Efforts to Reach Students Are Paying Off

From left to right: Chris Fievoli, Raymond Li, and Minnie Green were among those promoting the CIA to students in Manitoba.

From left: Jason Vary, Mr. Fievoli and Jacques Lafrance with Gary Josephson, President of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

More than 125 students braved the cold of Winnipeg in January to enjoy the 2013 Convention of the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA).

Although numbers were down on the previous year’s event, possibly due to the location and subsequent cost of travel for students, CIA members and staff who attended were delighted with the response they received from attendees. The Institute’s representatives included President-elect Jacques Lafrance; Jason Vary, Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council; resident actuary Chris Fievoli; members Minnie Green, Marcia Gallos, and Raymond Li; and Head Office staff Caroline Thebault, Alicia Rollo, and Josée Racette.

The Institute was among a dozen or so exhibitors who participated in a career fair at the convention, and the CIA enjoyed a prominent position in the centre of the room that attracted numerous students to learn about the Institute and how it could help them. They were also given information about the new network for students, CIAnet, which was well received with more than 60 students signing up on site. Nearby, the CIA hosted a career lounge where visitors were provided with light refreshments and could network and relax.

The following day, Mr. Vary and Ms. Rollo—director of membership, education, and professional development—presented a session to students entitled The Evolving Education Landscape in Canada. They discussed the CIA’s University Accreditation Program and long-term education strategy, and covered the essentials of becoming a member.

Later, Messrs. Fievoli and Vary and Ms. Rollo attended two sessions by the Society of Actuaries on education, and M. Lafrance served as a judge at the Student Case Competition, which was won by a team from Simon Fraser University.

M. Lafrance was also the keynote speaker during the Saturday evening gala dinner, where he gave a heartfelt presentation to the students on what a career as an actuary meant. He was very interactive and the students were fully engaged.

The CIA received excellent exposure and was thanked on many occasions, publicly and one on one for its contribution to ASNA and its support for a recent website project by the association.

Mr. Fievoli said: "When we first attended ASNA in 2011, there were a number of students that weren’t aware of the CIA or the role we would play in their professional careers. In speaking to students at the career fair this time, though, I did not have that same impression.

"Awareness of the CIA was much higher, and several students were familiar with the accreditation program and had questions about that. It seems that our efforts to reach this demographic are starting to pay off."