“So, you are good at sciences, I mean physics and biology must be your language”
This was a friends’ comment 3 years ago and that moment I realized quite a lot of people were not familiar with the term actuarial science.
Mention an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a scientist and any other career you’d wish to mention in a room full of scholars and non scholars and see how much they relate, then mention an actuary and see how wide a gaze a big number will stare at you.
Growing up I wanted to be a doctor, not for any other reason aside money. Truth be told, money is the driving force of many people prisoned in professions they never wanted to be. One morning when we were sweeping our form four classroom whose floor was half filled with potholes, a girl tripped and hit her head hard on the edge of a pothole. Her forehead tore apart and it was bad, so bad. So, everyone rushing out and about to try and find someone to do the bare minimum of taking a cloth and squeezing it on her head to stop the bleeding, someone shouted my name. You see everyone knew how badly I wanted to become a doctor. Long story short, I changed my career that morning.
Fast forward, I’m in a lecture hall as a freshman taking Bsc. Actuarial science, which I must admit by then like most people I had very little knowledge about. Unlike the stories my roommates shared about their first days in class, I realize we are very few and silent. I would tell you a lot about that day but what is important was learning that actuarial science is more or less an advanced mathematical course. You see, I was a smart student, well, I still am, but to get to this point (this point I mean final year) it has been quite a struggle, a good one though.
Like life, so is actuarial science, you have to be born to marry and to die (quite debatable with some but let’s work with this) To be born is know little about it and to accept later that whatever you knew was faint knowledge. To marry is to fall in love and embrace mathematics not only as figures but a science, to undress numbers and make solutions out of them. Now, to die is failure to get solutions at midnight, to give up social life in the peak years of your life and constantly seat at the therapist’s couch.
They say good things in life don’t come easy. Well, this might be true when you think of an average salary for a starting actuary which is roughly $133000 p.a. This is still your money driven girl writing this article but one thing for sure, there’s passion that develops from the course, things suddenly become interesting after you realize that claims in an insurance firm have been predicted way much earlier than at the event of occurrence. That the success of a business is due to failure of another, that risks should be less of accidents and more of calculations, that you can sell asset that you do not own through short selling, that winning a game is not luck but probability you see this is not rock science this is actuarial science, the brighter side of it. Then there’s this side that no one ever tells you about, not that I now will. I guess this is just part of the universe logic rules, ‘you don’t wash your dirty linen in public’.
These are many words to simply say that the decision of taking actuarial science was one of my best life decisions amongst so many bad ones and just a little advice from Aunty Betty, your carrier is your life! Choose it wisely.