Career Experience from Coast to Coast
At first hesitant to apply, she credits the persistence of her advisor, Dr. Patrick Brewer, director of actuarial science and associate professor of mathematical sciences, for encouraging her to overcome her nerves and learn in an unfamiliar and—she discovered—inspiring environment.
“Everyone on the CIG team is deeply passionate, using their unique strengths and creativity to add value to the department and company,” said Liu. “Even as an intern, my work was meaningful, and my co-workers encouraged me to propose my ideas. I had incredible coworkers and mentors to look up to, and adventurous friends to enjoy Monterey with.”
At her internship, Liu’s assigned projects included reserving for one of CIG's lines of business as part of its quarterly reserve review process, creating and presenting a dynamic and interactive dashboard, and writing Python code for predictive modeling. Along with the technical knowledge required for these projects, Liu also used soft skills she enhanced through her LVC courses.
“My professors have taught me how to learn independently, break down and understand technical readings, ask probing questions, and communicate clearly, with attentive listening and carefully-worded responses relevant to my audience,” she said.
Liu’s boss at CIG, Joe Krug, understands what an LVC education delivers: He graduated from The Valley in 2013 with degrees in actuarial science and economics. He is now CIG’s actuarial supervisor for analytics, bridging the gap between the actuarial and analytics departments.
“He is extraordinarily clear and precise when he communicates—a hallmark of the LVC mathematical sciences education,” said Liu. “I met with him weekly for one-on-one sessions to discuss the projects he assigned me. He also shared his favorite memories of LVC and explained some of the major choices in his career path, which have been clarifying and inspiring.”
The conversations with Krug and internship projects she undertook offer Liu significant insight that she is applying to her current classes and considering as she plans her career path.
“I am reflecting on how what we learn fits in real-world situations so that they are more than just abstract concepts. They become solutions to actual problems,” she said. “This reflection helps me learn better and motivates me to continue learning and ask questions. My internship experience showed me how high-performing teams function and continually improve upon the group dynamic.”