Evan Thierry was a Summer Actuarial Associate for Aetna in Overland Park, KS. He did his internship in the summer of 2018.
How did you get your internship?
I attended the actuarial career fair at the University of Central Missouri and spoke with several different firms. I immediately established a connection with one of the actuaries at Aetna’s table because he was from a small town next to my own hometown. After talking with him and leaving my resume, I was contacted later and arranged telephone interviews with four more actuaries with the company. These seemed to go well, and it would appear the actuaries thought so too, as I was offered the internship soon after.
What sorts of things did you do during your internship?
Ha, almost too much to recount! I served on the Commercial Actuarial team supporting the TX/OK/NM markets, and I assisted with various projects and ad hoc tasks that came up throughout the summer. The team was working its way through a semi-annual rate review and implementation while I was there, so I was able to work on rate testing and diagnosing errors in the ratesets. Additionally, I was part of a cross-functional team of interns that worked on a pro bono project for a non-profit that helped to establish a business plan on how the non-profit could reform operations and become more successful going forward. Lastly, I was assigned an overarching project for the summer (in my case it was to analyze and report on a TX commercial segment that was performing poorly) that pulled together technical competency and actuarial knowledge to build a tool that could examine market behavior and trends, which could then be utilized by actuaries to take measures to counteract or account for unfavorable performance. Not strictly task-related, I also had the opportunity to participate in various learning series, panels, presentations, and networking events with senior leaders in the company. And the Overland Park actuarial community did fun and exciting events throughout the summer in Kansas City that we were encouraged to participate in (such as ziplining, sand volleyball, whirlyball, and lasertag).
How did you benefit from the internship?
I believe I benefited from this internship immensely, in both quantifiable ways and in areas harder to define. My technical and analytical skills markedly improved through the regular use of Excel, SQL, and other specialty built software tools. I was exposed to a variety of roles and projects, so my overall knowledge of and interest in actuarial science certainly increased, solidifying this as my desired career after graduation. Additionally, the networking opportunities were second to none; I was able to listen to and ask questions of the CEO, CFO, and many other senior executives in the company. In fact, I had a one-on-one conversation with the VP of Commercial Actuarial. More importantly, I was exposed to real actuarial work and was allowed the freedom to really explore what defined the profession in a healthcare setting, all while having fun along the way.