Taylor Bell’s Path to Actuarial Analyst

Name: Taylor Bell

Major / Minor: Major – Actuarial Mathematics, Minor: Business Administration

Grad Year: 2014

Hometown: Yorktown Heights, NY

Company Interned for: New York Stock Exchange, Euronext

Taylor Bell answers a phone at the NYSE

Taylor Bell answers a phone at the NYSE

Internship Location: New York, New York

What were your day-to-day intern duties?

            I was an intern in the Financial Planning and Analysis department. FP&A has many responsibilities including: conducting the monthly close process, managing the annual budgeting process, providing support for all financial and management aspects of each business unit within NYSE and providing support and interface for all of the business units of Finance. As an intern, I was primarily responsible for creating financial planning and analysis models as well as assisting the accounting department with various projects. Some of the biggest projects that I worked on were creating templates for the budgeting and forecasting process, preparing analysis of costs associated with the global expatriate program, preparing detailed global legal consulting expense analysis, and numerous bank/payroll account reconciliations.

Current Employer and Location:  Mercer – Princeton, NJ

Current Job Title: Retirement Consulting Actuarial Analyst

Job Responsibilities:

  • Assist clients with the financial measurement of their retirement benefit programs using state-of-the-art software and stochastic modeling tools.
  • Strategize with clients to develop or enhance their retirement benefit programs.
  • Analyze client data to track historical and future employment trends and their correlation to retirement benefit programs and funding.
  • Keep clients up to date on regulated or legislated changes that affect the ongoing administration of their retirement benefit programs.

What role did Amica, your professors, or other campus resources play in obtaining your internship or full time job?:

As a freshman I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I attended the Career Planning 101 information sessions which were helpful in guiding me towards picking my major and ultimately choosing the actuarial career path. I also used the 24 hour résumé editing services, the BCC and on-campus interviews.

The BCC was the most convenient and easiest way to apply for jobs during my senior year. Being a student-athlete I was always pressed for time and the BCC helped make the job search less time consuming and stressful. It was a great way to narrow down my search and hone in on what I was really interested in.

In addition, my actuarial mathematics professors provided my classmates and I with many opportunities to meet with alumni in the actuarial field. They also frequently gave us advice about how to approach the internship/job search and told us about opportunities that were available.

How has your Bryant education benefitted you in real world examples?

            Bryant prides itself on diversity, teamwork and professionalism. All of these factors are necessary to be successful in the business world. In both my internship and current job it is integral to know how to work with others in order to achieve a common goal.  The strong emphasis that Bryant places on public speaking and group presentations has also helped me tremendously. 

Taylor poses with co-workers at the NYSE during her summer internship

What was your favorite memory of Bryant? Of any internship you held?:

            My favorite Bryant memory was winning the North East Conference Division I softball championship with my team.                                             

What advice would you have for underclassmen who are searching for an internship or full time position?

            Network! The more relationships you have and lasting impressions you make, the easier it is to get an internship/job. Be confident, be prepared, and don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone.

If you could re-do one thing over your Bryant career, what would it be and why?

            If I could re-do one thing over my Bryant career it would be choosing my major earlier and studying abroad. I chose to major in actuarial mathematics in the middle of my sophomore year and that prevented me from being able to study abroad (unless I wanted to attend an extra year of classes). I love to travel and visit new places so that is definitely something I wish I could have done.

Anything else you would like to add?

Bryant is full of so many amazing clubs and organizations, make sure you get involved with something. It doesn’t matter what you do, but don’t limit yourself to only one thing. Join a club, apply for that e-board position, try out for a sports team – make the most of your time at Bryant because they are truly the best 4 years of your life!


Interview conducted and prepared by Ben Sawicki, Amica Career Center
Ben Sawicki

 


Ana Esquea’s United Nations Internship

Name: Ana Cristina ANAEsquea
Year: Sophomore
Major/Minor: Global Studies: International Economics Track / Politics and Law
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Organization Interned For: United Nations’ World Population Fund (UNWPA)

What were some of your daily responsibilities at your internship?

The World Population Fund’s main goal is to collect relevant data in areas such as adolescent pregnancy, population and development, and gender equality in order to present it to government officials and other decision makers in the country to influence existing or help shape future legislation. Because they have experts that collect and break down the information, their job is mostly making the connection with the people who ultimately end up making the decisions. I interned specifically under the Population and Development area and was in charge of creating the information packages sent to senators, as well as helping plan and execute the launch of one of their most recent studies on the Cost of Teenage Pregnancies for the country. I was also in charge of creating a plan to include informative posters in public transportation such as the public bus system and the metro.

What role did the Amica Career Center play in getting your internship?

Though I got my internship through other contacts, the Amica Career Center helped me prepare the resume I ultimately submitted with my application.

What was your favorite experience from your internship?
Ana2

My favorite part of the internship was without a doubt getting to shake hands with Ban-Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, who visited the country for the first time while I was interning there.

What was the most important thing you learned at your internship?

I have always had a strong interest in how the international community works, and working for the United Nations has always been something I’ve considered. Getting to work within the system taught me not only how to make and maintain important relationships with people who might be influential, but also how the system works as well as the bureaucracy and thought behind every decision made. I also had to complete special training in case of emergencies which provided me with the tools to be able to not only survive, but protect myself and those around me in case of an emergency.

Will you keep in touch with coworkers from your internship?

I will definitely keep in touch with them, not only because I was offered an internship next summer, but because I met a wonderful group of people who are also influential in the field I would like to go into.

How did/will this internship help you further your career?

Being able to intern in a UN office as an incoming sophomore is not an opportunity a lot of people get. As international relations is the area I would like to go into once I’m done with college, having this experience under my belt will be extremely helpful in not only demonstrating to people that I am capable of such an opportunity, but also that I understand the system and am truly dedicated to the job, whatever that may be.

 

Shannon Bio


Ashlee Burke’s HR Internship

602669_10150310136549995_321696323_nName: Ashlee Burke

Major/Minor: Management/Legal Studies

Year: 2014 (Senior)

Company Interned For: Axis Communications, Human Resources Intern

Hometown: Methuen, MA

 

AC:  What were your day-to-day duties as an intern?

AB: My day to day responsibilities included scheduling phone screens and onsite interviews with prospective candidates, creating various recruiting metrics, and if needed, assigned buddies to new hires as well as filed their paperwork. I was also assigned different projects throughout the course of my internship such as creating a new time sheet for part-time employees and interns. They also gave me a long-term project which was revamping the onboarding process to make it a more engaging experience that started at the beginning of my internship and would be presented at the end.

AC:  What role did Amica, your professors, or other campus resources play in obtaining this internship?

AB: Although the BCC is a great source to find internships, it is not the only way to find one. The Amica Center directed me to different internship websites (I found mine on internmatch.com) and I was able to find a larger selection of internships that were in my area and what I was interested in!

AC:  What was your favorite memory? 

AB: My favorite memories were participating in onboarding because I got to know some great people and learn a lot about the company and the Ping-Pong tournament the interns had to organize at the end of the summer because you saw everyone come together and take a break from the stress of work to have some fun. Plus an intern beat a full-time employee so that sweetened it a little.

AC:  Are you maintaining a connection with your co-workers from your internship? 

AB: Yes I am! We developed a great relationship while working together and so I like to check in every once and a while and update them on my life and ask how everything’s going with them. We email back and forth a few times a month and shoot each other the occasional text.

AC:  Why do you think it was important to complete an internship?

AB: During an internship, they treat you like a full-time employee so it gives you a true real world experience. Any internship you get, paid or unpaid is so valuable because you learn so much about the workplace, about life after graduation, about yourself. An internship is a platform for a full-time job. Whether you want a job at the company where you did your internship or are looking at another company, you’ll have the experience; you’ll have your foot in the door. And companies are looking for experience. Also, internships help you figure out what exactly you want to be doing every day for the rest of your life.

AC:  Any plans for after graduation?

AB: Working full-time, and then after 6 months, or a comfortable amount of time, in the workforce I’ll start going to grad school at night.

AC:  Any advice for underclassmen?

AB:  Do an internship. Internships are the best way to experience what the real world is like. Companies value interns and don’t just give them busy work; you’re involved in projects that matter. Soak up all the information you can and ask as many questions as you can. Stay in contact with the people you worked with because even if you don’t want to work there in the future you have them as a resource for information you might need.


Sociology – Just Say YES!

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Professor McDonnell’s Senior Sociology Capstone class. I was inspired by the diverse group of eleven students who, it turns out, include only four Sociology majors. The rest of the students, I learned, are from a variety of majors (Accounting, Marketing, Finance, Management & Sports Studies) and have added Sociology as a minor or concentration. So why, I asked these students, did you choose to study Sociology and how do you think it will enhance your career or graduate school path?

The overwhelming theme of what I heard was how Sociology is happening “ everywhere all the time” and because of that fact, studying Sociology gives these students a broader way of thinking about the world as well as a relevance to the outside world that other courses did not provide. This surprised me! In this stereotypical “me-focused” generation, I was excited to learn how students enjoyed being able to choose research topics that had relevance to the “real world” about topics they really cared about.

Capstone presentations April 2014 REDay photo

 

Paige has a job lined up in the field of Human Resources. She spoke passionately about how her Sociology classes enabled her to see the business world in a different light. Casey, an Accounting major and Sports Studies concentrator, pointed out that Sociology helped him improve his relationship building skills. Stephan, an Accounting major, recalled how he was able to set himself apart in job interviews talking about his Sociology research. Lauren emphasized her critical thinking skills and the fact that Sociology has given her the chance to look at the big picture before solving a problem. As a first-year student, Mallory felt pressured to major in Business because she thought that was where “all the jobs” were. While taking Sociology courses, Mallory began to enjoy her studies more and discovered that she could apply to many different positions with her major and skill set.

Molly and Katie agree that the teaching style and engaging Sociology faculty influenced them to take extra classes in Sociology, above and beyond what they actually needed to graduate. Katie loves the open classroom discussion and she took the Capstone just so she could embrace a research topic that she really cares about.   Paige described one of her Sociology classes as applying a Socratic style where students were free to express their views, not just told what is right and wrong.

Sariga feels that her career goals were shaped through her Sociology courses. As a Finance/Accounting major she never realized that she could apply her skills to the nonprofit sector. Through her service learning courses, she became fascinated with the idea of social entrepreneurship and has been able to focus her internships in that direction. Molly also attributes a faculty member for encouraging her to explore her passionate interests through a directed study.

In my opinion these students demonstrate the essence of what Bryant, and perhaps higher education as a whole, is all about – small class sizes and engaging faculty where students are able to discuss, research and explore their interests as they relate to everyday life. Studying an Arts & Sciences discipline, such as Sociology, and pairing it with a Business major or minor enables Bryant students to discover themselves, refine their interests and build the skills they need to move onto their post-graduate path. Thank you to Professor McDonnell and her Senior Capstone class for setting, yet another example, of the rich curriculum Bryant has to offer. And, to all students who are exploring the idea of studying Sociology, these Capstone Seniors have one word for you: YES!

written by Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director,  Amica Center for Career Education

amica_amy_staffpic Amy has been assisting liberal arts and business majors with career advising for over 15 years.  At Bryant, Amy is the Amica CareerCenter liaison to the College of Arts & Sciences. She assists students with all career-related topics including: choosing a major, finding an internship, applying to graduate school and more…  aweinstein@bryant.edu


Leadership Award Winner Michael Malenfant

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.10.06 PMName: Michael Malenfant

Graduation Year: 2014

Major: Management

Hometown: Lakeville, MA

AC: Can you briefly explain what the George M. Parks Award is?

MM: According to the award description, “The George M. Parks Award is presented to a graduating senior whose recognized leadership qualities have significantly enhanced the reputation of the University”

 

AC: Congratulations on winning it! What leadership roles have you held on campus in the past four years?

MM: While at Bryant I’ve been involved with a few different facets of campus. I was an Orientation Leader the summer after my freshman year, and the Orientation Staff Coordinator the summer after my sophomore year. I was the President of my fraternity, Sigma Chi, as well as was the Head Student Center Manager of the newly renovated Fisher Student Center on campus. Beyond that, I have worked with the Ambassador Program, the Leadership Development Program and the Senior Class Gift this past year.

 

AC: How have these roles positively impacted Bryant? 

MM: I would say working with the renovation of our student center was the experience with the most impact on Bryant. After my junior year, I stayed on campus with the Office of Campus Engagement to provide a student voice through the construction project. My suggestions, thoughts and ideas were taken seriously, and still to this day I can see the remnants of my work as I walk through the building. Also as an Orientation Leader and Student Ambassador, I have been able to work closely with prospective students, as well as brand new students entering the university in order to answer questions and help acclimate them to our campus.539748_10150933706677799_1837143207_n

 

AC: Why is it so important for students to get involved in leadership roles?

MM: I believe it is important for students to get involved for many reasons. First, the lessons and experiences you gain outside of the classroom are just as valuable post graduation, as all of the research papers and examinations that we are required to complete in the classroom. Being able to identify your best approach when working with others, your role in a team and how to create positive change are all outcomes of my involvement at Bryant, that are invaluable to anybody entering an organization after graduation. I also believe that campus involvements truly bring life to Bryant’s campus. Thinking back to my best memories at Bryant, many of them were through the connections I made through my organizations and involvement opportunities. Being able to attend leadership retreats, concerts planned by my peers, watching one of my housemates compete in Mr. Bryant, and being a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Fisher Student Center are just some of the memories that I will hold closest to me as I soon graduate from Bryant.

 

AC: Any advice for your fellow graduating class?

MM: Honestly, do what you want to be doing with your life. More often than not, I feel as if individuals are pushed into certain career paths, situations, relationships, experiences and beliefs simply because it is what is expected of them by those around them. As we leave Bryant, find what you want to be doing, who you are, what 9895_381553661970931_2080103313_nyour next steps will be and who will be there with you ever step of the way. Bryant has prepared us excellently for our next steps, regardless of what they may be. Walk with confidence and excitement to take a new step each and every day.

 

AC: Lastly, any plans for after graduation?

MM: After graduation, I will be attending the University of Connecticut to pursue my Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs, during which I will be the graduate assistant in the University’s Student Union. Coming into Bryant, I never expected this to be my future path, but I believe Bryant really did allow me to find my passion and I’m excited for my next steps after graduation!

 


Hayley Milner’s Research Lab Assistant Experience

hayley pic1Name: Hayley Milner

Major/Minor: Environmental Science / Business Administration

Graduation Year: 2014

Hometown: Waltham, MA

 

AC: How did you collaborate with Professor Dan McNally, and eventually have the opportunity to become a lab research assistant?

HM:  Dan was my mentor for my science 490 course. This course allowed me to experience hands on lab work on a weekly basis. Because I enjoyed the course so much, I knew I wanted to work in Professor McNallys lab for the rest of my time at Bryant!

AC:   Can you explain what you are researching?

HM: We are currently researching metal and organic content within in tar and ash from wood pellet stoves. We are looking to see if there could be possible harmful PAH’s within these samples.

 

AC:  One of the most important resources a leader can have in today’s business world is “support”.  How can the Bryant community support you in your research?

HM: The Bryant Science Department is incredibly helpful to their students. The faculty and staff provide numerous resources and helpful tips when conducting research as well as working in the lab. Before working in any lab Bryant staff trains and teaches the students how to properly work in the lab and handle the scientific instruments.

 

AC:  What is your favorite aspect of this research?  What is most challenging?

HM: My favorite part of working in the lab is being able to discover the results of projects we work on during the semester and then analyzing the results to see if they were what we expected to find or they could end up being something completely different. The most challenging part of research is if an unexpected error occurs during an experiment in which case the experiment would have to be re-conducted.

 

AC:  What, at Bryant, has prepared you the most for this research?

HM: Most of my required science courses helped prepare me to work in the labs including biology, chemistry, and physics. Also the mentors that work with you during your lab research are always there to help you along the way.

 

AC:  Any advice for students in your major?

HM: I would recommend to start working in a lab as soon as possible. It is an excellent opportunity to gain this type of experience as well as giving you the ability to explore different areas of scientific research.

 

AC:  Lastly, where do you see yourself in five years?

HM: In five years, I hope to be either continuing my schooling with graduate school in environmental science or working for an environmental consulting business that works with ecological or coastal restoration!


Kelsey Irene DiCarlo’s Benjamin Moore Analyst Internship

k @ benjamin3Name: Kelsey Irene DiCarlo

Major/Minor: Major: Actuarial Science, Minors: Business Administration, Italian

Year: Senior May 2014

Company Interned For: Benjamin Moore Paints

Hometown: Thiells, New York

 

AC:  What were your day-to-day duties as an intern?

KID: I was a Procurement Analyst Intern at the global Headquarters of Benjamin Moore Paints for two consecutive summers (2012 & 2013). My time there was not spent solely focused on just one duty. I was an intern in the Procurement department, but I also worked closely with the Accounting and Finance departments. An average day involved lots of excel data entry and building my own spreadsheets. Benjamin Moore appointed a new CEO during my time there, and even on an intern level I felt the changes in company atmosphere. Also, Benjamin Moore closed down one of its major manufacturing facilities in North America while I was interning, and a lot of my day-to-day tasks involved informing raw material suppliers at hundreds of companies of this change, and that they should freeze all further shipments to that site. Benjamin Moore emphasized having its interns take on assignments that will impact the future development of the company.

 

AC:  What role did Amica, your professors, or other campus resources play in obtaining this internship?Decorations

KID: I found, applied, and interviewed for this position on my own search. I had also been applying to internships on the BCC, but had some difficulty finding posted positions which would allow me to live at home during the summer. The BCC is an invaluable resource for Bryant students, but I feel it is also important to seek out opportunities independently. If I had limited my search solely to the BCC, I would not have been able to obtain one of my most prominent professional positions! That being said, The Amica Center was still undoubtedly an asset in preparing me for this internship. I had attended workshops on interviewing hosted by Amica. I had my resume and cover letters critiqued numerous times by their staff as well. My freshman year, I had the fortune of meeting Judy Clare, director of the Amica center, and she has been an excellent mentor to me since. The Amica center is a fantastic resource for students no matter where they are trying to seek professional opportunities, because they provide the knowledge students need to adapt to a professional setting.

 

AC:  What was your favorite memory?  Did you make any mistakes during your internship?

KID: My favorite memory came at the end of my first summer interning at Benjamin Moore. My last day was the day after my birthday, so I had a weekend of celebrating and enjoying the last few weeks of summer 2012 ahead of me before flying off to Florence, Italy to study abroad in the fall. The members of my department knew it was my birthday and threw me a joint birthday/last day party. I loved being surprised and being told how much of a help all of my work was that summer. The designer cupcakes they brought in tasted almost as good as the recognition felt. The members of my department also said that if I wanted to return the following summer, I certainly could.  I took them up on that offer!

One instance I had to learn from during my internship at Benjamin Moore was learning how to prepare reports the way that your supervisor wants them prepared, even if you do not have a template example. I had created tons of spreadsheets and documents while at Benjamin Moore, and I soon learned to have someone more knowledgeable look them over before submitting them to the head of the department. It’s important to be done early so a co-worker has time to do a peer review!

 

IDbadgeAC:  Are you maintaining a connection with your co-workers from your internship? If so, how?

KID: I have maintained a connection with my co-workers. One of my co-workers spoke Italian, and since I have both minored in Italian and studied abroad in Italy, we were able to form a bond over it. We exchanged several emails while I was abroad to keep in touch. I also realized that one of my co-workers birthdays is the day before mine, so I made a point of sending her a happy birthday email, even though I had already finished my second summer at Benjamin Moore, which ended the first week in August before our birthdays. I have also added nearly everyone I have worked with closely at Benjamin Moore on LinkedIn. This is the easiest way to keep yourself current in people’s minds, and maintain connections with professionals you may not be in contact with every day. Even if I do not return to Benjamin Moore again, I can say with confidence that I have multiple professional references from Benjamin Moore I can list as I continue developing my professional career.

 

AC:  Why do you think it was important to complete an internship?

KID: I think completing an internship is incredibly important. When applying for post grad positions, potential employers want to be assured that you know how to work in a professional setting, that the office atmosphere doesn’t intimidate you. Regardless of what type of work you are doing at your internship, the act of being reliable enough to show up every day and perform your basic duties speaks volumes about your priorities and work ethic, two very important skills to bring into a professional position. Being asked to return for a second summer is another huge selling point. Not only were you liked enough to be hired in the first place, but you excelled to the point that a company asked you to continue working with them. Potential post-grad employers know that if they hire you they’re going to have to interact with you every single day; are you someone they really want to see that often?  Having an internship is how you can prove to post-grad employers that you are ready to take on the demands of corporate world.

 

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