Facebook and Student Outreach

 

Students and young actuaries are the future of the actuarial profession in Canada. One of the ways the CIA tries to connect with them is through social media, particularly Facebook.

"I’ve attended the ASNA [the Actuarial Students National Association] convention for the last three years," says Kelly Fry, CIA manager, marketing. "When I talk to students about social media, they tell me that Facebook is one of the better tools to reach them."

Fry says that as students get closer to graduation, they become more aware of how they can use social media for professional development and to connect with companies that share their values. The CIA typically posts items that may be of interest to students, including entry-level jobs, ASNA updates, information about the actuarial profession, and student webcasts.

"We think this is the best way to reach a younger audience and inspire them to become an actuary or learn about the profession," she says. While Tumblr and Instagram have increased in popularity among young people, "it’s challenging for an organization like us on these platforms because we deal more with numbers than pictures," Fry adds. "There is a real benefit to these platforms, but curating content for them is difficult."

As part of an effort to reach more students, and potential actuaries, on Facebook, the CIA will be developing targeted CIA Facebook ads that would appear to Facebook users in a student demographic whose profiles indicate an interest in statistics, or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities. "Social media is a way to reach out to a large group of people today in a cost-effective way," Fry says. "Years ago it would be very costly to get in front of students like this, as travel and direct mail would have been necessary."

Fry hopes these ads will generate demand from students for the CIA’s Back to School program, where actuaries visit high schools to discuss what actuaries do, how to qualify as an actuary, and encourage students to consider pursuing actuarial studies. "Many students haven’t heard about the actuarial profession unless they personally know an actuary," Fry says. "Seeing these ads on Facebook will reach those students and may prompt them to ask their school to contact the CIA to have an actuary visit a class."

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires
http://www.cia-ica.ca/