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Actuarial Science Plus Analytical Finance Equals Success

Jon Issing and Ryan Prator are actuarial science majors at Lebanon Valley College

Actuarial science majors Jon Issing ’21 and Ryan Prator ’21 are part of a growing trend of Valley students double majoring with analytical finance.

Issing and Prator knew they were interested in studying actuarial science. Issing decided during high school that actuarial science was the field for him. Prator, while initially hesitant, quickly realized upon visiting LVC that he had to pursue actuarial science.

“I chose LVC because I found that it has one of the best programs in the nation,” said Prator. “LVC’s good track record for exams passed, along with school size and location, are what attracted me,” said Issing.

For Issing, actuarial science and analytical finance have always gone hand-in-hand, two sides of the same coin. For Prator, a desire to learn about finance and stocks, as well as obtaining a diverse range of knowledge, drew him to adding the second major.

“An actuary is constantly dealing with the company’s finances, so having a background in finance widens your capabilities in the workforce. This makes you better prepared to calculate certain aspects of insurance and complete other actuarial responsibilities,” said Prator.

Issing echoed that sentiment. “It offers different perspectives on the same material while allowing you to get an even better understanding that would be relevant in both fields of work post-graduation.”

Prator and Issing witnessed the benefits from their studies as dual majors, including already passing five actuarial exams before graduation. Both have applied what they have learned directly to their real-world work experiences.

During the summer following his sophomore year, Issing worked at USAA in San Antonio, Texas, as a property pricing actuarial intern. The skills he learned from his LVC courses propelled him past his competition, giving him more opportunities.

“My classes unquestionably put me a step ahead of the other interns during my summer internships, allowing me to pick up additional side projects because of my experience,” said Issing. “The constant presentations we do in classes on our work definitely helped me with the various presentations I had to give to people during my internship.”

Similarly, in the summer following his junior year, Prator worked as a consulting actuary for the Health Department of Buck Consulting, researching the impact of COVID-19 on a client in the healthcare sector. The skills from both his majors aided him greatly in this endeavor and led to a full-time job offer that he will begin after graduation.

“As a consulting actuary, I realized you help your clients with much more than just calculating their health insurance,” said Prator. “During my internship, I used many of the techniques I learned in my courses to calculate the finances needed to set aside for further healthcare claims.”

Prator attributes much of his success to the LVC Mathematical Sciences Department. “All the professors know their students personally because of the small classes. They are willing to help students on an academic or personal level, or whatever is needed to prepare their students better for the future.”

 

-- Josh Hildebrand, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant