After receiving her master’s degree in business, Vandana Ranka worked as an assistant manager for a multinational corporation based in India. She found herself attracted to subjects like statistics, risk, modeling, and optimization, so she decided to return to school to pursue actuarial science.
Ranka surveyed her options and chose the Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business. She appreciated the program’s accelerated approach, which commonly prepares students to be actuaries in only nine months.
Actuarial science is consistently rated as a top career, with a higher-than-average projected growth of 26% over the next decade. Using mathematical skills, actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate products for the insurance industry and to calculate the costs of new risks for businesses and industries.
Ranka appreciated the chance to learn from globally recognized instructors at UW-Madison’s Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science.
“The most important factor for me is the amount of industry experience the professors and instructors possess, which is a valuable complement to classroom learning,” she says. “They make every effort to give real-world examples, which really reinforces the concepts we learn.”
A shared experience
UW-Madison’s program is designed to quickly prepare students to pass the professional credentialing exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA).
“The Capstone courses are designed to correspond to almost all of the preliminary exam requirements of the SOA and CAS,” Ranka says. “You need to have a disciplined approach to pass these exams, and the Capstone program will definitely give you that.”
Along with learning new skills, Ranka enjoyed the chance to make connections with fellow students and industry leaders.
“Being part of a shared experience and having common goals are aspects of the Capstone program that students truly value,” she says. “I got a chance to meet so many friends from different cultures across the globe. And presentations by visiting company representatives gave us a platform to learn beyond the classroom.”
Getting the job
After receiving her Capstone Certificate, Ranka began her actuarial career by accepting a position with Towers Watson in Washington, D.C., working in their Retirements Benefits Group.
“The Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration Interview Center was a great aid for me in getting that job,” she says, “and the assistance I received shows another great benefit of being in the Capstone program.”
For more information on UW-Madison’s Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science, see here.