SOA Candidate Connect Features

Becoming an actuary is a journey through an evolving landscape that takes candidates from exam preparation and testing to job searches and eventually, professional practice. The SOA community is here to support you in every stage of your candidate experience.

The following articles and resources are contributed by candidates, SOA members (FSA, ASA, CERA) and SOA staff. If you would like to share your thoughts with others in the community, you are more than welcome to write for SOA Candidate Connect .

ASK STUART is a column by Stuart Klugman, FSA, CERA, PhD, staff fellow, education, at the Society of Actuaries. Stuart taught actuarial science for 35 years at two universities and has worked with hundreds of potential actuaries. Stuart has also worked for many years within the SOA’s education system, so he has a unique perspective on the exams and modules. His column will provide responses to questions we have received. If you have a question for Stuart, please send it to

Actuaries with No Border

We invited two actuaries with broad international experience to share their stories with us. Read about their actuarial journey and broad international experience, what motivated them to become actuaries, their advice on the exam process, and the many rewards of an international career.

Learn More about the SOA Exam Grading Process

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is committed to ensuring the highest quality and rigor in each of their six Fellowship tracks. As part of this commitment, each exam is developed and graded according to exceptionally high standards. Learn more about how the SOA prepares and grades exams.

Data Driven Opportunities

Derek Kueker, FSA, vice president and actuary leading data solutions at RGAx, a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), shares his experience in a non-traditional actuarial field, the skills that helped him succeed, the most challenging and satisfying parts of his work and advice for candidates looking for new opportunities.

Actuaries in Nontraditional Roles

Laura Bennet, FSA, co-founder and CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance, created a new application of actuarial science when she developed a risk-based pricing model for pet insurance. Read her account of how she founded her company and went on to have about $32 million in annualized premiums.

The Youngest FSA: An Interview with Roy Ju

We explore the journey of Roy Ju, a 20-year-old university student who has become the youngest FSA in the history of the Society of Actuaries.

Five Core Values: How to Build a Successful Actuarial Student Organization

Student leaders from Chi Chapter of GIS at Drake University share their stories of running a student-driven actuarial organization, the key attributes to its successful operation and the impact on its members as well as a broader community.

Actuarial Recruiting: What Am I Looking for in Actuarial Candidates?

How can you stand out in the job market? We bring you the inside scoop from a seasoned actuarial recruiter.

Insiders’ Insights: Consulting Versus Insurance

Four actuaries with experience in both consulting firm and insurance company provide an in-depth look at both options, covering issues such as differences in the day-to-day activities, work culture, work-life-balance, rotation programs, etc. They also share their personal career stories and advice on how to choose between insurance and consulting and how to transition from one to the other.

From Massage Therapist to Actuary

FSA Ehren Nagel’s Nontraditional Route to the Actuarial Profession

0 to 100 Real Quick: A Student’s Guide to Land an Actuarial Internship

Bryan Liu, a second year actuarial science major at the University of Waterloo, shares the strategies he used to land his first internship as an international student.

When You Feel Like Quitting, Think About Why You Started

Nicholas Kallis, ASA, MAAA came to the United States with a goal: to be a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) by the time he was 30. But not all dreams come true; passed the 30 year mark, Kallis is still working on attaining the FSA credential. This detour, far from discouraging him, has given him a different outlook at life, the exam process and how to continue trying, even if you have to give yourself more time to achieve your goals. 

Improve Hard and Soft Skills Through FAP

SOA candidate Yanran Chen, who self-studies actuarial science, shares her thoughts on the countless benefits Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP) e-learning course has to offer. She encourages candidates to start FAP as early as possible. 

The Actuarial Journey: A Unique and Common Experience

What does it mean to be an SOA member or candidate? Being part of a professional actuarial organization provides candidates and practicing actuaries with a lifetime of educational, networking and professional support.