My son, the … actuary?
In my dad’s case, it’s true

The insurance industry is growing and has a high need for talented professionals with a variety of training and skills. Recruiters are asking job seekers “where do you fit in?” In this series, Cincinnati Insurance associates describe their own career journeys.

Where I fit in_16x9_David GroffGrowing up, I always had the notion that I would be a doctor. It ran in the family: my dad was a dentist, my dad’s father was an M.D. and my mom’s father was a veterinarian. I took Latin in middle school and high school, since that language seemed to be the origin of all medical terms. At some point in high school I realized I didn’t like the sight of blood, and that could be a sticking point in the medical field. I liked math and decided to look at engineering and math majors.

I ended up at Miami University, studying mathematics and statistics. Freshman year I was taking related hours in physics and found it too theoretical. I needed something more applied to concentrate on. Towards the end of that year, I learned about the actuarial profession from a talk a life insurance actuary did for the math/stat majors.

I liked the idea of solving real world business problems. Math people love solving problems: word problems, especially. “A train leaves Chicago traveling at 25 miles per hour…” are problems dear to our hearts.

I graduated with one actuarial exam under my belt and started at Cincinnati Insurance as an actuarial trainee. I took exams over the next eight years until I became a designated actuary. The exam process to become a designated actuary provided exposure to areas like accounting, law, underwriting and finance: I considered it sort of a self-study graduate school experience.

At Cincinnati Insurance I work with mounds of data to help determine where the rates need to be for our company to pay policyholder claims and operating expenses, allowing for a reasonable profit. We then determine how those rates can be filed and approved with all of the state departments of insurance.

I find it funny when people forward me lists of the top careers to have. Actuaries are always in the top 10 every year. I didn’t know it way back when, but now I realize how lucky I was to fall into a profession with a good work environment, high employment outlook, good job security and great growth opportunity.

As long as I can steer clear of our frequent company-sponsored blood drives, I will continue to count myself as lucky.

For more information about a variety of insurance careers, please visit the website or Facebook page sponsored by Ohio’s insurance industry. Cincinnati Insurance posts open positions on our website.

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