B.S. Mathematics: 2002, John Carroll University

When I was a student at John Carroll I had a very tough time deciding which major I wanted to pursue.  I had always liked math, so that was high on my list, but I knew that I didn’t want to teach and so I had no clue what I would do after graduation.  While waiting outside a professor’s office one day, I noticed a job posting for a summer actuarial internship at Watson Wyatt Worldwide.  I thought “Hey, I could use a summer job” so I decided to find out more about it.  I ended up getting the job and so started my career as an actuary.  Over the summer, I learned about the in’s and out’s of retirement plans of large companies – how benefits are calculated, how the plans are funded, how the annual expense is calculated, government forms to be filed, plan terminations and freezes, etc.  I enjoyed working there and was later hired as a full-time consultant after graduation.  I have gotten the chance to work with large companies across the country such as L’Oréal, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Diebold, Inc., Parker Hannifin and Silgan Containers Corporation.

Several years ago, I transferred internally to a different job and am now working in Personalized Communication within Watson Wyatt, where I specialize in benefit statement programming and data management.  I serve as a technical specialist on a number of projects requiring complex programming in various software environments pertaining to benefit calculations and projections, data management, and benefit statements.  Our group produces personalized benefit statements that help employers communicate their benefit plans to employees on an individual level.  For me, this position has been a good blend of calculations and helping employers solve greater communication issues within their companies.

I consider my math major to be a valuable asset.  In my current life, some days I use mathematics more than others, but knowing that I earned a degree in math while most people have trouble just getting through calculus was rewarding.  I loved the challenge of the math classes at John Carroll and the size of the department allowed for a lot of individual attention and a gratifying personal experience.

Narrative created 10/2008.