Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science helps student kick-start her career

View of Grainger Hall against a clear blue sky.

Hui Hui Guo has always had a passion for mathematics — particularly data and trends. So when she graduated with a double major in economics and mathematics, she immediately looked into additional education in the field of actuarial science.

Four months later, she was enrolled in the Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science is designed for those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than actuarial science. In as little as nine months, the program prepares students to pass the initial professional credentialing exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries.

“The actuarial science program at UW–Madison is a national center of actuarial excellence and unlike other actuarial programs, it’s in the School of Business, which is also very well-known,” Guo says.

A step toward a rewarding career

Consistently rated as a top profession, actuarial science continues to grow at a higher-than-average rate, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting growth of nearly 20% over the next decade. Actuaries perform important work such as developing, pricing, and evaluating products for the insurance industry and calculating the costs of risks for businesses.

Student Hui Hui Guo stands in empty hallway, smiling directly into camera.
“I also learned so much about the actuarial industry itself and now feel like I have a better understanding and am prepared for my job,” says Guo.

The program’s accelerated timeline peaked Guo’s interest. As a recent grad, Guo was excited to enter the workforce and hoped to eventually achieve a Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society, yet still needed to learn the skills and get the certification to make her career goals a reality. The face-to-face classes on the UW–Madison campus helped her get a thorough understanding of her field while she tackled some of the credentials she needed, like the Validation by Educational Experience requirement.

“I liked that we were given the option to take classes to fulfill our VEE credentials. It was really helpful to learn the information in a classroom setting and be one step closer to attaining fellowship,” she says.

Ready to take on the industry

Guo credits her instructors for making the program so rewarding. Because many of her professors had worked in the actuarial industry, they taught students how to apply the topics learned in class to on-the-job experiences.

“[My professors] were very personable and made it a point to get to know me. They were always available to answer questions and help me outside of the classroom. They really made sure that we understood the material and went over examples with us in class to ensure that it stuck,” Guo says.

Guo is putting her actuarial education to use immediately with GEICO, having landed a position as an actuarial assistant prior to graduation.

“I am excited to apply the tools I learned from my loss models course and technical skills from my machine learning course on the job,” she says. “I also learned so much about the actuarial industry itself and now feel like I have a better understanding and am prepared for my job.”

Learn more about UW–Madison’s Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science.

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