Congratulations to our students and grads ...
Actuarial accomplishments never come without a lot of hard work. We'd like to take a moment and praise the Lord for the work and accomplishments of our students and graduates in the actuarial program. Jump directly to hearing what our students, current and former, have to say.
Alex Smith, class of 2014
Associate of the Society of Actuaries .... September 2020
SOA Exam PA ... June 2020
SOA Exam MLC ... October 2017
SOA Exam MFE ... November 2016
SOA Exam C ... February 2016
SOA Exam P ... March 2014
SOA Exam FM ... April 2013
Jonathan Elwart, class of 2022
SOA Exam P ... September 2020
Ricardo Donado, class of 2021
SOA Exam FM ... August 2020
Carl Chen, class of 2021
Actuarial Intern, American International Group (AIG) ... June - August 2020
SOA Exam IFM ... July 2020
SOA Exam P ... July 2019
SOA Exam FM ... April 2019
Nate Karamon, class of 2021
Health & Benefits Consulting Intern, Willis Towers Watson ... Summer 2020
SOA Exam LTAM ... July 2020
SOA Exam P ... January 2020
SOA Exam FM ... April 2019
See what some of our students and graduates have to say.
Smith, Alex, class of 2014
"Dr. Gardenghi introduced me to the field of actuarial science when I spoke to her about switching from my current STEM major to something with just as much math but with a more direct business application. Actuarial science has been a fruitful career path for me, and I was promoted to Senior Actuarial Analyst in July of 2019. I have worked at Concentrix in Greenville, SC since early 2015 and over that time I have become a subject matter expert on fixed annuities and fixed indexed annuities, which are prevalent retirement income products. My main responsibility at Concentrix has been supporting the development of insurance policy management software. My BJU education taught me how to view problems from multiple perspectives and work effectively in multicultural and cross-department teams, which has been a critical skill in my career path. Practically speaking, my Bob Jones University degree helped me get a foot in the door for my internship at Concentrix in 2013 and the Excel experience I had developed in college established a value proposition within the department. Actuaries have to balance many competing interests in their roles, and the ability to spin a problem around in your head and view it from different angles, as taught by a liberal arts approach, has been a critical advantage. The character development and focus on Scripture that distinguish the Bob Jones experience have been at least as important in my career as technical skills. As Christians, we cannot compromise our testimony. As we strive to represent Christ to the world around us, His example of integrity and grace will control our work ethic, our communication, and our attitude towards direct reports, peers, and management.
In September 2020, I satisfied the last requirement for my ASA designation. For me, this took seven and a half years and five failed exam attempts! The exam process is very challenging but was critical in my career advancement and has put me in a leadership track. As a student I struggled in many of my math classes, and the struggling taught me how to store and use large amounts of technical knowledge. This skill was essential in taking actuarial exams, which took between 150 and 500 hours per exam. Many exams cover interesting material that is fundamental to the insurance industry, and the Society of Actuaries also uses modules to teach the non-technical aspects of actuarial work. The skills, discipline, and ability to prioritize that you will learn through the exam process will give you an advantage in any business function. For example, actuaries must be able to quickly understand what makes a new insurance product different from its competition and be able to explain how various external factors such as inflation or unemployment rates will affect the performance of the product.
Another rewarding opportunity has been serving as the Financial Director for Suber Road Baptist Church in Greer. Although this role is different from typical actuarial responsibilities, the accounting course I took at Bob Jones gave me a basic understanding of accounting processes. Managing the finances of a small non-profit is a wonderful learning experience for someone with a mind for numbers and finance. As an actuary I was unduly excited to prepare a projection model representing major property expenses and including interest and inflation as inputs. Any volunteer role within a church will require communication with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. I have the same responsibility to a former controller vice president of an international manufacturing firm and a current senior vice president of a leading investment bank as I do to members with no business experience or education. This broad audience requires me to have a deep understanding of the church's operations as well as the needs and concerns of members. It has been an unbeatable growth opportunity as I've prayed urgently over needs, sought wisdom as to God's priorities for our church, and studied the Scriptures to understand the role of finances within the church. I would strongly encourage future actuarial science graduates to find ways outside of their job to use their gifts and abilities for advancing God's kingdom. " ... September 2020
Carl Chen, class of 2021
"The actuarial science classes BJ offers has helped me in my exam journey and has prepared me for this constantly evolving profession. A liberal arts education has dynamically shaped my thinking and transformed my communication skills so that I was able to explain technical work to a non-technical audience. My actuarial professor is very knowledgeable and instrumental. She came up with various projects that challenged my critical thinking and presentation skills. After an actuarial internship experience, I now truly understand how crucial critical thinking and presentation skills are. I was able to apply these skills that I learned in school to distinguish myself in a competitive environment. I have grown to appreciate the kind of standards my professors hold me to, and what I learned from my actuarial classes were not just hard facts and knowledge, but also the problem solving skills that have helped me tackle new challenges at work and the active learning skills that enable me to be adaptive. Most importantly, without the Lord’s leading I would not have been able to achieve these things. God has put various people in my life at the right time, and I have seen in my own life how God has used Christian educators and Christian classmates to encourage and motivate me when I face trials." ... August 2020
Nate Karamon, class of 2021
"I would highly recommend the BJU actuarial science program to anyone interested in risk management or actuarial work. The major courses thoroughly prepare you for many of the ASA exams, which are necessary for actuarial jobs and internships. They also give you the opportunity to develop a Biblical philosophy of actuarial work. They are geared for your personal learning and growth, not just presenting material. Questions are always encouraged, and the various projects give you many opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.
Actuaries are known for their professionalism, resilience, and versatility; BJU helped me to develop those characteristics. I learned how to connect specific formulas and facts to overarching concepts, which drastically reduced my study time. I also figured out how to juggle many responsibilities and assignments while still making time for developing relationships, which came in handy during an internship. Most importantly, I was discipled and pointed to Christ by students and faculty at BJU.
I believe that BJU actuaries get a better education than actuaries from any other school because they learn to work and think from a Christ-centered perspective." ... August 2020