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Actuarial Science Alum Blends Two Majors to Find Perfect Career

Jay Zimmerman received degrees in actuarial science and computer science from Lebanon Valley College

When it came time for Jay Zimmerman ’15 to apply to colleges, he had no doubt LVC was the place to prepare him for his future. In fact, Zimmerman was so set on LVC that it was the only school he applied to attend.

“I heard about LVC through my high school guidance counselor,” Zimmerman said. “My mom, who worked at the Department of Labor and Statistics, had told me she looked into the actuarial profession when she saw LVC was very popular for this field.”

Although his interests in computers and software were always more prominent, Zimmerman considered his mother’s advice, since he was already thinking about a career in math and technology. 

“After doing research together, we determined that between the outstanding Actuarial Science Program and the growing Computer Science Program, LVC was a clear winner. My passion for computers and interest in actuarial science led me to pursue a dual major. A few exams later, and a lot of gained programming experience, I found the perfect career for me—an actuarial programmer.”

While at LVC, Zimmerman attended the Actuarial Science Career Fairs and maintained a strong relationship with his professors. Through this, he landed his first internship with the help of Dr. Ken Yarnall, chair and associate professor of mathematical sciences.

“I am very thankful for the internship opportunity that Dr. Yarnall forwarded to me during my junior year when I needed an internship to fulfill my program requirements,” Zimmerman recalled. “Although I didn’t take the full-time position offered once I completed the internship, I gained valuable knowledge and experience.”

From the experiences gained during his internship, Zimmerman later accepted a full-time position at Aetna, a health care company. Since working there, Zimmerman has worked his way up the leadership ladder through four promotions to where he currently works as a senior actuarial consultant. 

“At Aetna, I am constantly exposed to new opportunities and experiences that help my growth as a professional,” said Zimmerman. “I love that my work is beneficial to both the members we serve and the company itself—and have made million-dollar impacts in both directions by ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the data.”

In addition to his full-time position at Aetna, Zimmerman put in extra work on the side to receive his Associate of the Society of Actuaries credential, which he completed in 2018. He intends to continue furthering his education by completing the Fellow of the Society of Actuaries exams but is taking a break to focus on family and extracurricular growth.

“My college experience was amazing for me, and God really used that time to shape my life beyond my wildest imaginations,” he said. “The experiences and life lessons received during my time at LVC caused a lot of life changes for me, ultimately leading me to success I would have never guessed. I am beyond thankful for the experiences, people, and everything that LVC afforded me.”

 

-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing and Communications Student Assistant