Prudential actuaries introduce the profession to WOHS math students

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Actuaries from Prudential Financial Inc. paid a visit to West Orange High School to facilitate two workshop sessions for more than 100 students on May 23, according to a July press release. Each workshop introduced AP calculus and AP statistics students to the actuarial profession, as well as to the insurance industry, through interactive problem solving and case study reviews.

The workshop event was initiated by 2011 West Orange High School alumna Ruthi Pratt, senior actuarial associate with Prudential, in conjunction with AP statistics teacher Tom Garguilo, as part of Prudential’s actuarial talent strategy, which includes outreach to high school students. The workshop began with an overview of the actuarial profession and the group then took part in an interactive game to learn more about the insurance industry. The game was thought-provoking, with students asking insightful questions that required their advanced math and statistical knowledge.

The group then reviewed an insurance industry case study and examined the importance of having a strong ethical foundation in actuarial work. In 2015, a career as an actuary was ranked as the No. 1 job in the United States by CareerCast.com and the field continues to seek qualified candidates. Actuaries typically help manage risk and aim to help provide a secure financial environment for businesses and individuals, which requires an understanding of a wide variety of factors affecting society.

“Informing students about a fulfilling career like actuarial science can set them on a path toward professional growth and can help them become successful at a time when many young people have difficulty finding meaningful jobs after college,” Pratt said in the release. “For me, deciding early on to pursue a career in actuarial science gave me direction during college and a strong career path after graduation.”

Three high school seniors from West Orange High School — Thomas Bradley, Tynisha Dumond and Samantha Jacobs — also attended Prudential’s Actuarial Success Awareness Program held in mid-June. The mission of the ASAP is to introduce diverse communities to actuarial science and the actuarial profession, and to identify early high-potential talent.

Photos Courtesy of Cynthia Cumming

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