Students seeking an actuary internship typically must have proven statistical analysis skills as demonstrated by successful completion of several undergraduate math courses, actuary courses or economic courses. Specific qualifications for actuary interns vary from company to company, although most employers require interns to be college students pursing bachelor degrees in fields related to actuary science and be in their junior or senior year of college. Some employers also require the passage of a standardized actuary exam and a competitive grade point average.
Since an actuary must skillfully project the statistical odds of a company having financial profit, loss, risk or liability in future years based on behavioral and market analysis, a person seeking an actuary internship must be proficient in the science of calculating odds and ratios. Consequently, the first step in acquiring an internship is to enroll in a college that offers an undergraduate degree in statistics, actuary science, or economics. After completing the first two years in one of these disciplines, an aspiring intern would consult a representative in the college’s job placement office who typically has a list of companies accepting applications for internships in actuary science.
In lieu of seeking assistance through job placement services, a student can get an internship by directly approaching companies that need actuary interns; there are four major types. Insurance companies are the most common type to offer an actuary internship as they need actuarial staff to estimate the percentage of pay-offs they might face for future customer claims or litigation. Local and federal governments that pay out pensions and social service benefits also hire actuary interns who can analyze how self-sustaining such programs will be in the future by projecting the number of beneficiaries and anticipating funding needs.
Banks that daily deal in future profit and losses by granting loans and mortgages and by selling bonds and certificates of deposits need actuaries to calculate potential future risk. Such an institution may offer an actuary internship lasting six months to a year. Consultant companies advising businesses and people on 401K retirement funds, long-term investments, endowments or other financial products are also likely to respond favorably to those seeking an actuary internship.
After targeting a few companies, the aspiring intern must then put together an application package and arrange to take any exams required by the companies. Applicants typically obtain the latest university transcripts and attach those with the application. Internships are typically offered in summer on a full-time basis, but part-time internships for during the school year might also be available. Occasionally, students land internships after graduation and use those jobs as entry points into a full-time career. If a student lands an internship, companies typically provide ongoing professional training and wages.