2016 ASNA Convention – Strengthening the Bond between the CIA and Future Members

By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

The CIA has been a proud strategic partner to the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA) for more than 25 years, and the strength of that history was quite evident at the recent ASNA Convention in Niagara Falls.

The CIA participated in the career fair on Friday, January 8 and also hosted a career lounge where we met with hundreds of students who were seeking guidance about a potential career in actuarial science. CIA representatives included CIA President Rob Stapleford, Immediate Past-President Jacques Tremblay, and President-elect Dave Dickson, as well as Board member Richard Gauthier, and active CIA volunteers Jamie Jocsak and Pierre-Yves Julien. CIA Head Office staff included Executive Director Michel Simard, marketing manager Kelly Fry, Roxanne Vézina, membership and education coordinator, Chris Fievoli, resident actuary, Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education, and myself.

While the students had many serious questions about their future, their educational paths, and how to successfully begin their careers, they also took time to have some fun as we challenged them to post selfies on Facebook or Twitter, wearing their signature CIA toque in proud Canadian style.


 Students at  2016 ASNA Convention

We encourage Canadian employers to get involved by using the ASNA convention to recruit co-op and internship students, as well as to identify potential future hires, but also by offering educational sessions to help guide students in their transitional years between university and entering the workforce.

On Saturday, January 9, the CIA held three sessions. The first was on professionalism and ethics, presented by Michel Simard, followed by two panel sessions, one in English and one in French, moderated by Chris Fievoli and Joseph Gabriel. Many thanks to Pierre-Yves Julien and Jacques Tremblay, who shared advice and stories of their own career paths with the students during the panel discussions.

Later on Saturday, the annual student case competition, sponsored this year by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), the CIA, and the Society of Actuaries (SOA), took place. The competition involved teams from various Canadian actuarial faculties. Richard Gauthier participated as the CIA representative judge and remarked that the case competition, as well as the entire convention, was very professionally organized. The panel of judges selected the team from the University of Waterloo as the winner.

Finally, on Saturday evening, the CIA sponsored the gala dinner, where each year the CIA President-elect gives the keynote speech. Dave Dickson did an outstanding job delivering key messages to the students through stories of his own experiences, as well as through pre-recorded video interviews from selected CIA members. Thank you to Dave for an impressive talk and to Roxanne Vézina for preparing and running a top-notch visual presentation which kept students engaged.

 CIA President-elect Dave Dickson

 CIA President-elect Dave Dickson

With approximately 600 students in attendance from across Canada, employers from both the U.S. and Canada, and, for the first time, participation by the American Academy of Actuaries, the 2016 convention clearly demonstrated the maturation of ASNA. The impressive event, organized by and for students each January, will continue to be a top priority for the CIA as part of our student outreach strategy each year.

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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires