GIS at ASU News Archive 2023-2024

August 31, 2023
By Alexis Young

After a summer of internships and relaxation, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) held its Fall Welcome Meeting. On August 22, GIS at ASU welcomed both students and faculty members with a night full of information and fun. The meeting consisted of introductions, an overview resources and opportunities GIS at ASU offers, and an interactive activity that allowed students to get to know one another.

To kick off the meeting, this year’s officers introduced themselves, sharing their name, grade level, and their favorite thing about GIS at ASU. Students were also able to meet faculty advisors. Co-President Sarah Friedman emphasized that Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa is more than a club; it is a community where academic excellence, professional growth, and social engagement flourishes. She shared with us the benefits of being a member of GIS at ASU, including academic and exam support, networking, internships, and friendships. Members also heard about upcoming events including company visits, social events, and career fairs.

In addition to the benefits and events that GIS at ASU has to offer, public relations officer Alexis Young shared how to stay connected with GIS through social media. Since Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are core values within GIS at ASU, partnering organizations and future D&I events were highlighted. Following the D&I information, treasurer Austin Adams showed prospective students how to become members. 

The meeting ended with a game created by GIS at ASU’s wonderful committee members called “Find Your Pair.” Each student was given a card with an object on it that matched an object on a different card. To find their matching pair students could only ask each other ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Students had a blast getting to know each other and finding their match. Seeing everyone back at GIS at ASU was very exciting and club officers look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming events! 

September 8, 2023
By Delainee Fischbeck

Among the amazing benefits included in membership with the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU), the opportunity to network with industry professionals representing a large share of the valley counts itself toward the top. GIS at ASU kicked off this semester’s incredible lineup of company visits on August 29, by welcoming Actuarial Strategies & Tactics (AST), whose talented team includes ASU alumni Alex Kirvan and Henry Meyers.

Located in Old Town Scottsdale, AST is a small consulting firm specializing in stop loss insurance. AST’s analysts described some benefits of working with their team citing the variety of projects, opportunity to diversify with intracompany teams, and getting to know their colleagues better with each new project. Next, AST discussed the many internship opportunities they offer including part-time during the fall and spring semesters, and full-time during the summer. A few of AST’s employees happily gave testimonials regarding their personal experiences as interns and how those positive experiences led to them hiring on full-time with AST.

After the presentation, AST divided the members of GIS at ASU into 8 teams, handed each team a scorecard, and rotated them between classrooms to compete head-to-head in four games. Taboo, a game where teammates must guess the target word being described by one player, who’s description is hindered by a list of restricted words. The Escape Room consisted of puzzles, sudoku, riddles, and probability distributions. With the Lego activity, team members looked at an example structure in intervals and tried to replicate the structure with their own set of Legos; the catch, the team member that last looked at the example wasn’t allowed to touch their team’s Legos until the next member left to look at the example. It tested one’s ability to remember details and give clear instructions. Spaceteam is a mobile game where team members worked together to complete tasks on each other’s phones to progress in the game and avoid crashing their ship. Throughout the games, tie breakers were determined by questions pertaining to the AST’s presentation earlier in the evening. Winners received AST merchandise and Starbucks gift cards.

GIS at ASU sincerely thanks AST for their time and effort in putting together an educational and engaging company visit. The evening was an exciting opportunity for members to not only learn more about AST, but also learn more about how actuarial consulting differs from more traditional work, all while having fun in the process. GIS at ASU values its relationship with AST and looks forward to what they have in store for the future. We can’t wait to connect again at this year’s ASU Actuarial Science Career Day!

September 10, 2023
By Bhavana Giridar

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) welcomed Edrington Health Consulting (EHC) on September 5 to inform students on the world of health insurance and consulting. Founded nine years ago, the company is composed of 20 professionals, including six talented actuaries and several ASU Alumni. EHC is committed to mission-focused projects that can make a difference in the world and values maintaining a healthy work-life balance to ensure that their team can be their best.

The evening started with Kyle Edrington, the founder of EHC, presenting information about the company’s values and the talented professionals that work there. He was followed by Chris Dickerson and Ainsley Ramsey, who each shared the projects about which they are most excited to be a part of. Both projects aim to improve the quality of healthcare and the effectiveness of healthcare systems and are great examples of the meaningful and purpose-driven nature of EHC’s work. EHC’s primary clients include nonprofit health plans that operate in Medicaid in California, state government agencies, and some smaller companies. We also learned about Paul Johnson’s dedication to being a part-time employee at EHC for the past three years while also teaching at ASU.

This visit was not only about business; EHC prepared two fun activities for our members to partake in. The first game was “Friendly Feud”, hosted by EHC Consulting Actuary/ASU’s very own Paul Johnson. Two teams intensely competed head-to-head answering EHC employee trivia questions, until one team claimed victory. The next activity had GIS at ASU members split into teams for the "Fiscally Lean Egg Drop Challenge". Teams collaborated to design an effective egg holder while answering challenging actuarial questions in order to earn points, which were used to purchase materials for their egg drop contraptions. After releasing the egg drop devices from the third floor of Wexler Hall, only one group succeeded with an intact egg.

GIS at ASU would like to thank Edrington Health Consulting for an eventful and informational night. Members had a great time learning more about EHC as a company, as well as the healthcare and consulting industry. We look forward to connecting with EHC again at the ASU Actuarial Career Day!

September 19, 2023
By Xiuwen Zeng

Medicaid, the cornerstone of healthcare accessibility for millions, operates in a realm of financial intricacies. Understanding and establishing rates in such a complex system is no easy feat, which is why experts like actuaries come into play. On September 13, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) welcomed CBIZ Optumas, an actuarial consulting firm that specializes in health and welfare programs, with a primary focus on Medicaid, to inform students about their company and the pivotal work that they do.

Four representatives from Optumas, including two ASU alumni, started off the night with an informational presentation that allows students to gain invaluable insights into their company structure and operations. Since its inception in 2006, Optumas' mission has been to reform healthcare with a people-centric approach, ensuring access to cost-effective, high-quality healthcare in a timely manner.  While being described as a small firm, Optumas currently serves healthcare reform initiatives in 30+ states. 

The representatives then outlined the qualities they seek in new hires, the types of projects they worked on, and all the benefits that Optumas offered. Notably, they emphasized the robust support system in place to ensure that team members receive an optimal workload allocation. In addition to their impactful work, Optumas places a strong emphasis on employee development, offering robust exam support programs to assist staff in their pursuit of actuarial credentials.

Following the presentation, Optumas concluded the night with a fun game of “Bingo”. Members were provided with blank bingo cards to be filled out based on a list of keywords mentioned during the presentation, such as "Economists" and "Medicaid". A representative then posed questions corresponding to the words on the bingo cards. Members who swiftly identified the answers and connected five words in a line were rewarded with Starbucks gift cards.

GIS at ASU extends its sincere gratitude to all the representatives from Optumas for generously sharing their unique experiences. Their efforts in organizing this educational event are greatly appreciated. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to reconnect with Optumas at the upcoming Career Fair!

September 25, 2023
By Shavanda Reynolds

Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) aims to network students with potential employers and employers with potential new employees. It was with great excitement that members were able to step out and enjoy a Happy Hour with GPW and Associates (GPWA) at Zipps Sports Grill on September 14. GPWA provided a wonderful spread of food for all to enjoy, while students’ played games and interacted with the members of GPWA. Amanda Kemling who is a senior consultant with GPWA, gave a scintillating introduction to the roles of their company as a property and casualty consulting firm.

As the students entered the exclusive event area they were invited to register and handed a bingo sheet. This sheet included fun facts about GPWA associates and required that they interacted beyond simple small talk. Students were offered the opportunity to network with associates from different focuses in the actuarial profession. As an industry leader in reinsurance and extended warranty, GPWA also specializes in financial consulting, pricing, and reserves within the insurance industry. There were representatives from different branches of the actuarial department, and they shared that they interacted closely inside and outside of the workplace with events such as Tuesday night karaoke. Winners of the bingo event were given gift card prizes, and every student had fun getting to know what the associates did inside and outside of the workplace.

GPWA’s actuarial department currently consists of approximately 13 employees but is steadily expanding in size. With this growth, they also advertised their open positions for a full-time analyst and summer 2024 intern. The full-time analyst role is open to all students graduating within the next year and summer intern is open to all. Interested applicants can visit their website or speak with representatives at the upcoming career fair.

GIS at ASU would like to thank GPWA for an exciting evening and the opportunity to step outside the classroom while enjoying the same objectives. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities being offered by GPWA and if they have more questions to visit their table at the career fair. We hope to see them soon.

October 2, 2023
By Austin Adams

State Farm stands as one of the largest and most renowned insurance companies in the United States, offering an extensive array of insurance products and financial services. Since its inception in 1922, the company has maintained a rich legacy of delivering auto, home, and life insurance coverage to millions of clients. Of notable significance within State Farm is its robust Actuarial and Data Science department, which plays an instrumental role in the company's insurance operations. This department holds responsibility for harnessing cutting-edge data analytics and advanced statistical modeling techniques to evaluate risk and establish insurance premium pricing strategies.

During their recent engagement with the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU), State Farm's team took the opportunity to elaborate on the department's role and the opportunities it presents. The team emphasized how their steadfast commitment to leveraging data science constitutes a pivotal factor in State Farm's ability to remain at the forefront of the continually evolving insurance industry.

Ben Bly, representing State Farm, presented the members of GIS at ASU with an insightful overview of the MAGNet Internship program, delving into its comprehensive advantages. It's imperative to note that the MAGNet Internship is not confined solely to the actuarial domain; instead, it encompasses modeling and analytics, offering a distinctive avenue for ASU students to cultivate their data science, statistical, and modeling proficiencies. Participants in this program are afforded the chance to apply their problem-solving acumen to real-world challenges across various facets of State Farm's operations. It is worth highlighting that this opportunity is exclusively available to students enrolled in the Actuarial Science, Statistics, or Applied Mathematics graduate programs at ASU, with a program duration ranging from 3 to 6 semesters. An outstanding facet of this program is the comprehensive tuition support extended by State Farm to participating students, complemented by a competitive hourly wage. Following the presentation, students engaged in an interactive Q&A session with Ben, who responded graciously and comprehensively to all inquiries.

Concluding the informative segment of the State Farm visit, GIS at ASU enjoyed a light-hearted game of Bingo, facilitated by Ben and the State Farm team. The game challenged students to complete their Bingo cards with phrases related to State Farm, statistics, modeling, and ASU. Subsequently, winners were offered a selection of State Farm-themed merchandise.

GIS at ASU extends its gratitude to the State Farm MAGNet team for imparting valuable insights, fostering an enjoyable atmosphere, providing refreshments, and introducing an exceptional and stimulating opportunity to ASU students. The engagement not only enriched GIS at ASU members' understanding of State Farm as a company but also illuminated the specific nuances of the Data Science department and the remarkable prospects it presents.

October 4, 2023
by Alexis Young

Arizona State University’s (ASU) actuarial science program prides itself on connecting students with industry professionals and showcasing the litany of actuarial opportunities available both in and out of the local area. Developing interpersonal communication skills and creating a strong network of industry contacts gives students a critical advantage as they enter the job market. On September 22, the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences hosted its annual Actuarial Science Career Day, bringing together students and professionals representing almost every corner of the industry. For many new members of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU), this career fair provides the first dedicated opportunity to interact with industry representatives as a prospective hire and represents an exciting early step to accomplishing their personal and professional goals.

Matt Hassett kicked off the event by sharing the actuarial science program’s rich history, from humble beginnings as a simple study group to pass the notoriously difficult actuarial exams, to the meteoric rise of both a bachelor’s and master’s program consistently turning out exemplary actuarial professionals. Many graduates of ASU’s actuarial science program now represent the very companies that students had the opportunity to speak and interview with and following introductory comments attendees of the career fair were fortunate enough to participate in a Q&A session with a panel of more recent alumni. The panel, offering insights about searching for internships and full-time opportunities, studying for exams, and the transition from student to early career professional, consisted of ASU alumni Stephanie Taylor (CBIZ Optumas), Shae Ingram (Mercer), Kinsey Turk (Allstate), and Fernando Correa Chavez (Nautilus Insurance). After a short break, students were able to put some of the panelists’ advice into practice while speaking with company representatives.

Students who registered for the career fair were paired with a few companies and given dedicated time to conduct one-on-one interviews for both internships and full-time positions. While half of the companies were conducting speed-round style one-on-one interviews, the other half were available for less structured conversation. This setup allowed students to engage with multiple companies beyond their dedicated interview time and learn about the array of opportunities within the industry.

After the first interview session, a second Q&A panel took place, this time consisting of panelists with more experience and senior positions within the industry. Panelists included Michael Brunner (Centene), Melissa Tomita (Nationwide), Peter Chotras (UHC), and Kyle Edrington (HMA Edrington). The focus of this panel was on career growth and development, as well as emphasizing the importance of establishing a healthy work/life balance by understanding and setting limits to avoid burnout. The panelists offered consistent advice that while professional development is important for career success, each person should paint their own picture of success and have their own goals and personal interests that contribute to it. After the panel, the event concluded with an additional round of speed interviews and open networking so that students had the opportunity to connect with all of the companies represented at the career fair. 

The 2023 Actuarial Science Career Day carried on with the tradition of success established by past career fairs. This success is only possible thanks to the efforts and involvement of the industry partners representing their companies, to which GIS at ASU would like to extend our sincere appreciation. We would also like to give a huge thank you to ASU staff members for facilitating this event, as well as the faculty for providing us with a tremendous amount of support. Lastly, GIS at ASU would like to thank our members, and other attendees, who participated this year. We look forward to seeing everyone again and continuing the positive relationship between ASU’s actuarial science program and industry leaders we have had the pleasure of working with.

October 5, 2023
By Diego Orellana

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) welcomed Allstate on September 26 to inform students on the different facets of their business and their company culture. Allstate is a property and casualty insurance company that primarily focuses on Home and Auto Insurance. Founded in 1931, the company is composed of over 100 actuaries. Allstate emphasizes customer satisfaction as well as supporting their employees through Employee Resource Groups, exam support, and impressive employee benefits.

The evening started with Kinsey Turk (an ASU alumna), Dalton, Justin, Samuel and Matt presenting information about several prestigious awards Allstate has recently earned, such as US News & World Report’s 2023 Best Car Insurance and Best Homeowners Insurance, and DNA’s Workplace of the Year 2022 and 2020. Allstate representatives explained the structure of their actuarial department and the different business they sell apart from home and auto. This includes programs like business insurance and roadside assistance. The speakers were proud to go into the employee culture as they explained the various employee resource and support groups they offer to push for a diverse and inclusive culture. They informed the GIS members of their internship and full-time opportunities, which are based in Arizona and Chicago but are fully remote. Some highlights of the internship include important actuarial work, mentorship, and an intern trip to Chicago.

To end the night, the Allstate crew immersed the GIS members into their culture with a game of Euchre, a card-game that is heavily played at the company. Turk gave a tutorial to the members and showed an example game with her coworkers. After that, the GIS members were left to battle it out for the chance to win some Allstate swag.

GIS at ASU would like to thank Allstate for an eventful and informational night. Members had a great time learning more about Allstate as a company, as well as the property and casualty industry. We look forward to continuing to connect with Allstate in the future!

October 9, 2023
By Bhavana Giridar

The Gamma Iota Sigma Annual International Conference is a prestigious opportunity for professional development, networking, learning, and personal growth. This year, seven members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) leadership team had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore, Maryland, to attend the Gamma Iota Sigma 52nd Annual International Conference from September 28 - 29. 

The conference kicked off on Thursday with several professional development events including mock interviews, professional headshots, and resume review sessions. Then, students attended various educational seminars covering topics like imposter syndrome, communication, and intersectionality in the workplace. Students then took part in the career fair, which featured over 60 different companies specializing in actuarial science, underwriting, consulting, and brokerage. To wrap up the first day, attendees congregated in the dining room for a luxurious dinner, guest speakers, and the much-anticipated awards ceremony. GIS at ASU took home four awards highlighting our excellence in alumni relations, chapter management, diversity and inclusion, and member development during the 2022-2023 school year. 

Friday, also packed with events, began with students socializing with the rest of the companies at the career fair. More informational symposiums with unique topics were offered such as “GPT and the Actuarial Landscape: An Overview of Large Language Models and Applications” and “Marijuana Decriminalization and Auto Risks: A Chronic Problem?” After two days of networking and professional development, the conference attendees were invited to a social event hosted by the Grand Chapter - The Orioles vs. Red Sox baseball game at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

“The trip was a great opportunity to learn more about current events in the industry, meet industry professionals, and showcase the success of our chapter all while strengthening the bond of our leadership team. One highlight was meeting actuarial science icon and hero; Coach Dave from Coaching Actuaries,” said Sarah Friedman, co-president of GIS at ASU.

The Gamma Iota Sigma Annual International Conference was an enriching and thrilling experience for all who attended. The conference was an amazing opportunity for our club to celebrate our annual achievements and recognize outstanding contributions. GIS at ASU would like to thank the Grand Chapter for hosting this memorable event, as well as the sponsors for their donations who made this incredible trip possible for the GIS at ASU leadership team.

October 11, 2023
By Delainee Fischbeck

On October 3, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) excitedly welcomed Centene Corporation as this week’s company visit. Centene representatives Gina Gilkey, Sean Kratsch and Isabelle Welsh are all ASU Actuarial Science and GIS at ASU alumni, and happily shared with us their lines of business, work life, and career opportunities.

Centene is a government sponsored health insurance corporation with several offices, including one in Tempe. Within Centene the different lines people work on are Medicare, Medicaid and the Health Insurance Marketplace. The representatives discussed the benefits of their Actuarial Development Program, consisting of exam raises, bonuses, study hours, reimbursement and a compassionate work environment. They also elaborated on the internships and full-time opportunities offered, noting that these roles are fully remote. Throughout the presentation, employees answered questions and offered their own experiences to the members of the GIS club to provide an informative experience.

The evening began with an age-old mathematics challenge – “estimate how many M&Ms are in this jar,” with the closest estimation receiving not just the prize of a giant bag of candy but also the pride of mathematical aptitude ... or just blind luck. After the presentation, the representative divided the GIS members into four groups to play a “Guess that Number” game. Each group was given a six-sided dice and during each round members would roll the dice. Whatever number was rolled would be utilized in the teams’ estimate but the team determined what place the rolled number would go in the final estimate. Once a number was placed that number could not be changed or moved.

The game included three rounds that consisted of guessing the number of interns at Centene during the summer 2023, the increase of Medicaid members in Nevada due to the pandemic and the lowest annual premium for a Silver-rated Marketplace plan covering a 40-year-old in Arizona. Once the teams rolled their final dice and had an estimate, the true answer was shared, and the difference between each team’s estimate and the true number was recorded. The winner of the game was the team with the least number of total differences over the three rounds. 

Another game consisted of placing the different parties involved in delivering health care in order of when they are used in the system from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services all the way to the Medicaid member. Winners of the games received Centene merchandise and Target gift cards.

GIS at ASU sincerely thanks Centene for their time and effort in putting together an educational and engaging company visit. It was an exciting opportunity for members to not only learn more about Centene, but also learn more about government sponsored health insurance, all while having fun in the process. GIS at ASU values its relationship with Centene and looks forward to what they have in store for the future.

October 23, 2023
By Xiuwen Zeng

CSAA Insurance Group, an AAA insurer, has a legacy that spans back to 1914. This esteemed company provides auto, homeowners, and personal insurance exclusively to millions of AAA Members across 23 states and the District of Columbia. The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) recently had the privilege of hosting CSAA on October 17 to talk about their unique company culture and summer internship program. The visit was marked by engaging interactions, valuable insights, and a unique icebreaker session that set the tone for an enriching experience.

To start off the event, each GIS at ASU member was asked to introduce themselves, sharing their name, year at ASU, a fun fact, and an imaginative take on the question, "If you could be any inanimate object, what would you be?" Interestingly, we learned that students harbored secret aspirations to become AirPods, floating balloons, or even a cloud. Furthermore, it was fascinating to discover that some of our very own GIS at ASU members have special talents, such as being certified to administer shots and immunizations.

After the ice breaker, CSAA shared an insightful presentation on their company culture, actuarial department and internship program. CSAA's dedication to community service was evident through their active promotion of volunteering. They encourage employees to take advantage of the 40 hours of paid time off designated for volunteer work, further bolstered by CSAA's generous matching of donations up to $1000. In a separate initiative focused on promoting wellness within the company, CSAA introduced a fitness app. This innovative tool incentivizes healthy practices by allowing employees to accumulate points, which can be exchanged for gift cards and prizes, showcasing CSAA's forward-thinking approach to employee well-being.

The presentation also shed light on the different divisions within CSAA’s actuarial department. Professionals at CSAA play a crucial role in various aspects including pricing, reserving, pricing design and claims insights analytics. CSAA's internship program, spanning 11 weeks, was highlighted as a comprehensive learning experience. This program not only provides exposure to various aspects of the industry but also offers opportunities for executive meet-and-greets, lunch and learning sessions, innovation challenges and a capstone project.

CSAA concluded the evening on a heartwarming note, offering GIS at ASU members the special opportunity to craft affirmation cards featuring messages in both English and Spanish. These cards will be sent to abused and homeless children, providing them with a source of encouragement and support.

The visit by CSAA was a remarkable experience that offered invaluable insights into the dynamic world of property and casualty insurance. Through engaging presentations and interactive sessions, CSAA showcased their dedication to both their employees and the broader community. We are grateful for this enriching opportunity and look forward to connecting with CSAA in the future.

October 31, 2023
By Shavanda Reynolds

After 10 weeks of hard work and professional networking, the students of Gamma Iota Sigma at ASU (GIS at ASU) rallied together to start unwinding for the semester. This was kicked off with the Halloween Social on October 24. Students were invited to dress up in their costume of choice and play games while they enjoy treats for the evening. The night was hosted by Public Relations Officer, Alexis Young, and Chapter President, Sarah Friedman. 

The night started off with a costume contest where students introduced themselves and their costume. Costumes ranged from anime characters to mathematical puns and even an SOA exam fail printout. Students shared laughter as some students explained their outfits while others related to the costumes personally. Once this event finished, students were invited to vote for their favorite costumes. Each student casted two votes for the costumes that they enjoyed the most and the winning costumes earned points toward their team’s overall score. The winners of the costume contest were announced, and Princess Jasmine and Bob Ross copped first place together with 7 votes each. 

With the table filled with treats, and no tricks, students enjoyed rounds of sweets as they prepared for their second game. The next game was a pumpkin scavenger hunt. This required that students search around Wexler Hall for pumpkins that were strategically hidden on boards, by classrooms, and by professor’s doors. Once the pumpkins were located, students took photos of their group with the pumpkins and the team that found the most pumpkins were the winners. Once all students returned to the room, everyone was invited to get ready for the next game, Kahoot. The hosts created 20 Kahoot questions based on the actuarial lifestyle at ASU. It was an exciting round that gave some students inside knowledge on connecting with lecturers. Princess Jasmine and Bob Ross sprinted ahead once again to be the winners of the final round of games. 

GIS at ASU prides itself in working hard and preparing students for a life outside of ASU professionally. After the past 10 weeks of building professional relationships and learning tips for a successful career in the actuarial space, the Halloween Social was a welcomed change of pace. Before the night ended, Friedman reminded students of the upcoming shadow students’ application for the 2024 Spring term. Everyone is advised to keep an eye out for the application in the coming days. For questions, reach out to one of the chapter’s officers outside of class time. GIS at ASU would like to thank all the attendees of the event and the hosts for planning a fun filled night.

November 27, 2023
By Alexis Young

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) continues to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the actuarial field. On November 14, members gathered to delve into crucial DEI insights, as well as learn about Coaching Actuaries and the benefits provided to members of GIS at ASU.

Diego Orellana, GIS at ASU DEI officer, and committee member Xiuwen Zeng, set the stage by unveiling eye-opening statistics. While 27% of the U.S. population is Black or Hispanic/Latino, only 5% of actuaries belong to these groups. The duo highlighted key barriers, such as job awareness, financial support, hiring, career advancement, academic preparation and mentorship access. Orellana and Zeng showcased organizations at the forefront of diversifying the actuarial profession. The Organization of Latino Actuaries, International Association of Black Actuaries, Sexuality and Gender Alliance of Actuaries, South Asian Network of Actuaries, and Network of Actuarial Women and Allies were introduced, each playing a pivotal role in supporting underrepresented groups.

After learning about DEI opportunities within GIS at ASU, members also gained valuable insights from Austin Adams, ASU’s Coaching Actuaries ambassador and GIS at ASU treasurer. Coaching Actuaries' mission to provide students with top-notch materials for exam preparation was emphasized. ASU's preferred club status comes with exclusive benefits, including discounts on study materials, connections with coaches, and even discounts for merchandise. Adams and committee member Delainee Fischbeck provided a roadmap for achieving associateship with the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries, respectively, offering attendees a clear understanding of the paths to success within the actuarial profession.

The event concluded on a high note with a fun and educational game of Jeopardy. Teams competed in categories ranging from insurance commercials and music to Netflix, geography, and GIS/Actuarial trivia. The game fostered camaraderie and showcased the diverse knowledge base within the GIS at ASU community.

In wrapping up the event, GIS at ASU reaffirmed its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community. The presentations and interactive activities underscored the importance of DEI in the actuarial field and the role each member plays in fostering positive change. In hosting this event, GIS at ASU has not only provided valuable insights but has ignited a passion for DEI within its community, setting the stage for continued progress and inclusivity in the actuarial field.

December 7, 2023
By Austin Adams

In a heartwarming and festive gathering, members of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS at ASU) came together to celebrate the accomplishments of, and bid farewell to, graduating members in their final meeting of the year. The event, held on November 28, was a joyous occasion filled with laughter, camaraderie and a touch of nostalgia.

One of the highlights of the evening was the recognition of the graduating members who have been an integral part of GIS at ASU throughout their academic journey. Each graduate was acknowledged for their contributions, dedication, and the positive impact they have had on their peers. The atmosphere was filled with pride and warmth as the members congratulated their classmates and friends on this significant milestone.

To add a playful twist to the festivities, the GIS at ASU organized a delightful game that not only entertained, but also brought everyone closer together. The game involved guessing the favorites and least favorites of the graduating members in a variety of categories, creating an atmosphere of friendly competition and shared memories. This interactive activity allowed members to reflect on the unique personalities and interests of their peers, fostering a sense of connection and understanding.

As the game unfolded, there were moments of laughter, surprise, and even a few sentimental revelations that made the event truly memorable. It was a creative and engaging way to celebrate the individuality of each graduate while strengthening the bonds within the club.

The evening concluded on a bittersweet note, with members cherishing the last moments of the year together. As friendships were celebrated and memories were shared, there was a palpable sense of gratitude for the experiences that GIS at ASU had provided throughout the academic year. The event served as a reminder of the supportive community within GIS at ASU and the lasting impact it has had on its members.

In the spirit of unity and shared experiences, the final meeting of the year was a resounding success. As the graduating members embark on new adventures, they carry with them the fond memories and lasting friendships forged within the welcoming embrace of GIS at ASU. The event not only marked the end of a chapter but also laid the foundation for the continued growth and success of GIS at ASU in the years to come.

January 24, 2024
By Alexis Young

After a relaxing winter break, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) commenced its Spring Welcome Meeting on January 16. The event was a perfect blend of introductions, information, and an interactive activity, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the resources and opportunities offered by GIS at ASU.

The meeting began with introductions from the club officers, echoing the warm welcome to both students and faculty members. Co-President Sarah Friedman emphasized that GIS at ASU is more than just a club; it's a community where academic excellence, professional growth, and social engagement flourish. She highlighted the benefits of GIS membership, including academic and exam support, networking opportunities, internships, and the formation of lasting friendships. The officers also shared insights into upcoming events such as scholarship night, mock interview night, and social gatherings.

Public Relations Officer Alexis Young discussed the importance of staying connected with GIS through social media. This aspect ensures members are informed about club activities, meetings, and events. The emphasis on communication through various platforms underlines the commitment to keeping members engaged and well-informed.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) being core values within GIS at ASU, Diego Orellana, the DEI officer, highlighted the club's partnerships with various DEI organizations. This inclusionary approach emphasizes the importance of fostering diversity within the GIS community.

Treasurer Austin Adams walked prospective students through the process of becoming GIS members by detailing the application step. This segment provided valuable information on membership requirements and benefits, reinforcing the idea that joining GIS at ASU opens doors to a range of opportunities.

The meeting concluded with a lively and engaging game called "Find Your Pair." This activity, created by GIS at ASU’s committee members, Bhavana Giridar and Delainee Fischbeck, involved students finding their matching pairs through a series of 'yes' or 'no' questions. The game not only added a fun element but also facilitated interaction among members, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.

In summary, the Spring Welcome Meeting at GIS at ASU successfully blended informative sessions with interactive activities, setting a positive tone for the upcoming semester. The commitment to academic excellence, professional growth, and social engagement within the GIS community was evident throughout the meeting. Club officers expressed their excitement about seeing everyone at the upcoming events, and how the sense of community within GIS at ASU continues to flourish.

February 9, 2024
by Kylee Wojak

On the evening of January 16, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) hosted an illuminating Scholarship Night. This event is designed to guide students through the nuances of scholarship applications while offering a roadmap to success in academic pursuits and career development.

The session commenced with a comprehensive overview of available scholarships and where to find them. Students were encouraged not to be deterred by stringent requirements. Instead, they were advised to tackle general prerequisites head-on while focusing on the unique aspects of their personal and academic journey on their applications. A key highlight of the night was the guidance on crafting an impactful personal statement. Attendees learned the importance of tailoring their statements to match the specific expectations of scholarship providers which will be useful when applying for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) scholarships due on February 9. Learning to write a personal statement was a reminder that seizing opportunities can often just require a compelling narrative and a willingness to apply.

LinkedIn, a crucial tool in the professional realm, was dissected by shadow student Brisa Silis Gomez. She emphasized the importance of a professional headshot, relevant work highlights, and the incorporation of one's personality in their profile. This echoed the sentiment that successful networking can merely extend by accomplishments and a genuine representation of oneself.

Additionally, the intricacies of crafting a personal statement were further elucidated by co-president Sarah Friedman, with a balance of professionalism and one’s personality being paramount. “Dos and don'ts” were outlined, cautioning against clichés, excessive cheesiness, and the use of empty words. The importance of concrete examples showcasing community involvement and a passion for actuarial science were stressed. Further discussion occurred when the club split into smaller groups to talk through ideas and ask questions.

GIS at ASU’s Scholarship Night offered a wealth of insights, ranging from the intricacies of scholarship applications to an art of professional networking. The night served as a reminder of the opportunities abound for those willing to articulate their unique journey, backed by a genuine passion for their field of study. As students left the event, they carried not only practical tips but a renewed sense of confidence in navigating the opportunities lying ahead.

February 27, 2024
By Gokul Achaththekoot

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) was excited to host State Farm on February 6 to discuss the MAGNet internship program, its application process, and program benefits. Established in 1922, State Farm holds top positions in auto, home, and life insurance industries.  At State Farm, the Actuarial and Data Science department is crucial, using advanced data analytics and statistical modeling to evaluate risk and set insurance price

State Farm representatives Ingrid Wurpts and Ben Bly delved into the MAGNet internship opportunity for graduate students in Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS). The MAGNet Internship is inclusive of actuarial science, statistics, data science, and other fields in SoMSS. This unique opportunity offers ASU students a chance to develop their skills in data science, statistics and modeling. 

The MAGNet internship spans from over a year to less than two years and is designed to be pursued alongside a graduate degree at ASU. It serves as a recruitment channel for State Farm's data scientists and is exclusively offered at ASU, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Georgia. Another remarkable aspect of this program is the full tuition assistance provided by State Farm to participating students, accompanied by a competitive hourly salary and full-time benefits.

Interns collaborate on projects under the guidance of team leads and other data scientists, culminating in semester-end presentations showcasing their project’s progress and receiving invaluable critiques from State Farm’s cohort of data scientists. To apply for this opportunity, with a start date this summer, you must graduate from SoMSS between May 2025 and May 2026. Following the presentation, students' questions were answered with courtesy and enthusiasm.

GIS at ASU would like to thank State Farm for an eventful and educational night. Members valued the opportunity to learn about the data science sector and potential involvement in future graduate internship programs. We look forward to connecting with State Farm in the future!

February 29, 2023
By Nikkelle Cummins

Interviewing is arguably one of the most important skills for students looking to enter the workforce. Making good first impressions to future employers and knowing how to effectively showcase one’s skills and accomplishments are vital to successfully obtaining a job or internship position. To gain experience practicing this skill, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS at ASU) hosted its annual Mock Interview Night on February 20. Members of GIS at ASU met one-on-one with actuarial science industry professionals from 16 different companies over Zoom to put their interviewing abilities to the test. This exciting event not only allowed students the opportunity to network with industry professionals but also to receive personalized feedback on their interview skills.

The evening began by jumping straight into the first round of interviews. Students and professionals were divided into private breakout rooms to simulate a real interview while still receiving valuable feedback from the professionals in real time. Each interview was 30 minutes long, allowing enough time for students to practice their interviewing skills and for industry professionals to provide their constructive criticism. The advice received by the professionals ranged from resume formatting tips to proper interview preparation to industry knowledge that will help students to become stronger applicants.

As the first round of interviews, Co-Presidents Sarah Friedman and Lydia Gabric welcomed everyone to the event, thanking both the industry professionals and students for taking time out of their busy schedules to make this amazing event possible. Acknowledging that this time of year can be busy for students, Sarah emphasized the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity to grow one’s personal network and build the interviewing skills that will be vital in securing both internships and jobs throughout the rest of the students’ careers.

After commemorating the event with a fun group photo, and taking a quick 10-minute break, participants headed straight into new breakout rooms to begin the second round of interviews. Similar to the first round, students were able to practice even more of their interview skills with a different industry professional, receiving personal feedback from a new perspective.

GIS at ASU would like to sincerely thank all 16 companies and each industry professional for helping to make this year’s Mock Interview Night a great success. The feedback received from professionals proves to be invaluable in preparing the next generation of actuarial science students to enter the workforce. Thank you to everyone involved for making this year’s Mock Interview Night a success and providing this wonderful opportunity to students!

March 18, 2023
by Mia Santos

On February 21, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU), in collaboration with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), held an informational outreach session. This event involved interactive activities and presentations that introduced members of ALPFA to actuarial science as a possible career field, as well as provided an overview of available resources such as GIS at ASU and the Organization for Latino Actuaries (OLA).

The meeting started with a warm welcome to the attending students, followed by a round of introductions from the GIS at ASU representatives. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer Diego Orellana gave a brief outline of the agenda and purpose of the presentation before starting the night with a fun icebreaker! Following the icebreaker, shadow student Mia Santos explained the basic roles of an actuary and highlighted some benefits of the profession, including job security, flexibility in remote work, and diversity of opportunities.

Shadow student Gokul Achaththekoot introduced GIS at ASU and shared the organization’s goals as an academic fraternity with a focus on actuarial science. He highlighted the many resources that the organization provides its members, including Scholarship Night, career fairs, and networking opportunities, among many others. 

Orellana discussed some of OLA’s achievements in increasing Latino representation in the actuarial field. He elaborated on his experiences as a member that provided him opportunities to earn scholarships and access to a network of mentors. The benefits of these experiences underline the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion, a core value of GIS at ASU.

Ryan Garza then walked the attendees through his journey as an actuary, discussing his professional career at CSAA and leadership experience as a program manager for OLA. His experience within the industry also allowed him to highlight the flexibility of actuarial science as a career, noting that many actuaries are promoted to leadership positions within other departments because of the skills they develop in their actuarial roles.

The meeting concluded with a Q&A session, during which Garza gave insights into a day in the life of an actuary. Many attending students expressed curiosity about the various exam tracks offered within actuarial science, allowing the presenters to discuss their experiences with actuarial exams and reinforce the diverse opportunities within the career field.

The ALPFA x GIS at ASU meeting served as an outreach event that successfully introduced the topic of actuarial science to a new audience. GIS at ASU’s commitment to spreading awareness about the career field and numerous resources available were exemplified throughout the meeting and will serve as reference for future outreach events.

March 18, 2024
By Brianna Garcia

With midterms rapidly approaching, and spring break just around the corner, members came together to destress from the semester and learn about an amazing organization dedicated to the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education accessibility. On February 27, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) hosted a destress event for their members as midterm session approached. In addition, GIS warmly welcomed the Piece of the Pi (POTP) Organization along with its members, Ainsley Ramsey, Noel Steinbeck, Olivia Braymiller, Gina Gilkey, and Brisa Silis Gomez. Founder and president, Ramsey has a unique tradition of memorizing and reciting hundreds of digits of pi every year on Pi Day. Inspired by this practice, she established the Piece of the Pi fundraiser in 2021 to support others in a meaningful way. During their presentation, they detailed the organization’s objectives, highlighted important events, and explained how attendees could contribute to their fundraiser.

POTP collaborates annually with the Arizona Science Center (ASC) to raise funds for scholarships and STEM education programs, while focusing on aiding underrepresented individuals. In 2023, Piece of the Pi successfully raised \$11,500 for STEM educational programs. This year, from February 22 to March 14, they aim to increase their fundraising to \$15,000. The plan is to use these proceeds for the first POTP-sponsored Panel Professionals event at the Arizona Science Center on March 2nd. The remaining funds will be allocated to the STEM Discovery Initiative at ASC supporting STEM education programs such as Fund-A-Bus, Camp Innovation, Girls in STEM, and Science on Wheels.

Piece of the Pi members then emphasized ways in which individuals can contribute to the their fundraising efforts. For those looking to contribute this year, options included purchasing POTP  merchandise, donating through a GoFundMe page available on their website at, or via Venmo to @Ainsley-Ramsey. Other ways to contribute include getting a facial at HeyDay Skincare between March 1-8, where 30% of the proceeds will be donated, or by signing up for a spin class with Tori Stratton at REV’D Indoor Cycling on March 9. Supporting the fundraiser isn’t limited to financial contributions, those interested can help by spreading the word, following the POTP Instagram @piece.of.the.pi, and inquiring about information on upcoming local community events.

As the presentation wrapped up, Ramsey left GIS members in awe as she perfectly recited the first 500 digits of pi, a fun and inspiring transition to the remainder of the destress event where  members indulged in coloring, board games, and playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch. This rounded off the meeting on a high note.. GIS at ASU extends a heartfelt thank you to the Piece of the Pi Organization for taking the time to share more about their organization and for their continued contributions to STEM education. GIS at ASU would also like to thank its members and shadow students who took the time to prepare of the destress event.

April 4, 2024
By Gabriel Estrada

For yet another year, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) helped Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) students prepare for the professional world post-graduation with the annual Case Study Competition. Case studies offer a valuable opportunity for students of all grades to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems, and in this scenario, actuarial problems. On March 26, four teams of ASU students competed to solve a Property & Casualty (P&C) related challenge and earn cash prizes.

Teams had the objective of creating insightful reports that achieved the requirements set forth by a fictional insurance firm’s management team, combining numerical summarizations and visual data representations, with the overarching goal of producing an underwriting report. Each team had the chance to present their findings to a panel of judges composed of professionals from the P&C insurance industry. Teams were limited to 15-minute presentations, emphasizing effective time management, and forcing teams to present only the most important information. Following the presentations, teams fielded questions from judges probing into their methodologies, assumptions, and overall understanding of the data that was provided.

While all teams delivered commendable efforts and impressive presentations, only two could emerge as cash prize winners. After a suspenseful discussion, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats, the team crowned victors of this year's case study was announced: Statistically Significant. Team members Austin Adams, Xiuwen Zeng, Mia Santos, Matthew Mungovan, McKay Miller, and Nikkelle Cummins went home with a $2,000 first place cash prize.

The Chief Actuaries - Jonathan Brown, Phu Dat, Phung, Diego Orellana, Priyanshu Basetti, Sarah Friedman, Xuan Gu - followed with a close second place finish, garnering $1,000 cash prize.

GIS at ASU extends its gratitude to the Casualty Actuarial Society and the esteemed panel of judges; Bob Bessen, Jeff Durham, Jake Prey, David Schraub, and Kinsey Turk for generously offering their time and expertise. Additionally, appreciation is extended to all participating students for their hard work and dedication.

April 22, 2024
By Priyanshu Basetti and Yiyang Ding

As the semester comes to an end, students majoring in actuarial science often feel uncertain about the upcoming actuarial exams. Recognizing this challenge, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) took the opportunity to host an exam preparation event titled "GIS Exam 101." Spearheaded by shadow student Gokul Achaththekoot and co-president Sarah Friedman, the event kicked off with a detailed overview of exam registration procedures, study materials, and crucial exam-taking strategies. 

During the presentation, various aspects of the actuarial exam process were addressed, including optimal timing for taking exams, registration procedures, grading systems, and strategies for exam preparation. Achaththekoot also provided insights into exam reimbursement and shared valuable tips for navigating the examination process. Another highlight of the discussion was the revelation of how certain courses offered at ASU directly align with Actuarial exams administered by esteemed bodies like the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA). This integration of academic coursework with professional certification underscores ASU's commitment to nurturing future actuaries.

Throughout the event, emphasis was placed on the importance of utilizing effective study resources. Coaching Actuaries, an online study platform, was spotlighted for its versatility and efficacy in providing diverse learning materials and practice quizzes. Attendees were not only encouraged to explore this resource but were also provided with avenues to obtain discount codes for Coaching Actuaries memberships, ensuring equitable access to premium study materials. The interactive Q&A session allowed students to glean insights from graduate students and seasoned exam-takers, enriching the discussion with practical advice and strategies. The collaborative spirit within the GIS fraternity shone through as members generously shared their experiences and offered support to one another.

To conclude the event on a high note, Austin Adams, treasurer of GIS at ASU and a Coaching Actuaries Ambassador, orchestrated an engaging raffle session. Avarie Wong emerged as the lucky recipient of a 30-day free membership to Coaching Actuaries, further enhancing her access to premium study resources. This event embodied the ethos of community support within GIS at ASU and equipped students with the necessary tools to advance their actuarial goals. GIS at ASU thanks the members in attendance and the presenters for making this event possible and looks forward to many more in the future.

May 8, 2014
By Brisa Silis Gomez

As the semester ended and finals neared, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS at ASU) hosted an end-of-semester social celebration to commemorate the graduates and recognize all members' hard work. The event began with a speech from Assistant Teaching Professor Paul Johnson, who was marking his final semester at ASU, and included a trivia game about the graduating students, featuring baby photo guesses, superlatives for each graduate, and questions about their personal experiences.

Johnson's opening remarks inspired current students and graduates to embrace their future careers as actuaries and emphasized that they are not just defined by their roles but by who they are as individuals. He then introduced a few of the spring graduates, who shared advice with current members. Professor of Practice Hongjuan Zhou introduced more spring graduates and shared humorous anecdotes and memories from her time at ASU with these students. Professor of Practice John Zicarelli then introduced the final graduates and spoke briefly about their accomplishments. After the graduates were recognized for their incredible accomplishment in completing their degrees, Co-president Lydia Gabric shared a few words thanking Johnson and acknowledging the numerous courses he taught, and many more students he helped, during his time at ASU.

Before the evening’s graduate celebration came to a close, Co-president Sarah Friedman, who is also graduating this semester, thanked the professors in attendance for their support and taking the time to share this moment with the graduates and GIS at ASU members. To conclude the graduate celebration, committee member Bhavanapriya Giridar presented each graduate with a superlative certificate, for categories such as "best dressed" or "friendliest”, as voted on by GIS at ASU members. Friedman then announced the 2024-2025 GIS at ASU leadership team before the members enjoyed celebratory dessert while reminiscing about the semester’s ups and downs and letting off steam ahead of finals week.

GIS at ASU thanks its members for supporting the organization and fellow students throughout the school year. A special thank you to the professors in attendance at this event; Johnson, Zhou, and Zicarelli, as well as all the other professors that have helped us through this semester. GIS at ASU wishes Johnson well in his future endeavors and looks forward to a continued relationship. Finally, GIS at ASU congratulates the spring graduates and wishes them nothing but the best as they continue their journey; whether pursuing a master’s degree, beginning their actuarial career, or embarking on another path.