Member Spotlight

Our Member Spotlight highlights our members and their achievements! Each month, we will highlight a member online and in our weekly e-bulletin. Nominate yourself for a monthly spotlight and share your story to help us strengthen the community of the CAS and inspire future actuaries. You can also nominate another member for one of our monthly spotlights.

January 2022 Member Spotlight – Mark Maenche

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Mark Maenche

Where do you work and what is your position?

I work at Risk International Actuarial Consulting based in Charleston, SC.  My position is Consulting Actuary.

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Why did you decide to become an actuary?

After college I worked as an insurance agent for 15+ years but I didn’t see a lot of opportunity for advancement in areas where I was passionate.  I was looking for a way to take more control over my own career advancement and wanted to find a better way to provide for my family.

What aspects of the field do you love?

I love working with the data and getting to drive efficiency using technology.  One of the unique aspects of my role at a small company is getting to lead the implementation of various technologies that help us produce work products more efficiently. I also enjoy the continual learning that takes places as I have recently transitioned from an analyst to credentialed actuary.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Discover what you are passionate about and then don’t be afraid to take a risk to pursue those things.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?

Pass the exams as early in your career as possible.  Don’t wait – it only gets harder as the years go by and life fills up with other responsibilities.

What is your favorite CAS memory?

My favorite CAS memories revolve around my participation on the Candidate Advocate Working Group (formerly known as the Candidate Liaison Committee).  Before I joined I really had no idea about how the CAS functioned.  It was a real eye opener and the people I have connected with along the way have been great.

What is a fun fact about yourself that many people don’t know about?

My wife and I have seven children – never a dull moment around our house!

Past Member Spotlights

December 2021 Member Spotlight - Chelsea Adler
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Chelsea Adler

Where do you work and what is your position?

I am currently a Senior Pricing Manager and Actuary at Root Inc., an InsurTech start-up based in Columbus, OH. 

Why did you decide to become an actuary?

I was initially drawn to the actuarial profession because I love math and statistics. I wanted to use these skills to solve real world problems and help people. What really sold me on the profession is the collaboration and variety of work. No day is the same and I love getting to partner with people across an organization to accomplish shared goals. 

What aspects of the field do you love?

The actuarial profession is so dynamic and exciting! There are constantly new problems to solve. I love that I am always learning and being challenged to develop creative solutions. 

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

From a young age, my father instilled in me the importance of 360 degree leadership. To me, this means: 1) setting an example for others in the way that I work 2) boldly standing up for what I believe in and 3) confidently asking for what I want. I truly believe a career is what you make it. You can’t always control what happens to you. However, you can control your perspective and what you do next. 

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?

Get exposure to as much as possible early on! It’s hard to know what you like to work on until you try a bunch of different things. It’s a balance, but I would recommend saying “yes” to as many opportunities as you can, while also prioritizing exam studies.

What is your favorite CAS memory?

When I earned my Fellowship, I got to travel to Honolulu, HI to celebrate and be recognized. This was a really special trip, but since then, I’ve launched a blog to inspire future actuaries. I’m constantly building new favorite memories through connecting with and getting to know incredible actuaries from across the world. 

What is a fun fact about yourself that many people don’t know about?

If you’ve read my blog, then you may know that I was a synchronized swimmer for 15 years. What you may not know is that I was accepted to attend Stanford University, but ended up declining the opportunity. I wanted a school with an actuarial science program and at the time, they didn’t have that specific focus available. 

November 2021 Member Spotlight - Rafael Costa
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Rafael Costa

Where do you work and what is your position?

I work at Cruise as an Actuary Partner.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?

I have always enjoyed math, and wanted to apply my skills to real-world problems involving other disciplines as well. When I read about the Actuarial Science major in a career guide during high school, I thought that was the perfect fit.

What aspects of the field do you love?

This is a field that enables professionals to explore both depth and breadth. We can choose to specialize in cutting-edge research in more established sub-fields (e.g. Reserving) or be pioneers in industries that are just starting to realize the benefit of the actuarial skillset, such as Tech or Banking.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Develop a career plan, set ambitious goals for yourself, write them down, discuss with a mentor, and have fun putting it into practice!

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?

Take advantage of job rotation programs if you can. Getting exposure to different aspects of actuarial work early on will help you build your network and find your true passion.

What is your favorite CAS memory?

Walking up the stage to get my FCAS diploma, with a strong sense of relief for not having tripped on the steps.

What is a fun fact about yourself that many people don’t know about?

Growing up, I wanted to be a bus driver. Becoming an Actuary got in the way, but there's still time to make that happen!

October 2021 Member Spotlight - Emma Casehart

 

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Emma Casehart

Where do you work and what is your position?

I work at Allstate as an Assistant Actuary where I supervise a team of two focused on ratemaking for northeast states. Over my three-year career, I've worked on multiple products including property, auto, and specialty lines.

Why did you decide to become an actuary?

I decided to become an actuary because of my high school economics teacher! We were discussing how governments decide to add safety measures to intersections. One of the methods discussed was comparing the statistical value of a human life to the cost of installing the safety measure. I asked my teacher and the class "How do they determine the dollar value of a human life?" and he quipped back that I should be an actuary with that thought process. When I got home, I looked up the profession and I realized it would be a great fit for my interest in math and communication! I was drawn to property and casualty ratemaking because of how dynamic and fast-moving the field is.

What aspects of the field do you love?

I love that my work responds to the concerns of real people. Outside of the industry, it can feel like insurance is not exciting, or not relevant to someone's life. I like knowing that the work I do ensures affordable and equitable access to protection people need. I also enjoy collaborating with the different areas inside my company like contract, legal, and claims. Getting the chance to learn from other professionals about how my work touches their day-to-day job has been rewarding. Without their input and insight, my job would be significantly more difficult!

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

The best advice I've ever received is to know your personal brand. Whether you are aware of it or not, your colleagues have preconceptions about you that affect your relationships with them. Once you know those perceptions, you can develop a plan to highlight your strengths and position yourself to pick up projects that fit your skillset. With knowledge of your personal brand, you can better highlight your strengths to your managers and coworkers.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. The best actuaries I know approach every problem with a beginner's mindset and question the fundamental assumptions underlying a methodology. For a long time, I held back my questions because I feared being seen as inexperienced. I grew more confident when I saw some of the most experienced actuaries in the meeting asking similar questions to what I was too scared to ask. The adage you may have heard in school is true: if you have the question, someone else probably does too.

What is your favorite CAS memory?

My favorite CAS memory is the committee dinner after the first meeting of the Candidate Liaison Committee. I flew into D.C. in the morning from Chicago and had a return flight in the evening. After a full-day meeting with a packed agenda, the committee volunteers and staff went out to eat. It was great to take a break and get to know the other actuaries and people who make our Society possible. I'm looking forward to getting back together with my fellow committee members soon!

What is a fun fact about yourself that many people don’t know about?

I have recently become a birdwatcher! I already enjoyed long walks and watching birds has been a fun addition to my hikes. Appreciating the nature all around me, even in the heart of Washington, D.C., has provided moments of calm in my day.

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