They weren’t wearing camouflage, they didn’t have to wade across swamps, march in rhythm or do push-ups, and no one screamed orders at them. Still, a group of young recruits was recently treated to an intense week-long experience designed to prepare them to become future actuaries.
Vantis Life Insurance Co., a Windsor-based insurance firm located on Day Hill Road, hosted this summer’s “Actuarial Boot Camp” in conjunction with Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services Cluster (CT IFS). The camp, offered at no charge to Connecticut high school seniors and college freshmen with exceptional math skills, gave them an insider’s look at the role they could play within the insurance sector if they were to pursue a career as an actuary.
“Just as basic training, or boot camp, in the military prepares new recruits for service, the Actuarial Boot Camp gives top math students some of the tools necessary to perform the various tasks of an actuary,” said Craig Simms, Senior Vice President of Vantis Life Insurance Co. “This group of talented young kids had a unique opportunity to take their advanced math skills and complex problem-solving abilities and put them to use in a professional setting.”
Seventeen young men and seven young women were immersed in a week of interactive classes designed to help them use mathematics, statistics and financial and investment theory to study uncertain future events, analyze the financial consequences and develop programs to reduce the impact of associated risks, especially those of concern to insurance companies.
Classes also included sessions on writing skills, negotiation strategies, and professional ethics. Students had vast networking opportunities to meet actuaries working in insurance and were given guidance on internships, employment and career advancement. The session concluded with an option to take the Society of Actuaries Course P exam, the first in a series of required assessments, free of charge.
Guest speakers from companies such as Aetna, United Healthcare, Lincoln Financial, Phoenix, Prudential, Travelers, and, of course, Vantis Life, addressed the class, many of them commenting that they wished they had attended a similar program before college.
“Connecticut, on a per-worker basis, has the highest concentration of actuaries, as well as one of the highest concentrations of residents employed in insurance and financial services, in the nation,” said Susan Winkler, Executive Director of CT IFS Cluster. “Our organization – a collaboration of corporations, education and government – promotes growth among all the industry’s sectors, and, of course, one of the ways we do so is by assisting with recruitment and education of a trained workforce.”
“Our annual Boot Camp, now in its fifth year, is an exceptional vehicle to identify and train individuals who we hope will become some of our industry’s brightest stars,” she said.
“Part of being a good corporate citizen involves exposing students to career options while they are still pursuing their education. The Actuarial Boot Camp is a highly successful program and it was our pleasure to host this year’s event,” said Peter Tedone, President & CEO of Vantis Life Insurance Co.
The students, who were required to submit an overall evaluation of the camp at its conclusion, responded positively with highest marks to the program. One student raved that the boot camp was “the highlight” of her summer.
“After camp ended, one of the students commented, ‘It was the one time during the summer when being a math nerd was the coolest thing in the world,’” Simms added.
Students also plan to keep in touch with each other on Facebook during the upcoming academic year.
About Vantis Life
Vantis Life Insurance Company was established in 1942. From its inception, the company’s primary goal has been to provide families with affordable life insurance and annuity products available through their financial institution. With nearly $5 billion of life insurance in force, $900 million of assets and a rating of A-Excellent from A.M. Best, Vantis Life prides itself on providing A Better Life Experience for financial institutions and their customers. Sales and marketing information is available at 1-866-826-8471 or www.vantislife.com/able.
About Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services Cluster [CT IFS]
The Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services [IFS] Cluster, formed in 2003, is a strategic initiative of the MetroHartford Alliance that is designed to create a stronger IFS industry that is critical to sustain economic and employment growth in Connecticut. Leaders from business, state government and academia collaborate to foster growth among all of the industry’s segments. The Connecticut IFS Cluster is comprised of 30 corporate sponsors whose shared vision is to create competitive advantages in business attraction and retention, to assist with recruitment and education of a trained workforce, and to increase public awareness through advocacy.