Exactly four days from four years ago, I took my first step onto the actuarial career track. Today, I’m done.
Memory is still vivid of the warm, sunny morning on September 21, 2004. Hesitating to study for GRE and applying to PhD programs, I printed out the application for SOA Course 1 from my office in McBryde, hiked all the way across campus to the Post Office on Main, and sent it out via express because it was literally two days before the registration deadline. Still unhappy about the $13.65 shipping charge, but had I second guessed myself then, I would’ve never started on the exam track and wouldn’t be here today.
At the time, I didn’t care much about either PhD or FSA. All I had in mind was to move to New York to be close to Hong. The career path became crystal clear as I found out how good math programs in NYC had unaffordably high academic requirements, and then my classmate Westin mentioned “there are a lot of actuarial jobs in New York.” Bang! No more math research. No more software development. I became an actuarial student, then an ASA, then a “real” actuary. A guy could be a very simple-minded animal, huh?
Done! What a beautiful word to finally say! Four years (minus four days) of torture seemed way way way too long, and this breaking free feeling isn’t something money can buy. Not sure how some of my “classmates” were able to endure the pain for 20 years… but hey, they got their letters before retirement. Big thumbs up for the amazing persistency.
Here we go… FSA as of September 17, 2008!
Getting my diploma from the SOA president Bruce Schobel:
Great support team (and a whole lot of drinkwares on the table):
A lot of actuaries:
The FAC was a very humbling experience… here’s me with the two youngest FSAs among the 183 – Wendy and Itt. At ages 23 and 24, they made everyone else re-think about being smart:
And the following section will show you how (fob) actuaries have fun: