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Actuaries' Profile Rises at Falls

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Rob Stapleford (centre) and Chris Fievoli meeting one of the hundreds of students who attended the convention.

More than 400 actuarial students from across Canada were given an insight into the work of the CIA, and the benefits of being a member, during two days of seminars, presentations and a career fair in the dramatic surroundings of Niagara Falls.

The 2012 Actuarial Students’ National Association Conference, entitled ASNA at the Falls, was hosted by the Convention Committee of the University of Western Ontario, and sponsored by organizations including the CIA, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, Desjardins, Intact, the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

CIA members and staff from the Secretariat were on hand at the career fair to meet would-be actuaries from universities across the country as part of the event, which was designed to give students a deeper insight into the actuarial profession and a chance to connect with future colleagues. The CIA representatives answered questions about such subjects as the Institute’s role in Canada, becoming a member and working here as an actuary, and the roles and responsibilities that come with the FCIA designation.

Jason Vary, Vice-chair of the CIA Eligibility and Education Council, and Rob Stapleford, Chair of the Accreditation Committee, presented a session on important developments at the Institute, covering topics like the introduction of the ACIA designation and voting rights for Associates, and the implementation of Canada’s first actuarial science university accreditation program. FCIAs Kelley McKeating and Jamie Jocsak later explained the role of actuarial evidence (AE) practitioners and outlined typical AE career paths.

President-elect Simon Curtis also gave a speech before the event’s gala dinner (sponsored by the CIA), when he told students of the challenges and rewards of an actuarial career, and the anticipated international growth of the profession. He emphasized the importance of a good university system and strong professional body to the reputation of Canada’s actuaries, and confirmed that the CIA was committed to increasing its involvement with ASNA and encouraging students to be more engaged with the CIA early in their careers.

He added that the CIA was important to all actuaries practising in Canada as it was the body that provided the professional practice infrastructure for Canadian actuaries, and in order to engage with actuaries earlier, the Institute was taking several steps, including:

  • Being a sponsor of the convention;
  • Adding an ASNA representative to the CIA's new member committee;
  • Granting ASNA members eligibility to participate in a CIA networking initiative;
  • Establishing the ACIA designation; and
  • Launching the University Accreditation Program.
Also present at the event were CIA resident actuary Chris Fievoli, Board member Stephen Bonnar, and Secretariat staff Josée Racette (project manager, communications and public affairs), Alicia Rollo (director, education and professional development) and Caroline Thebault (senior administrative assistant).

Potential actuaries were able to meet employers and key actuarial organizations at Niagara Falls.

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