Actuarial Science Majors Figure to be Successful


ST. LOUIS — After taking a seven-hour aptitude test which told him he should choose a career dealing with numbers, Maryville University senior Adam Bates decided to become an actuary. Now, Bates of Chesterfield is preparing to finish his final semester in Maryville’s Actuarial Science program, and is completing an internship with Berkley Medical Excess Underwriters, a publicly traded property/casualty insurer. Bates has been interning for the company since February 2006 and his hard work has paid off. In August, BerkleyMed offered Bates a full-time job, which he will begin upon graduation in May 2008.

“When I started the internship, one of my goals was to obtain a full-time position,” Bates said. “I was committed to learning as much as possible and contributing to the company’s success in any way I could.” Bates first learned about the internship at BerkleyMed by meeting with company representatives at the Maryville Actuarial Science Club’s annual career fair, held every February and sponsored by Maryville’s Office of Career Education. Bates also serves as the club’s vice president.

As an intern at BerkleyMed, Bates is responsible for preparing information on the losses and exposures to liability for each hospital system. This includes any claims a hospital system has had in the past 10 to 15 years, as well as how many beds, doctors and surgeries the hospital has each year. “It is my role to prepare this information in order for the actuaries to evaluate the information and determine how much the premium should be,” Bates said.

Once he begins his full-time job, Bates will take on new responsibilities that are outside the actuarial department. He will assume the title of marketing analyst, reporting directing to the vice-president of marketing. Bates said, however, that he still will work closely with both the actuarial and finance departments. “My primary task will be to employ my actuarial/technical skills in order to develop tools to help us better evaluate potential clients,” he said.

Bates said that aside from assisting him in obtaining an internship, Maryville’s Actuarial Science program has helped him in several other ways. “The coursework has laid a significant foundation of knowledge which has assisted me in preparing for exams,” said Bates. “Also, the connections Maryville has with the business community, and more specifically, the actuarial community, are outstanding.”

“Adam is a great example of the high caliber of students that we attract to our program, which employers have come to regard as one of the finest in the country,” said Min Deng, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and director of Maryville’s actuarial science program. “Our students routinely pass professional exams well ahead of schedule, which make them coveted by insurance companies and other firms which employ actuaries.”