International Experiences Inspire Actuarial Science Student

Li Xiang, actuarial science student, poses for a photo.

Li Xiang ’21 wants a career helping people in developing nations, and, just a few weeks into her sophomore year, she’s already had some significant work experiences in the field. The Lebanon Valley College actuarial science major spent her summer break after freshman year interning in the financial department of the Hospice Palliative Care Association in Cape Town, South Africa.

“I dealt with claims filed by hundreds of hospices and home-based care centers as well as the bank statement, cash flow, payment, and more. I learned to work with a team and gained exposure to office culture,” she said.

Xiang shared her computer skills, including in Microsoft Excel, with her co-workers. In return, she learned more about complying with rules to work with foreign aid institutions.

Looking ahead to life after LVC, Xiang wants to help people in developing nations thrive by helping them acquire knowledge and employable skills. She wants to provide free training for technology used in many office spaces, such as basic programming, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and more.

“Working with inefficiency is a serious problem in South Africa due to the lack of education,” Xiang said. “It limits the economic potential of the country as well as wastes the precious funding.”

Xiang, who was born in Suzhou, China, first discovered LVC through a website mentioning its actuarial science summer camp. Actuarial science is a mathematics field that focuses on risk management, including at insurance companies and financial institutions.  

The camp at LVC sold Xiang on the idea of enrolling full-time to pursue an actuarial science degree. “It gave me a chance to see what real actuarial work looks like. The lecturers were all very friendly and humorous. I had so much fun learning and listening to their stories about being an actuary,” she said. 



--- Sierra Force, Marketing & Communications Assistant