This past March, actuarial students from Brigham Young University (BYU) participated in a case study competition in Arizona. The competition was hosted jointly by Arizona State University’s Gamma Iota Sigma Chapter and the Casualty Actuary Society (CAS). BYU students and faculty were excited and honored to be invited to this competition that had previously involved only students from Arizona State University. Ten students from each school were selected to participate in the competition and were given two weeks to prepare before facing off in Arizona. The two BYU teams were Team A (Elijah Harmon, Sarah Kennedy, Wooseok Lee, Spenser Miller, and Todd Okeson) and Team B (Brandon Allen, Jason Colgrove, Courtney Jolley, Abigail Walker, and Cason Wight).
The goal of the competition was for each team to analyze data captured from different locations in hurricane prone areas using Excel and to create a set of insightful reports to convey the findings in a clear way to “management”. The teams were provided with vast amounts of data and, during the two weeks prior to the competition, used innovative ways to structure and analyze the data. It was exciting to see the varying approaches the different teams used to calculate and present their findings. After each of the teams had a chance to present and answer questions posed by the judges (a panel of local Arizona actuaries), there was a short deliberation period followed by the results. BYU’s Team B was announced as the winning team and was awarded $2,500 provided jointly by the CAS and ASU’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.
The BYU team’s victory was only the icing on the cake to end a great trip. The ten-hour drive to Arizona featured the additional highlight of visiting local insurance companies in the Phoenix Valley. BYU students were invited to tour their facilities and discuss the possibility of future internships and careers. Additionally the actuarial students from both schools were able to interact at the competition and build connections. BYU is grateful to the ASU students and faculty for being so welcoming and accommodating, as well as to the panel of actuaries who volunteered their time to judge.
Article Written by Abigail Walker