CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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February 2017

The Actuarial Students National Association and the CIA – a Winning Partnership

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By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

The CIA is fortunate to have a close relationship with the Actuarial Students' National Association (ASNA), one that we have developed and nurtured over the past 25 years.

The ASNA executive is an inspired and committed group of young professionals who in turn inspire students from across the country to get involved, learn, and network—the perfect foundation for their future careers.

The students themselves are so inspiring that we are easily motivated by their enthusiasm. Each year we look forward to coming up with new and interesting ways to engage them at the convention while providing practical information and tips that will help them as they embark on their careers.

The 2017 ASNA Convention was held in Toronto, January 6 and 7. The following are just some of the highlights of the CIA’s participation at ASNA this year.

Career Fair

The CIA once again hosted a double booth in the career fair. Many thanks go to Jamie Jocsak, Patrick Kavanagh, Dave Dickson, and Sharon Giffen for the generosity of their time and energy to greet students and answer their many questions about the CIA and the profession.

CIA Career Lounge and Professional Photo Op


New this year, in the CIA career lounge, we worked with a professional photographer to provide students with a headshot to help build their professional image. There were lineups all night Friday and all day Saturday. We had fun with the process and the students, who were very appreciative. It was so successful that we’re considering providing the service for members at the Annual Meeting in Québec City!

Professional Panel

A big thank you to Patrick Kavanagh, who was the CIA representative on the professional panel, a group of senior industry leaders who participated in two Friday night sessions. Students who attended were able to ask questions and received valuable career advice. In between sessions, Patrick was also meeting and greeting students at the CIA career lounge.

Case Competition

A few years ago, we suggested that the annual case competition be co-sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), and the CIA. ASNA agreed, and it has been a very successful model since. The case this year, generated by the CAS, was related to workers’ compensation. We were lucky to have Don Blue, chief actuary at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as the CIA representative judge on the panel.

Congratulations to the student team from the University of British Columbia who won the case.

Education Sessions

This year, the CIA provided two education sessions. Michel Simard, CIA Executive Director and Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education, hosted the first one, on professionalism. Students were introduced to some of the concepts and challenges that they will encounter as future professionals, and were encouraged to discuss them openly.

The second session was the hot seat panel discussion on Innovation and the Evolution of the Actuarial Profession. The session was an open dialogue between CIA volunteer panellists and the students about the skill sets and type of work that may be required of actuaries in the future. Students were challenged in advance to submit their vision for the future and be called upon to sit in the panel "hot seat" to present. The goal was twofold: generate great discussion about the future of the profession and give students a chance to practise their presentation skills. As a reward, students who participated will be profiled on the CIA web site as promising professionals of the future, so be sure to check them out! Thank you to Claude Ferguson, Jamie Jocsak, and Joel Li for their participation on the panel, as well as to Chris Fievoli, CIA staff actuary, communications and public affairs, for moderating.

CIA Gala Dinner – Keynote Presentation by Sharon Giffen, CIA President-elect

CIA President-elect Sharon Giffen

We capped off the weekend with Sharon Giffen’s keynote presentation to students at the CIA-sponsored gala dinner. Each year, the President-elect addresses the students on Saturday evening. Given that they already have had a full weekend of activities, we try to make this evening fun and memorable. Under the themes of engagement and the future, Sharon delighted students with an interactive presentation including video messages from CIA members with words of wisdom for the students and some real-time polling questions using their smart phones which kept them engaged and entertained. We’ll be challenged to top this one next year!

My heartfelt thanks to all of the CIA volunteers who helped make the CIA presence at the 2017 ASNA Convention memorable. It is through your energy and enthusiasm that we are able to connect with students and increase their awareness and knowledge of the CIA and help them on their path to being the actuarial professionals of the future. Additional thanks to all the CIA Head Office staff who assisted in making the event a success for the CIA.

Alicia Rollo, CHRL, is the CIA’s director of membership, education, and professional development.


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