By Eddie Smith
Actuary of the Future, January 2021
2020 was a challenging year for nearly every individual and organization in the world. However, I can’t overstate how impressed I am with the many SOA staff members and volunteers who contributed in large and small ways to keeping our professional organization strong. From those who helped keep the exam system running to those who found new ways of delivering content previously offered at live events, we should feel proud to be a part of a professional society that showed such resilience in the face of unprecedented adversity.
Speaking of volunteers, I’d like to thank the outgoing members of the Actuary of the Future (AoF) Section Council, in particular our 2020 Section Chair, Minyu Cao, who lead our council admirably in such a challenging year. Despite the added stress in our professional and personal lives brought about by the pandemic, the AoF Section Council still had an accomplished year:
- We delivered on our goal of producing more webcast content than prior years. Even though we only managed to produce two webcasts, that was still an increase over prior years. We even had to defer one webcast to 2021 due to low registration resulting from competing virtual events (of which there were many in 2020!).
- We continued producing regular podcast episodes at the rate we established in 2019.
- We established a new process for bringing on interns, a model that other sections have adopted. Our two interns for 2021, Steven Gee and Taylor Geppert, will help us with our podcasts, newsletter, and more. I look forward to seeing the perspective they bring to our section as aspiring actuaries.
- We published some really fantastic entries in our Disruptions to the Actuarial Profession Contest.
While we were unfortunately not able to have our traditional annual in-person council meeting this year, we still had an extended “virtual live” meetup in December to discuss strategy for 2021. At a high level, our strategy for 2021 is to continue the momentum we’ve created with webcast and podcast content. We are also paying close attention to the new community engagement model proposed by the SOA so that we ensure the AoF’s interests are represented and continued under that new model.
One thing I’m particularly excited about is the new Pre-ASA Affiliate Member program the SOA is rolling out in 2021. I believe the AoF is an ideal section for pre-ASA members to join, and we are actively exploring ways of engaging future members in that demographic, including additional contests, increased engagement with actuarial clubs at universities, and podcast content aimed at aspiring actuaries. We are also planning to strengthen our ties with other SOA sections and increase collaboration on webcast content that appeals to credentialed SOA members interested in the trends affecting the profession.
Ultimately, we want to provide as much value as possible for all members of the Actuary of the Future section, and I welcome any feedback you have as a member or prospective member. Please feel free to reach out to me, any member of our council, or send an email to email@example.com with ideas to help guide us in 2021 and beyond.
Statements of fact and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Society of Actuaries or the respective authors’ employers.
Eddie Smith, FSA, is the director of SOA Exams and an instructor at The Infinite Actuary. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.