Alumni Spotlight

Cameron Gleed

Major/Emphasis: Actuarial Science
Current Position Title: Actuary
Company Name: Milliman

Why he picked his major:

I have wanted to be an actuary since I was in high school. A good friend's father was an actuary and I researched the career and decided to pursue it.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

Schooling helped by providing courses and resources preparing me for the actuarial exams. Also, the classes covering technical aspects like Excel and SAS were helpful.

His advice to those currently studying:

Focus on passing actuarial exams. In my opinion, passing an actuarial exam will provide more actuarial career opportunities than having a slightly better GPA. In other words, actuarial exams are more important than other schoolwork.

Other information or suggestions:

Take courses that improve your soft skills such as communications, public speaking, and business courses. Soft skills are commonly considered the weakest quality of actuaries.

Shane Henry

Major/Emphasis: Actuarial Science at BYU, MPH in Biostatistics at USF
Current Position Title: Manager, Statistical Programming
Company NameL QuintilesIMS (recent merger of Quintiles and IMS Health)

Why he picked his major:

I was good in Math and a guidance counselor said would be a good career path for me, given my personality and proficiency in math.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

It wasn’t until I had a Master’s degree that I started to get interviews for jobs but both schools gave me the programming skills (using SAS software) needed to compete in the statistical programming job field.

His advice to those currently studying:

I would say do all you can to land a summer internship if possible. Most of the interns that we bring on end up being hired after graduation. We have an internship program but we only really target students from the surrounding schools like Duke, UNC, and NC State.  

Other information or suggestions: 

Be willing to go where the jobs are. I ended up getting a job in North Carolina (The Research Triangle Park area). There are lots of pharma and biotech companies in the area and a lot of jobs for statisticians and programmers. We have a hard time finding enough good programmers and statisticians. Those that are willing to relocate to North Carolina, I could definitely get you an interview with QuintilesIMS.