Meet our graduates!

Arailym AmangeldiyevaAlumna Arailym Amangeldiyeva (BS 2018) is from Astana, Kazakhstan, and she recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a double major in Actuarial Science and Statistics.  She will begin work at Aon as an actuarial Health & Benefits Specialist and she has passed five SOA exams. Her hobbies include playing the piano and dancing, and in her spare time she enjoys running. 

What did you like best about the Actuarial Program at Illinois?
The best things I liked about the actuarial program at Illinois are the people and opportunities. I was surrounded by very smart, social and competitive people. They’ve pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and become a better professional version of myself. Our Actuarial Science Club is very strong. We have a lot of company presentations, social events and our main career fair (Meet-The-Firms). These events helped us meet the real actuaries, ask questions and recruit ourselves to the companies. 

How did the program help further your career goals?
One of my career goals was to find a job that I would enjoy doing. Coming to the U of I, I did not have a good understanding of my major. To be honest, I had none. However, from the very first actuarial class, I found my passion in this profession. Moreover, exams are an integral part of our career. Without any doubt, this program motivates students to pass exams by offering additional exam prep classes, an exam fee reimbursement program and having strong professors. This program has strengthened my passion about actuarial science and that is important for my career. 

Why would you recommend the program and the profession to an incoming student?

I have acquired valuable skills from the Illinois Actuarial Science Program.  The faculty and students pay big attention to communication skills. Some students offer coding classes in R, SAS and VBA, which are widely used in the actuarial profession. There were various sessions where students and graduates shared their professional experience. Moreover, I have built strong connections all over the Midwest and some foreign countries. I have four good years full of memories that I will cherish throughout my life. 

 


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What did you like best about the Actuarial Program at Illinois?

The Illinois Actuarial Program constantly seeks to best serve its students.  The faculty and staff are always open to new ideas and are in-tune with industry updates.  The collaboration between the Actuarial Program and the Actuarial Science Club connects students directly to companies looking for interns and full-time hires through on-campus and off-campus opportunities.

How did the program help further your career goals?

Knowledge gained through my courses allowed me to pass four actuarial exams before beginning my first full-time position; this is a great head-start on pursuing my credentials.  Connections made through recruiting initiatives like Meet the Firms and Company Presentations provided me the opportunity to complete two actuarial internships and gain full-time employment.  This program helped guide my development as a problem-solver and communicator; additionally, it helped me build my actuarial network.

Why would you recommend the program and the profession to an incoming student?

The program staff at Illinois is caring, helpful, and extremely intelligent.  There is no shortage of opportunities, as this program is known for research, industry connections, and in-depth courses.