Year of Graduation: 2008
Please give a brief description of your current position:
I work as a Catastrophe Risk Analyst for Aon in Chicago, IL. I analyze the characteristics of business written by primary insurance companies. Part of this analysis is to run catastrophe risk models to help advise on the best possible ways to mitigate risk exposure to catastrophic events through the purchase of reinsurance.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
I applied via an online application and sought the advice of people that I know who work in the same industry.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Research the purpose of insurance and reinsurance. Seek out and ask questions to anyone that you can get in touch with who is involved in the industry.
What skills are important in your field?
You must have a strong quantitative background and aptitude. While I have a Math degree, I also work with Econ, Physics, Meteorology, and Finance graduates. All are suitable degrees to achieve success in this field. Strong computer skills can also be very helpful. Experience with Excel, SQL, and Access are important, but not absolutely necessary if you are a willing to learn quickly. As with any career, a drive to succeed and ability to think and work independently is key.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
Being able to provide the client (primary insurer) with new and innovative ways to help them achieve success in their underwriting practices while also showing them how to protect themselves from the worst case scenario/insolvency is satisfying. Insurance is the transfer of risk. We want to help the client make these transfers in an informed and financially sound manner.
I would say the same as the above. The goals and practices can vary widely from insurer to insurer. Each client usually requires a new and unique approach.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
Obviously the coursework was important, but my on-campus work/managerial experience that I was able to have on my resume was also helpful. During my time at CSB/SJU, as a result of hard work and dedication, I was fortunate enough to be rewarded with the Sexton Dining/Brother Willie's Pub Operations Manager position. I also completed an internship with US Bank, a global industry and company. These experiences, along with my study abroad experience helped prepare me for my current position.