Make it Count: LVC Actuarial Science Major Finds Success in Pharmacy
Before Caitlin Manahan ’16 graduated from high school, she gave herself three options of fields in which to study: accounting, computer science, and actuarial science. She enjoyed mathematics and was drawn to the forward-thinking nature of actuarial science.
“I love the idea that actuaries are the bridge between data analysis and strategic thinking,” she said. “We wear many caps, and the field—especially healthcare—is constantly evolving and changing.”
This left Manahan with one more decision to make: where to pursue her study of actuarial science?
While looking through schools that offered the program, Manahan found LVC. She was attracted to its well-established actuarial science major, the number of actuarial science exams LVC students pass as undergrads, and its proximity to her home in New Jersey.
As she began her career at LVC, Manahan unexpectedly found herself struggling in some of her math classes. With the help of her professors, she persevered. In the end, she said, she believes the challenges enhanced her learning.
“The math professors were always very supportive and always around to answer questions and help me work through problems,” she said. “The struggle also helped me to pass the actuarial exams since the classes at LVC were often more difficult than the exams themselves.”
Manahan is especially thankful for the way professors pushed students to not only understand and know how to solve problems but to explain these problems using higher-level thinking.
“The math professors are some of the best in the business,” she said. “They stressed the importance of communication, placing an emphasis on first principles, and understanding the concepts underlying the mathematical applications. This is very helpful in the actuarial world when trying to problem solve and alter previously done analyses,” she added.
After graduating from LVC in December of 2016 having already passed three professional actuarial exams, Manahan started her job at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Manahan, the lead pharmacy actuarial analyst, collaborates on new insights to support pharmacy reporting and analytics. She helps price new drugs on the market and project their expected usage and impact on the company.
“Pharmacy hasn’t really been touched with an actuarial lens at my company, so a lot of what I am doing is research and educating senior leadership on the pharmacy space,” said Manahan who became an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.
Next, she plans to work toward becoming a Fellow of the SOA, which is the organization’s second associate-level designation along with the Associate.
“My professors prepared me extremely well for this career,” she said. “They continually pushed me to be the best version of myself.”