Junior math major gains valuable experience
RELEASED: October 18, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—Leah Campbell '09, a math major from near Nashville, isn't afraid to admit that she isn't quite sure what she wants to do when she graduates. And that's just fine: at Centre, Career Services offers all students guidance through the Centre Futures program.
In conjunction with Centre Futures, Campbell recently was given the opportunity to job shadow a Centre alum as a way to explore possible career paths and interests. As part of Centre Futures, all students are assigned to one of several career counselors, who offer guidance to students throughout their four years at the College. Counselors provide feedback and help with decisions regarding internships, job shadowing opportunities, graduate school and career options.
"The shadowing experience was a great opportunity to learn more about what some math majors have done after graduation," Campbell says.
Campbell met with Laura Sprouse '91, who is an actuary at Select Actuarial Services in Nashville. Actuaries are essential to the insurance industry, as one of their main functions is to help businesses assess the risk of certain events and to formulate policies that minimize the cost of that risk.
"A strong foundation in math is important for anyone considering a career as an actuary," Sprouse says. "The math faculty and courses at Centre were excellent."
As a consulting actuary, a big part of Sprouse's job is communicating the results of actuarial studies to clients in a way they can use and understand.
Campbell says that her time with Sprouse gave her insight into a field she might be interested in pursuing.
"We spoke about how she got into her profession, how well Centre prepared her, the kind of work her company does and more generally, the kind of work an actuary does and what she enjoys about her job," Campbell says.
Campbell also spoke with several of Sprouse's coworkers, who gave her insight into the varied responsibilities of actuaries. In order to become a fully certified actuary, Campbell says, one must go through a very lengthy and difficult process, which includes about 10 rigorous exams. Sprouse gave Campbell some advice on which courses at Centre might be useful to prepare for this process.
"Talking with three different people gave me three different perspectives on what the exam process is like and how to deal with it," she says. "I was also able to hear three different stories about how they got into their profession and why they enjoy it. Overall, it was a very informative morning, and I'm glad Centre gave me the opportunity."
With this experience in hand, Campbell has expanded her knowledge of options after she graduates, which is the primary purpose of Centre Futures.
Campbell also participated on a student panel during a reception in Nashville on Oct. 7 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Separate receptions were held for Nashville-area high school students interested in learning more about Centre and for Centre alums and parents who were glad to see some familiar faces and learn about the exciting developments at the College.
"I really enjoyed being a part of the panel," Campbell says. "When I was in my senior year of high school, I attended a similar event in Nashville, and I know it was helpful for me in making my decision to attend Centre. I know how difficult that choice is, so it was great to hopefully have that same influence on some prospective students. I was happy to answer any questions."
Click here for more information on Centre Futures, internships and career preparation at Centre.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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