklin Yu addressed the concept of implicit bias through an engaging exercise on guessing the identity of a person simply from a written description, while Julia Phelps covered quantitative data from ASU’s student population, showing the racial composition at ASU for students as well as highlighting some potential issues in ASU’s delineation of racial groups.  Though actuarial science heavily centers around mathematics and quantitative data, MORE made sure to emphasize the relevance of qualitative data. Identity is a concept that is difficult to quantify, and officers from MORE highlighted scenarios where students’ identities caused their experiences to be different than those of other students, a phenomenon difficult to capture with just statistics. After these thought-provoking discussions, MORE officers closed their presentation by highlighting some of the recent reform movements in mathematics education that have been combating inequality within the field. GIS members were then able to brainstorm potential local solutions to improve equity within ASU, with members proposing fantastic ideas like formalizing hybrid classrooms to accommodate disabled students and offering more diversity and inclusion education for professors.

Following this enlightening presentation by MORE, GIS shadow officer Jens Lieske hosted a Kahoot for GIS members to learn some key facts and figures about social issues within the actuarial profession. Through a fierce competition for a place on the leaderboard, club members were able to learn some shocking facts, including that the first female actuary started working in 1866 and that over 50% of lapsed actuarial students (those who stopped taking exams after failing) cited exam fees as the number one obstacle for them. These facts further reiterate that while equity has improved dramatically in mathematics in the past 50 years, there will always be more progress to be made. GIS @ ASU would like to thank MORE for hosting this event and sparking important conversations with GIS members about some of the pressing social issues within mathematics currently. GIS @ ASU is excited for more collaborations in the future and the chance to get more involved with promoting diversity and inclusion.

March 10, 2021
By Lydia Gabric

GIS @ ASU visits St. Francis High School (Wheaton IL)Many individuals are unaware of all the opportunities an actuarial science career path holds, and the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) is seeking to change that. In previous years, GIS @ ASU officers visited many high schools around the valley to inform students about the profession and share their experiences within the actuarial science program at ASU. This year, GIS @ ASU took advantage of the virtual learning environment and has been able to expand to high schools outside of Arizona. On March 10, GIS @ ASU—with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)—virtually visited St. Francis High School located in Wheaton, Illinois, to talk about the fantastic opportunities available in the world of actuarial science.

The St. Francis High School mathematics department found time in class schedules to allow GIS @ ASU, the SOA, and the CAS to present and hold actuarial-based activities for their students. Once the students logged onto the virtual meeting, GIS @ ASU’s chapter vice president, Dylan Ketcham, gave an overview of the actuarial science program at ASU and the opportunities that GIS @ ASU presents to students. After the introduction, the students competed in a game of Kahoot! that was comprised of different actuarial trivia questions and quantitative problem-solving questions.

GIS @ ASU plays Kahoot! at St. Francis High SchoolAfter the game of Kahoot!, students were assigned to breakout rooms with GIS @ ASU members and professional volunteers. Within the small groups, students were introduced to two potential individuals seeking to purchase auto insurance. The groups collaborated on possible factors that could potentially increase the cost of each policy. While this activity did not include much number crunching, students could practice identifying risks and recognize how each risk could affect the premium and deductible of a policy. After discussing the auto policy scenarios, students had the opportunity to ask the industry professionals about their experience as actuaries.

Once back in the main room, students were introduced to different organizations supporting students while pursuing the actuarial science profession. GIS @ ASU would like to thank St. Francis High School for hosting the event and all the students for attending. Similarly, GIS @ ASU would like to thank the SOA and CAS for organizing the event and fun-filled activities. GIS @ ASU is constantly working towards visiting more high schools to inform students about actuarial science and the opportunities within the profession.

March 2, 2021
By Alison Hansen

GIS @ ASU hosts Exam 101While midterm season is in full bloom, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) is preparing its members for a different type of test. On March 2, GIS @ ASU came together for Exam 101, a night to discuss the ins and outs of the much anticipated actuarial exams, paying particular attention to P, FM, and IFM.

To begin, President Kinsey Turk and shadow student Lainey Waldman walked through the basics of what the exams are, how to sign up for them, and estimated pricing. They also discussed the importance to begin studying for these exams early on to maximize success. While on the topic of studying, Turk discussed some of the most recommended studying techniques to help students prepare for these challenging exams. Students were encouraged to use Coaching Actuaries and were given the opportunity to view its user interface and an example of its formula sheets.

GIS @ ASU hosts Exam 101To wrap up the night's informational section, Turk discussed what happens on test day and the grading scale. Students were informed on items to bring, including calculators and an ID, and what to leave at home, such as hoodies and cheat sheets. To conclude the night, Waldman opened the floor to students with questions for the officers of GIS @ ASU. Officers explained what happens when someone fails an exam and when the best time to retake that exam may be. Students learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to taking the exams, then to wrap up, officers shared stories about some of their crazy experiences with the actuarial exams to release the students' jitters.

GIS @ ASU is happy for the chance to help its members and minimize stress, and it seems Exam 101 did the trick! While Coaching Actuaries is an excellent resource to prepare for the exams, tutoring is also available to GIS @ ASU members on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting at 9 AM, for students looking for help with these difficult problems. Thank you to all who attended the night as well, as the officers who helped ease students' worries, and good luck on those exams!

March 2, 2021
By Jens Lieske

GIS @ ASU Mock Interview NightEven after an unprecedented year, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was proud to host its long-awaited annual mock interview night. In order to give students both new and old valuable first-hand experience of an industry job interview, GIS @ ASU invited a variety of companies and professionals to volunteer their precious time and knowledge. On February 23, students dressed up in their finest professional attire and virtually interviewed with the experts, getting to practice their skills and network with the insurance community.

GIS @ ASU officers individually organized 34 separate Zoom breakout rooms so that each company representative and student could have a private spot for their meeting. Once everyone had joined the Zoom call, little time was wasted in assigning everybody where to go, and interviews started immediately. Each interviewer was provided a copy of the students' resumes, and after cordial introductions, the questions began. From general resume and technical questions to the enigmatic behavioral problems, professionals challenged students to draw on their experiences to produce creative answers.

After an informative back-and-forth, interviewers congratulated their interviewees and offered a comprehensive review of their performance. Students received valuable feedback on resumes, responses, and even their demeanors. Without a doubt, some people were thrust outside of their comfort zone, but at the end of the day, all participants came away more prepared for their next professional interview.

GIS @ ASU was delighted to have so many representatives come to interview students, and we sincerely thank each and every person who volunteered their time. For any GIS @ ASU members that have questions or would like further interview suggestions, officers are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at tutoring and are reachable by email. Thank you to everyone who attended!

February 15, 2021
By Isabelle Welsh

GIS @ ASU Interview NightAs students make their way through the spring semester, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) has started to focus on preparing its members for successful interviews to score internships and full-time positions. During the Interview Prep Night, held on February 9, GIS @ ASU was thrilled to have in attendance both returning and beginning with the actuarial science students. The meeting consisted of an informational session where students could practice and learn interview techniques in preparation for the upcoming Mock Interview Night and the recruiting season.

To kick off the night’s meeting, GIS @ ASU President Kinsey Turk opened with a reminder for students to register for the Mock Interview Night by February 12. By giving an overview of the professional conduct expected in interviews, from a business professional dress code to arriving on time, the GIS @ ASU officers did a great job setting the scene for an interview scenario. From there, they went further in-depth about some questions that commonly come up in interviews. The GIS @ ASU officers gave some firm answers and strategies for the challenging “tell me about yourself” interview opener, and some brave students practiced explaining their greatest strengths and weaknesses.

Moving into some of the more complicated interview questions to expect, the officers discussed behavior-based questions, which they noted commonly came up in their previous interviews. The GIS @ ASU officers reviewed the STAR approach for answering these questions, in which the response should address the situation, the task at hand, the action took, and the result. Next, members learned about technical questions, ranging from questions about specific technical skills to opportunities to show one’s logic and way of thinking. GIS @ ASU committee member Neil Bhardwaja gave an excellent example answer to this by walking through how he would estimate the number of golf balls that could fit inside of a school bus! Lastly, the officers highlighted the importance of having questions prepared for the end of an interview, recommending it as a good time to show one’s interest in working with the company. The meeting was concluded with some great advice from the GIS @ ASU officers to have a copy of one’s resume in front of them and follow up by sending a “thank you” to the interviewers.

GIS @ ASU wishes its members success in their preparation for interviews, both for future positions and the upcoming mock interviews. For those hoping to improve their skills further, officers are available to review resumes for GIS @ ASU members on Tuesdays and Thursdays and can be reached by email with other questions about interview preparation. GIS @ ASU would like to give a big thank you to the students who attended and wishes them the best of luck in the upcoming mock interview event!

February 11, 2021
By Charlotte Cliatt

With many fresh faces welcomed into the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) this spring semester, what better way to get connected than a social event? On February 2, GIS @ ASU hosted its first social event of the semester, allowing members new and old to collaborate on a series of games and activities virtually. In addition, this event, organized by the public relations team, Gina Gilkey and Lydia Gabric, and their shadow students, Charlotte Cliatt and Isabelle Welsh, was the first opportunity for shadow students to plan a GIS @ ASU meeting!

The event kicked-off with icebreakers in small groups to acquaint students with their teammates for the later introduced first challenge, a virtual escape room! In a timed challenge, each team navigated through the Spy Apprentice Digital Escape Room, faced with a variety of riddles and puzzles. Teams traveled around the world to find the spymaster, utilizing their creativity and problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles. Although only one team could win the grand prize of GIS @ ASU facemasks, students enjoyed working through the escape room with their fellow members.

Keeping with the escape room’s spy theme, teams returned to the main room to participate in a scavenger hunt. Members scrambled to find various items in their own homes, from their online school necessity to an item that is their favorite color! After time was up, members could share the items they picked out with an anecdote about their find! The scavenger hunt acted as a unique and interactive way to learn something new about one another, which may not come up in an icebreaker!

Not only was this GIS @ ASU social event a fun way to get to know one another, but it also offered students a break from their busy academic schedules! In these unprecedented times, it is easy to feel alone or disconnected from others. We hope this social event provided members a chance to socialize with their peers and feel a part of the GIS @ ASU community. Thank you to everyone who attended!

February 2, 2021
By James Cooper

On January 29, the officers of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended the virtual regional conference series hosted by the GIS grand chapter. While entirely virtual, the grand chapter still split up conferences between the West and Midwest, and Northeast and Southeast, to build community between members and sponsors of the same regions. GIS @ ASU attended the West and Midwest conference and was able to participate in career fairs for both regions as well as hear from industry professionals on new and emerging standards and lines of business.

The conference began and ended with virtual career fairs hosted on Vfairs. The Midwest had companies such as RSG, AFG, and Encova send representatives, along with western companies such as Zebra and Liberty Mutual. After the busy career fairs, the conference transitioned into presentations on new practices spanning the industry. Keynote speaker Lori Seidenberg opened with an introduction to the conference and the upcoming speakers. Philip Jones and Nathan O'Tool of CRC Group gave an excellent brief on industry practices within the world of professional sports. Together, they provided insight into the field's inherent risks and what strategies are best employed to assess potential loss. The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research then presented the booming emergence of the "gig economy," a market system in which short-term independent workers are commonplace, and the personal risks associated with unstable employment opportunities by rideshare companies like Uber and food delivery services like Doordash. Recent graduates and GIS alumni held the last panel of the day in a tell-all event about the transition from college to professional life. All events served to educate the GIS community, and GIS @ ASU was very grateful to participate in this conference series.

Overall, GIS @ ASU officers were thrilled to have attended the conference and made some solid connections in their field. Our officers would like to extend a thank you to the GIS Grand Chapter and all those who presented or participated in career fairs. We look forward to reconnecting at future events.

January 29, 2021
By Lainey Waldman

GIS @ ASU scholarship nightAs the spring semester slowly begins after an extended winter break, students at Arizona State University (ASU) are preparing for the mid-year scholarship season in which thousands of dollars are awarded to select deserving students. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter students at ASU (GIS @ ASU) are hard at work preparing their applications for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) scholarships. On January 26, the GIS @ ASU officers hosted an informational workshop guiding students through their scholarship applications and providing tips to make themselves the best candidate for selection.

To begin the workshop, GIS @ ASU Vice President Dylan Ketcham virtually walked students through the SoMSS application highlighting areas such as eligibility and prompt questions for each scholarship. While eligibility varies between each scholarship, Ketcham emphasized that students should apply to all scholarships regardless. Ketcham then continued to remind students to submit a nomination for the Charles Wexler Teaching Award, in which students nominate their favorite professors for the opportunity to be honored for their hard work. After Ketcham finished his presentation, the meeting was split into breakout rooms in which officers reviewed how to write the most substantial portion of the scholarship application: the personal statement. Officers encouraged students to consider topics such as their individuality and passion for mathematics during the writing process. Furthermore, officers emphasized the importance of proper grammar and formatting in applying for scholarships to put one’s best self forward. GIS @ ASU President Kinsey Turk ended the meeting by fostering a sense of community within the society by having students introduce themselves and share hobbies or fun facts with the rest of the group.

GIS @ ASU wishes the best of luck to all its members in their scholarship applications and would like to remind them that applications are due February 7 at 11:59 PM. Officers are always available to review personal statements and scholarship applications for GIS members and are accessible Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thank you to all the students that attended, and good luck!

January 25, 2021
By Gina Gilkey

As students wrap up winter break plans and hone in on another successful, virtual semester, it was a great and refreshing experience to see everyone’s faces again on Zoom for a Spring semester Kickoff meeting. During this event on January 19, 2021, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to have both faculty and students, including new students from the current Introduction to Actuarial Science (ACT 201) class, in attendance. The meeting consisted of introductions from GIS officers and actuarial science faculty, an overview of GIS @ ASU and what it can do for students, an interactive activity, and lots of time for socializing.

The soon-to-be members first received warm welcomes from faculty, as well as current GIS @ ASU officers, committee members, and shadow students from the newly made officer shadow program. Next, GIS @ ASU’s four officers Kinsey Turk, Dylan Ketcham, Jonathan Kiperman, and Fernando Correa Chavez, led an informative presentation on the types of events GIS @ ASU hosts, the upcoming schedule for this Spring semester, the details of how to become an official member, and about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and Gamma SAID in our club. The students were also given time to connect with and stay informed on club activities by following the GIS @ ASU social media pages.

GIS @ ASU spring welcomeNext, for the most fun part, all members participated in a Kahoot game revealing interesting facts about each of the officers and shadow students. This was an excellent way for the soon-to-be GIS @ ASU members to get to know and connect with the leadership on a more personal level. From Alison Hansen’s early childhood hobby of race car driving to Charlotte Cliatt’s traveling to 15 different countries, even the officers and senior members learned more about one another. Finally, following the Kahoot game, new students volunteered to introduce themselves to the club and describe how they became interested in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science.

All in all, it was exciting to see so many new faces interested in actuarial science and GIS @ ASU. We look forward to this semester with the new members and accomplishing all of our Spring events in a virtual format. GIS @ ASU would also like to give a huge thank you to the actuarial science professors for attending and welcoming the new students to the club. It is going to be a great semester!

January 19, 2021
By Gina Gilkey and Lydia Gabric

Each fall semester, ASU actuarial science students can participate in the White Paper Contest sponsored by the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA), and receive valuable advising from professors Dr. Jelena Milovanovic and Dr. John Zicarelli while doing so. To gain outside insight on their topic for this 8-10-page research paper, students are often connected with industry professionals with the relevant knowledge and experience. Since the Fall of 2017, these students representing ASU have placed in the contest each year. To continue the legacy and create a four-year winning streak, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) proudly shares that Public Relations members Gina Gilkey and Lydia Gabric earned the 1st and 2nd places respectively for their papers in the Fall 2020 WSIA White Paper Contest.

Gina Gilkey

Gina’s paper titled “InsurTech: THE FUTUROLOGY OF INSURANCE” explores how modern insurance technology is changing the future of insurance, specifically in the excess and surplus lines (E&S) industry. The paper delves mainly into how application programming interfaces make coverage delivery more efficient throughout the E&S distribution channel, how big data analytics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are applied to imagery to improve pricing and underwriting, and also how drones and smartphone applications are introducing drastic changes in claims adjusting and handling processes. All in all, it encourages E&S carrier investment in InsurTech and excites insurance digitization.

Lydia Gabric

Lydia’s paper, “The Implications of Social Inflation”, explores factors of social inflations and their effects to the E&S industry. Some aspects explored throughout the paper include jury selection, third-party litigation funding, and emerging risks that may be impacted by social inflation. While social inflation presents challenges to the E&S carrier, the paper acknowledges the opportunity to manage future implications with actuarial innovation, legislation reform, and risk management. 

GIS @ ASU would like to thank WSIA for their successful efforts in educating students on the excess and surplus lines industry. Gina and Lydia are extremely grateful for this learning experience and all of the time that the WSIA Career Development Committee devotes to holding these student competitions. GIS @ ASU eagerly looks forward to future White Paper Contests and WSIA events.

November 24, 2020
By James Cooper

On November 17, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter @ ASU hosted a student panel to answer questions from students either already in the program or seeking a professional field in which they can show off their math skills. The panel was designed so students could hear from other students in both the graduate and undergraduate programs for actuarial science, and learn from their experiences as they have progressed through professional exams and classes.

The panel consisted of the following current GIS officers: President Kinsey Turk, Vice President Dylan Ketcham, Diversity and Inclusion Officer Fernando Correa Chavez, and Co-PR Chair Lily Gabric, with committee member James Cooper as the moderator for the evening. Students in attendance were very grateful for the opportunity to hear from experienced actuarial students and ask the officers questions. GIS @ ASU is glad to spread the word about the actuarial field and its benefits, and we look forward to hosting more informational events like this in the future!

The purpose of the event was to answer questions from current actuarial science students and introduce the program to students interested in what it has to offer. Officers did a quick round of introductions to start for the students who may not know them. The night consisted of questions revolving around students' enjoyment of the program, what first got them interested, and what has kept them in the program since then. The exam process is very standard for students in the program, so panelists were asked about their exam progress, studying habits, and stories of success or failure. Rounding out an actuarial student's typical experience, questions also revolved around interviews and any general tips that our panelists may have had. Overall, the panel gave a thorough perspective from veterans in the program, and the panelists were grateful to the program for having experiences to share and students who would listen.

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter @ ASU is very grateful for all students in attendance, and we hope to expand informational events like this in the future! If you or a friend are interested in the actuarial program and what it offers, the GIS @ ASU officers are great resources as experienced students who have been in the program for quite some time now. This event concludes our series of events for the semester, and we want to thank the general membership for being very active and virtually participating with us throughout the semester.

November 20, 2020
By Neil Bhardwaja

Each year the Arizona Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society invites insurance professionals across the state to the annual All Industry Day (I-Day) to celebrate members within the insurance industry and discuss current events in insurance. Several officers from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) had the chance to attend the virtual event held on November 13. They were able to sit in on all of the presentations to get an inside look at what employees in the insurance industry are confronting in today's dynamic environment.

The event kicked off with a special introduction from the current CPCU President Brad Magick, who discussed some of the perks of membership in the organization, as well as new opportunities to join AZ's CPCU Chapter. After his introduction, presentations began immediately on the current state of affairs within the insurance industry. Richard Faber took the virtual podium and discussed developing business continuity trends and extra expense insurance during the pandemic. Faber dove into the phenomenon of business interruptions, focusing on ways to properly define them as well as common sources of business shutdowns. His presentation centered on detailing ways in which insurance companies could aid their small-business clients with creating comprehensive risk management strategies and setting up proper coverages and benefits to improve recovery speed after an interruption. After Faber concluded, officers had the chance to attend a presentation regarding diversity and inclusion with Margarita Hudgins, learning more about groundbreaking methods and concepts within the workplace that can encourage collaboration and create cohesiveness within an insurance company.

After a brief intermission, the COVID-19 Executive Panel presented topics including government regulations, automotive insurance trends, and industry-wide strategies before hosting a Q&A for attendees to interact and learn more. Near the end of I-day, officers attended the closing keynote address with former president Jill McCook, who reflected on CPCU's evolving role during this transformative period and presented new ways to implement the organization's mission and vision in a virtual setting. It was exciting to see CPCU's assessment of the current circumstances as an opportunity to improve and leverage new capabilities, using its increased connectivity to recruit 1,412 new designees this year, despite the pandemic's difficulties. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the Arizona Chapter of the CPCU Society for hosting I-Day. Our officers had a wonderful time learning more about the property and casualty insurance industry's current state and meeting established industry professionals. GIS @ ASU is thrilled to attend this event again next fall!

November 16, 2020
By Fernando Correa Chavez

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) strives to help our members stay informed about diversity and inclusion in the industry, our school, and the local community. On November 10th, the members of GIS @ ASU gathered to discuss the changes currently happening in the industry to promote diversity and inclusion in the actuarial profession. The meeting was led by GIS @ ASU's Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Fernando Correa Chavez.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation on GammaSAID, a student-led council within Gamma Iota Sigma that fosters understanding, establishes solutions, and serves as a representative voice in matters of authenticity, inclusion, and diversity. This presentation was helpful to GIS @ ASU's newest members who were not that familiar with this council and did not have many sources to reach out to on matters of diversity and inclusion.
The second part of the presentation focused on the actuarial organizations that are currently attempting to promote diversity in this profession, such as the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA), and Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries (SAGAA). These organizations are attempting to help marginalized groups become more successful in the actuarial profession.

The second part of the night consisted of two activities. The first activity was intended to have GIS @ ASU's members learn more about each other's cultures. All attendees were split into breakout groups where each member shared a bit about their cultural or family traditions. The night's second activity was intended to be a twist of the first one: now, instead of highlighting members' distinctive traits, members learned that they are more alike than they believed. The attendees were once again split out into breakout groups to see which team could find the most shared commonalities amongst each other.

GIS @ ASU enjoys hosting diversity and inclusion nights and is glad to help create a more understanding community at ASU. GIS @ ASU hopes that if any member is eligible to become members of either IABA, OLA, or SAGAA, they reach out to those organizations to find support and acceptance. GIS @ ASU looks forward to its next D&I centered event!

November 3, 2020
By Neil Bhardwaja

After several weeks of incredible company visits, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) shifted gears and hosted its first social and networking event of the semester. With Halloween only a couple days ahead, there was no better place to be on October 27th than at GIS @ ASU's 2nd Annual Halloween Social, continuing the novel yet immensely popular club tradition. Students were able to enjoy a “spooktacular” night and engage with peers while dressed up in fun Halloween outfits like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and even a pumpkin.

The night kicked off with a fun ice breaker where club members got the chance to mingle and meet new people while talking about their favorite horror movies and the inspiration behind their costumes. Students were then split up into breakout rooms and able to play exciting games including, a Pictionary game where players guess words based off pictures, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, a hidden role game where players must guess which players are the wolves are before they get eaten and lose the game. Laughter was the main noise heard in the zoom call all night as club members collaborated to figure out who was lying about their characters in One Night Ultimate Werewolf and tried to decipher whether a uniquely drawn picture of five bumps in was a hand or a mountain range.

The pinnacle of the night was the costume contest, where the coveted GIS merchandise beckoned to the winners of the top three most popular costumes. After some intense deliberation, the three members who received the most votes were Lily Gabric, fitted in her frighteningly realistic Joe Exotic “Tiger King" costume, Dylan Ketcham, elegantly dressed as a drag queen extraordinaire, and Caitlyn James, decked out in her Bob Ross costume complete with a masterpiece on canvas. While these three costumes took the cake for most creative, everyone who dressed up for the event looked spectacular in their ensembles.

With the unique challenges that this year has brought, it is more important than ever for students to stay connected and find new ways to interact with each other. GIS not only encourages professional development but also personal connections, and the Halloween Social gave students the opportunity to unwind and create lasting bonds with each other. Though Halloween involves dressing up and taking on a different guise or persona, this event felt truly authentic as students freely chatted and merrily participated in the competitive spirit of the Halloween games. GIS @ ASU is excited to host more events like this for club members to make new friends and destress after a long week of classes.

October 26, 2020
By Lydia Gabric

Each fall, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kapp Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) holds company visits to give students the opportunity to learn more about some of the actuarial science opportunities throughout the industry. On the evening of October 20, Centene Corporation hosted the last company visit of the 2020 fall semester. The representatives from Centene, Michael Brunner and Stephanie Roeckner, shared more about Centene and how they became actuaries. Centene Corporation mostly focuses on government sponsored healthcare lines of business such as Medicare and Medicaid. Throughout their presentation, the representatives shared valuable advice to the GIS @ ASU members by creating a very collaborative learning experience.

Not only did Michael and Stephanie share more information on Centene, but also the realities of working toward an actuarial credential while working within the industry. This gave the members of GIS @ ASU the opportunity to ask questions about their experience. The representatives explained Centene’s student program which includes study hours and benefits one will receive whenever they pass an exam. Since the actuarial science program at ASU has many classes that align with some of the exams, Stephanie and Michael touched on their experiences on studying for the exams independently. This conversation gave GIS @ ASU members a glimpse of what their future careers could look like right after graduation!

After many informative visits this semester, GIS @ ASU had a fantastic end to the company visits with Centene. Not only did our members learn more about Centene Corporation, but also got valuable insight on continuing the exam process after graduation. It was amazing to have a conversation with Michael and Stephanie and all the members. We would like to thank Centene Corporation and their representatives for such collaborative visit. We are also looking forward to the Halloween social on 10/27. Don’t forget to wear your most fang-tastic costume!

October 21, 2020
By Gina Gilkey

Many actuarial science students ponder where they want to take their career post-graduation and how they want to specialize in the massive insurance industry. They may consider property and casualty insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and more, but on October 17, the goal was to enlighten students from 19 participating universities on the opportunities in the excess and surplus lines (E&S) industry, specifically. To achieve this goal, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to partner with the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) Education Foundation in hosting the first-ever virtual Extreme Risk Takers Symposium. This event consisted of speakers from the E&S industry, several roundtable discussions, and valuable networking for both insurance professionals and bright students throughout the symposium.

The event started and ended with a few hours for students to connect with various companies one-on-one through a virtual career fair. After the first career fair session, the WSIA Symposium was kicked off with four speakers on “Hot Topics” in the industry: cannabis, athletes and sports, liquor, and political risk. From this, students learned about the fascinating opportunities for specialization in a career in the E&S industry. Next, students were split into breakout rooms with actuarial, risk management, and data science professionals to discuss career options, personal insights, and predictions for the future of the E&S profession. This was an invaluable experience for students to interact live via Zoom webcams with top insurance professionals. Following this, students were put in breakout rooms again with a new pair of professionals to work on a case study dealing with pandemic insurance coverage. Together, they discussed topics such as quantifying risk exposures surrounding the pandemic for different businesses and entities and analyzing limited sets of data. Finally, there was a second session of roundtable discussions, focusing this time on the students to share their background, reasons for choosing the insurance industry, and current projects. Numerous connections were made throughout the event, making it a massive success for a first symposium made virtual.

GIS @ ASU is passionate about giving their members these opportunities for early career development and continuing insurance education outside of the classroom. Students made valuable connections with professionals in the excess and surplus lines industry, as well as with fellow actuarial science students across other universities. The chapter looks forward to continuing partnership with the WSIA foundation to host this event, virtually or in-person, in future fall semesters.

October 18, 2020
By James Cooper

On October 13, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter @ ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosted a visit from Humana and afterward took some time to participate in a virtual volunteering event as part of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation's (IICF) week of giving. Humana's representative gave an excellent presentation about the company's actuarial student program, giving GIS @ ASU insight into their intern program, which has multiple locations, including Milwaukee and Louisville. Aside from the great experience gained from working with a team of professionals, Humana also offers great networking experiences for their interns, including a teamwide retreat dedicated to allowing interns to meet professionals from across the company. Fortunately, current committee member Gina Gilkey worked as an intern for Humana and shared her unique experience despite the virtual platform. Humana looks forward to hosting internships on-site next summer to continue their great traditions of giving interns a well-rounded work experience.

After a great time hearing from Humana representatives, GIS @ ASU president Kinsey Turk provided a brief overview of the volunteer event: identifying wildlife for Wildwatch Kenya. This conservation organization has captured thousands of motion-activated photos of wildlife in Kenya and posts them online for volunteers to sift through and classify wildlife. Volunteers help Wildwatch Kenya by keeping track of populations, herds, and mannerisms of animals. At the conclusion of the event, GIS @ ASU reconvened by sharing some of the incredible sights they spotted while going through the photos. Some of these sights included herds of giraffes, camels, and impalas! The entire club had a laugh at the great pictures everyone was able to find, and everyone felt great contributing to the IICF's week of giving!

Overall, the night had a great variety of fun, starting with Humana's very informative presentation and ending with a fun night connecting with others through a shared love of seeing wildlife. The chapter would like to thank Humana for an excellent company visit, and another thanks to Wildwatch Kenya and the IICF for allowing us to give back to the community. We would also like to thank all members in attendance, and we look forward to seeing you all at our Halloween Social Event on the 27th!

October 12, 2020
By Fernando Correa Chavez

The fall semester usually coincides with the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), having a plethora of company visits, and this year has not been any different. On October 6, GIS @ ASU had the pleasure of virtually hosting the UnitedHealth Group. In total, nine representatives from UnitedHealth Group attended this event, including several alumni, allowing our members to learn from all experience levels. UnitedHealth Group has visited GIS @ ASU in the past; however, this was the first time they visited virtually due to the environment we are living in right now.

After each representative gave their introduction, the event started with a presentation by Chris Maxedon. Chris gave a brief overview of the services UnitedHealth Group provides and a quick overview of the company, describing which states they primarily do services in and its growth in the past couple of years. The presentation proved to be very useful for GIS @ ASU’s newest members who are still relatively new to the industry. Chris also explained the typical tasks a full-time employee or an intern would do at UnitedHealth Group. To the excitement of many students, UnitedHealth Group is offering an internship next summer. The presentation ended with a Q&A session with all the company representatives. Having so many representatives allowed GIS @ ASU’s members to gain a refined understanding of all the areas of UnitedHealth Group.

The second part of UnitedHealth Group’s event consisted of a unique game. After being split up into four breakout groups, the students were tasked with finding/creating five images or symbols that would adequately represent an actuary, health insurance, or UnitedHealth Group to an alien. After an initial shock and perplexion, the students scurried to find (or create) these five strange images. After some discussion, arguments, compromises, and debate, the four groups obtained their five pictures and were taken back into the main room to discuss them. Once all the teams finished up, UnitedHealth Group ended their portion of the event. In the hour afterward, GIS @ ASU’s officers hosted a study session for all members.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank the UnitedHealth Group for taking the time out of their busy schedules to present to the club. GIS @ ASU is excited to host more events like this in the future, which allows our members to gain more exposure to the actuarial profession!

October 5, 2020
By Neil Bhardwaja

After a brief hiatus for the Actuarial Science Career Fair, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) continued with its line-up of fall company visits, this time hosting Allstate on September 30. Club members had the opportunity to meet with several Allstate representatives, including three ASU Actuarial Science (and GIS) alumni: Hailey Walters, Emma Terry, and Bo Swoverland. A massive property and casualty insurance company with the famous motto "You're in good hands," Allstate left no stone unturned when presenting to club members about methods and ways for actuaries and actuarial students to perform their best during these virtual times.

Following some quick introductions from each of the company representatives, members were divided into three groups and then rotated through breakout rooms with a specific Allstate moderator to discuss essential concepts to know when navigating through virtual work (or school). In one room, Emma Terry presented to students how to build their personal brand by developing key technical and academic skills. Students were encouraged to discuss ways to enhance their skill set and how to stay organized during these unprecedented times. In another room, Hailey Walters covered topics including increasing motivation virtually and the importance of communication and asking for help. Finally, Bo Swoverland discussed the integration of ethics and honesty in the virtual workplace. Students were asked to visualize several different scenarios, determine whether they were appropriate given the situational context, and discuss ways to promote honest and open communication.

After the students finished rotating through each of the breakout rooms, everyone reconvened in the main session to learn more about an actuary's role within Allstate and some of the responsibilities that come with the position. It was incredibly heartwarming to see ASU alumni thriving in their actuarial careers, including current GIS president Kinsey Turk who had recently accepted a full-time position at Allstate. All-in-all, students were definitely "in good hands" throughout Allstate's presentation. The company did an excellent job of providing relevant and useful information for students when dealing with virtual circumstances. GIS would like to thank Allstate for attending our meeting and giving students important information about their company and more insight into actuarial careers.

October 1, 2020
By Lydia Gabric

On September 24-25, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) officers attended the 49th Annual Gamma Iota Sigma International Conference. While the conference was hosted virtually, it did not stop college chapters from all over the continent from logging on together to attend captivating seminars, networking events, and the career fair. This event allowed students to build relationships and expand their knowledge on emerging topics within the actuarial science, risk management, and insurance industries.

One of the webinar sessions, “Building the Brand: Breaking Stereotypes and Sharing the Story of Insurance,” touched on some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings of the insurance industry. The panelists went through their backgrounds and how their careers within the industry have grown into what they are today. Another webinar session, “The Future of Insurance: Innovation in a Changing Industry,” explored the innovations in data and technology within the insurance industry and the future impact of insurtech. One student posed an interesting question to the panelist, “Do you believe that insurtech could replace the traditional broker?” While there is no way to predict the future, the panelists gave students pertinent advice to succeed within the industry. They advised students to accept change and to try not to be intimidated by technology. Instead, one should understand the technology and innovate it further within the industry and beyond. The last webinar session, “Great Power = Great Responsibility: Promoting Ethics and Fighting Bias in Data,” explored how actuarial scientists have used, currently use, and should use data. Since the insurance industry is continually improving technology, it is pertinent to integrate ethical uses of data into these innovations.

The Annual Awards Ceremony is always a highly anticipated event for each International Conference, in-person or virtually. During the ceremony, chapters, students, and faculty members are recognized for their work within their communities and with GIS. First, International Chapter Awards acknowledge chapters that develop activities that promote chapter management, membership development, alumni relations, public relations, community service, and Diversity & Inclusion to support GammaSAID initiatives. Not only was GIS @ ASU acknowledged as an International Chapter, but also titled as a Well-Rounded Chapter! A chapter achieves this distinction by organizing industry speaking engagements, officer meetings, community service events, and more throughout the school year.

While the 49th Annual GIS conference was not hosted traditionally, it was incredible to still have the opportunity to expand our knowledge, connect with others from the industry, and come together safely. On top of GIS @ ASU receiving awards, it was an honor to celebrate other chapters from all over the country. Officers and committee members are so excited to continue and explore new ways to serve our chapter and its members. GIS @ ASU is eager to see what GIS has in store for the 50th Annual Conference!

September 29, 2020
By Gina Gilkey

Like all other events of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) thus far, a great deal of flexibility and effort was put forth to make the annual Actuarial Science Career Fair possible in a virtual format. This event always opens doors for many students pursuing actuarial science degrees searching for an internship or full-time position in the industry. That said, the joint efforts of GIS @ ASU and Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) to make this large, vital event a success despite the challenging circumstances are much appreciated by many students and employers. This year’s career fair on September 23, brought together 26 companies and close to 100 ASU students eager to network and ask questions with company representatives through each of their respective Zoom links. The face-to-face interaction with employers was preserved through the use of webcams for the entirety of the event.

The Actuarial Science Career Fair was kicked off with an ASU alumni panel via Zoom, moderated by Jeff Durham of Allstate. All the students had the opportunity to hear and learn from Durham, as well as Steven Locke of Nationwide, Kelsi Knoles of IAT Insurance, Jacob Langerman of Mercer, Grace Kennedy of USAA, and Michael Brunner of Centene. Each panelist introduced themselves, and then the audience was invited to ask questions, which sparked much discussion throughout the first half-hour of the career fair. Students were curious about remote working and career insight from the experienced actuaries in the panel.

Following the ASU alumni panel and for the remainder of the career fair, students had 26 company Zoom links at their disposal to join at any time to begin group networking with company representatives. Then, after an hour of solely open group networking, the pre-scheduled “speed” interviews began. Company representatives created separate breakout rooms to hold these 12-minute short interviews with one student at a time. Meanwhile, other students could remain networking with other company representatives in their main Zoom room. This was a great way to utilize technology to make all of the features of an in-person career fair possible in this virtual environment.

All in all, for the first-ever virtual Actuarial Science Career Fair, the event was a huge success, as students were able to gain insight from the panelists and build more relationships with industry professionals through group networking and speed interviews in breakout rooms via Zoom. GIS @ ASU would like to thank each panelist for donating their time and the companies that attended to make this an invaluable virtual career fair.

September 25, 2020
By James Cooper

On September 22, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was proud to host Mercer for their annual company visit. Mercer is a consulting company with expertise across multiple disciplines, and they came to tell us about their actuarial student programs and share their full-time and internship opportunities. While their visits have historically been in-person featuring phenomenal food, Mercer was not hindered by the trend of hosting virtual company visits. The many presenters gave students an idea of opportunities available with Mercer and what typical work looks like. They also had a unique way to get GIS @ ASU members active and show off their personalities in the form of a scavenger hunt from home!

Mercer has a great history of involvement with GIS @ ASU, so to start the night, they gave a panel introduction of professionals who have graduated from the ASU actuarial program and are alumni of GIS. The panel introduced themselves with their paths to success at Mercer, some of which were non-traditional. Then, as an icebreaker and way to get the organization to show off some of their interests, Mercer conducted a free-form scavenger hunt! They gave a list of items and 5 minutes for members to run around their houses and grab anything related to the list. This list included items like an egg, a book, family photos, and a favorite snack. Students were able to get creative with some of the options. Finding an "egg" to GIS @ ASU's president Kinsey Turk meant showing off her new kitten, whom she calls her "little egg." Another committee member, James Cooper, showed off his favorite "book" in the form of a collection of manga novels. Overall, the organization got to show off their personality and who they are outside of school, which Mercer appreciates in their team.

The night was entertaining and interactive for all students and professionals alike. On behalf of the entire membership, we would like to thank Mercer very much for coming and giving us a great idea of their company and what it is like interacting with them. Thank you to all of those who attended, and we look forward to next week's visit with Allstate!

September 22, 2020
By Fernando Correa Chavez

Actuarial science is not a commonly known profession amongst high school students, and the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) has been attempting to change that. Last year GIS @ ASU visited many high schools to inform students about the profession. This year the club needed to adapt to the virtual environment and hosted its first virtual high school visit. Since the event was held online, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) could virtually attend on September 18 and work with GIS @ ASU to connect Cortez High School’s AP Calculus class.

Kathryn Griepp, Cortez High School’s AP Calculus teacher, made time in her busy schedule to allow the SOA and CAS to speak to her class about the actuarial profession. Alejandro Ortega, the president-elect of the Organization of Latino Actuaries, moderated the event. The day started with an introduction from GIS @ ASU’s chapter president, Kinsey Turk, who went over a brief overview of the Gamma Iota Sigma club. After the introduction, Alejandro Ortega introduced the basics of the actuarial profession to the students, and also went over how he was introduced to the industry and the struggles he had to overcome to get to where he is today.

After Alejandro, three other speakers (Rose Barrett, Alex Knights, and GIS @ ASU’s D&I officer Fernando Correa) presented how they discovered the profession and the challenges they had to face. Immediately after that, Rose and Alex gave a couple of fun mathematical and logical problems. These problems were not calculus intensive; they focused on introducing the students to risk exposure and the logical thinking that actuaries use each day.

To end the day, Alejandro went over the available resources to the students so they could learn more about the profession on their own time. He also went over the different organizations that are in place to help students interested in pursuing the actuarial science profession and answered any questions the class had about the career. GIS @ ASU would like to thank Kathryn Griepp for allowing us to take some of her class time to speak to her calculus class, and would also like to thank the SOA and CAS for organizing this event. GIS @ ASU looks forward to more joint high school outreach initiatives with the SOA and CAS and informing more students about the actuarial profession.

September 18, 2020
By Neil Bhardwaja

Continuing in its fall company visits, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) had the amazing opportunity of hosting IAT Insurance Group at its meeting on September 15. This was IAT’s first-ever company visit with GIS @ ASU, and club members were able to meet several IAT representatives, including two ASU Actuarial Science alumni, Kelsi Knowles and Haley Schuman. After some brief introductions, the IAT Insurance Group representatives presented about the company and its values, as well as its award-winning work environment. Students were able to learn about the company’s unique involvement with specialty insurance, as well as the excess and surplus lines of insurance the company offered, including inland marine insurance and management liability insurance.

After the initial presentation, IAT Insurance hosted an entertaining game of Kahoot, breaking up attendees into different breakout rooms and having them compete for the chance to win IAT merchandise. The trivia questions involved several insurance questions, and students had to answer as fast as possible correctly. While GIS members range from first-year to graduate students, everyone had an enjoyable time figuring out answers to questions like how long IAT Insurance has been around or when exactly the first recorded insurance contract was written (1347!).

After the victors were determined in each breakout room, the attendees reconvened in the main session to learn more about the company’s career and internship programs. Students asked questions about how the company’s internship program was organized and the different insurance employment opportunities available in actuarial science and underwriting. GIS @ ASU had a fantastic time meeting with IAT Insurance Group, and members were able to learn more about the types of companies and employment opportunities available in the expansive insurance industry.

September 15, 2020
By Lydia Gabric

Every fall semester, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) invites local insurance companies to share information about their work, internship programs, and much more. On September 8, representatives from Actuarial Strategies and Tactics (AST) joined GIS @ ASU to host the semester's first company visit. The evening began with a presentation, followed by a fun-filled game of Family Feud. After quick introductions from all the AST representatives, they described AST's ethics, culture, and internship program. GIS @ ASU members could get a glimpse of what working at a team-based actuarial and insurance consulting firm is like.

Attendees were separated into different breakout rooms, each with a representative from AST, to create smaller, interpersonal groups. Each breakout room was then further split into the two teams to go head-to-head over Zoom. While many of the Family Feud questions did not test skills directly applicable to an actuarial job, knowing how to work within a team and telecommunication are invaluable skills. GIS @ ASU members from different backgrounds pulled their knowledge together to try to get the most points.

After the dust settled within each breakout room, everyone reconvened in the main room for the overall winner to be announced. The group who earned the most points was the 'A-Team': Dylan Ketcham, Sean Kratsch, Madelyn Law, and Lainey Waldman. They were able to communicate within their group instead of just relying on their knowledge.

GIS @ ASU had a fantastic start to the company visits planned for this fall semester. Not only did our members gain valuable insight about AST, but they also enjoyed a virtual collaborative experience. After an extremely successful first meeting, we are looking forward to our next meeting!

September 11, 2020
By Gina Gilkey

With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the transition of almost all work and learning to a completely virtual format, actuaries and insurance professionals need to prepare for a digital future. Fortunately, Mark Farrell, the founder of ProActuary, put together a phenomenal three-day Digital Actuary Virtual Summit consisting of 22 sessions that prepare actuaries for just that. The members of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) were able to register for the Summit for free and engage in these morning sessions from September 1st -3rd, 2020. Topics included Data Science, AI, InsurTech, Dynamic Pricing, Insurance Digitization, Blockchain, Wearables, etc. Being delivered entirely online, this event is known as the “Netflix of actuarial education”!

Participating in the Virtual Summit was an exciting opportunity because it was GIS @ ASU’s first time doing so, and a plethora of valuable information could be digested from it. Each session consisted of an actuarial discussion with different top leaders, actuaries, and insurance professionals worldwide, from Chicago to London to Australia. The virtual conference explained a global profession to a global audience. Upon registration for the Summit, there were eight categories that attendees could select as their primary interests. Based on the selected categories, attendees were then given a list of the specific sessions that pertain to their selected category interests. For example, if practicpants chose the Future of the Actuarial Profession, Data Science, InsurTech, or AI, the session led by Erik Wenzel, an FSA from Chicago, called “Actuaries and the Inevitable: 4 Ways Actuaries Can Secure Their Future in a World of Hyperconnectivity, AI, and InsurTech” would appear on the list. Some key takeaways include the new focus on continuous data flow via wearables instead of quarterly data needing frequent updates, continuous actuarial analysis using Python, predictive analytics, and machine learning. Another takeaway from the sessions was the importance of aspects outside of the actuarial examination process, such as the people skills and the awareness of the current actuarial industry happenings.

All in all, the Digital Actuary Virtual Summit was an invaluable learning experience, especially during these times of change and uncertainty. From learning about what the “Modern Actuary” is expected to look like, to diving into the details of digitizing insurance and changing pricing processes, GIS @ ASU found these sessions fascinating and will use this new knowledge to grow our professional lives and impact others. That said, GIS @ ASU would like to give a huge thank you to Mark Farrell for all of the hard work he put into making this Virtual Summit a success and giving our members this fantastic learning opportunity.

September 8, 2020
By James Cooper

GIS @ ASU first meeting of fall semesterWith the school year underway, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) had its first official meeting of the semester on September 1 to welcome new members and formally introduce our officers and faculty. This meeting took place over Zoom, which did not stop the officers from creating a welcoming environment for the new and returning members. It was GIS @ ASU's pleasure to introduce our wonderful officers and faculty of professionals in the field of actuarial science and risk management. 

To begin, President Kinsey Turk gave an excellent introduction as to what GIS @ ASU is, its mission, and the services it offers to students and aspiring professionals. Vice President Dylan Ketcham then went over a schedule of upcoming events to build interest and make sure students knew what events to put on their calendars. Upcoming events include visits from various companies, the WSIA Symposium, and our annual Actuarial Science Career Fair! Treasurer Jon Kiperman then gave a brief overview of the road to membership, and Diversity and Inclusion officer Fernando Correa Chavez spoke on our mission of including and promoting diverse backgrounds through partnerships with societies such as the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Organization of Latino Actuaries. To finish the night on an exciting note, committee member Neil Bhardwaja led a trivia game to further introduce officers and faculty with fun facts. GIS @ ASU offered branded hats as a prize to those who placed top three in the leaderboard at the end of the game. We learned a lot of interesting facts about the officers and faculty, and even a bit about the pets they are proud to own!

Overall, the first meeting successfully introduced new members into our professional organization by connecting them with other students, whether new or returning, and faculty. Thank you to all members, officers, and faculty present, and we look forward to meeting again next Tuesday, September 9th for our first professional company visit from AST!

September 2, 2020
By Fernando Correa Chavez

GIS Leadership ForumEach year, the Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) Grand Chapter hosts the GIS Leadership Symposium, a three-day annual event where new and returning officers receive leadership training from insurance professionals, fellow officers, and members of the grand chapter. This year, for the first time, the event was hosted in a virtual environment. All the officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended the symposium on August 27th-29th, connecting with other members of the GIS community. Usually, only the president and the D&I officer are able to attend this symposium, but due to the virtual format, all officers were lucky enough to be able to attend. The theme for this year’s event centered around how each officer could perform their duties in the current virtual environment.

The first day kicked off with a presentation from Chubb, informing the officers of the key traits that every officer needs to have to serve as a role model amongst their chapter’s members. This informative session gave our officers new insights on how to improve their leadership skills. After this session, the day wrapped up with a virtual career fair, where GIS @ ASU representatives had a chance to network with company representatives.

The second day included more presentations from industry professionals. The first session, entitled “Navigating Conflict,” explained typical styles of handling conflict and when it is best to use each one. This session informed our officers of when it is best to take charge of a situation and when it is best to hear out all the available options. Later in the day, GammaSAID presented on how officers could use different tactics to be more diverse and inclusive in their chapter. This session proved to be very helpful to our incoming diversity and inclusion officer, who could take these lessons forward in the school year.

The final day mostly consisted of presentations from different GIS student officers and group breakout sessions. The GIS student officers expanded on the responsibilities that each different officer position has, and on advice that they would give to those respective officers. The advice mostly centered around how those officers could manage their responsibilities during the current virtual academic year. After every half hour of the presentations, the main group was divided into breakout sessions. These smaller groups helped facilitate discussions amongst students on how they were considering implementing all the new ideas they learned.

The GIS leadership symposium allowed GIS @ ASU’s officers to learn new skills and tactics to implement this academic year, allowing our future virtual club meetings to run smoothly. This symposium also allowed our officers to network with other chapters virtually. The officers of GIS @ ASU would like to thank the GIS Grand Chapter for organizing and hosting this event. We look forward to next year’s symposium!

August 20, 2020
By Neil Bhardwaja

GIS @ ASU attends SoMSS Fall WelcomeWith summer winding down and school just a week away, the ASU School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) hosted its annual Fall Welcome on August 18th to introduce incoming students to the vast resources and opportunities available at ASU. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was thrilled to have its officers and faculty advisors attend this special presentation and interact with freshmen students as well as the SoMSS professors.

Though conducted virtually, the SoMSS Fall Welcome managed to perfectly connect upcoming SoMSS students, not only with the built-in services for their future success but also with the incredible human resources and organizations available at ASU. After the faculty introduced themselves and offered their best piece of advice to listeners, the SoMSS clubs presented their unique club missions and suggested several ways for students to get involved outside of the classroom and make a difference. GIS @ ASU president, Kinsey Turk, presented to first-year students and discussed our club’s dedication to the academic and professional development of any student interested in insurance and risk management. She mentioned several of GIS @ ASU’s most valuable events, including career fairs, internship opportunities, resume workshops, mock interviews, and even case studies. After the main presentation concluded, GIS @ ASU hosted a Q&A presentation for prospective members. The officers were able to interact directly with students and share their experiences within the club as well as their professional endeavors through the actuarial science program.

GIS @ ASU always enjoys the opportunity to connect with students and enable them to learn more and become more involved with the world of insurance. We are excited to meet all of the new students this semester and see them at our first meeting on September 1st!