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In 2012, Josh Nymeyer was a busy guy. As a third-year student on Dordt's campus with two majors, he decided to pick up a third major in the form of actuarial science. In September, with nearly an entire school year yet to complete, Nymeyer received his first job offer as an actuary. In just over one year's time, Nymeyer had traveled a road filled with hours of hard work and more studying than he originally planned. But when he picked up his phone to hear Zurich Insurance on the other end, it was worth it.
When Nymeyer heard about actuarial science in his junior year, he was excited right away and began looking into it. Already studying business finance and accounting, it seemed like the perfect fit to him. He picked up the third major and began preparing for the first actuarial exam without much knowledge of the process.
"I went into the first one (FM) expecting it to be easy. It's a standardized test, it couldn't be that bad," says Nymeyer. "I was wrong."
Nymeyer studied about 80 hours for the first exam. The recommended standard is 300 hours.
"After I failed the first one, I knew how much work had to be done to prepare for the next," he says. "I studied much more and passed." He immediately began studying for the second exam and started applying for internships right away.
Nymeyer knew he needed to secure an internship for the summer, and he knew he was late to the party. As a junior with just one exam passed, he was already a couple years behind. "I knew I had to work hard to get a summer internship before my senior year. I probably applied around 40 places all over the country, and heard back from three of them." One of those three was Zurich Insurance. Nymeyer accepted and spent the summer of 2013 in Kansas City. A few months later came the job offer.
Actuarial internships often lead to job offers, and Nymeyer knows he wouldn't have received his offer without the summer in Kansas City. Working hard for the company while also studying for his next exam was crucial.
"Actuarial internships are like extended interviews and are important for both parties," he says. "I showed them my capabilities and work ethic, and they showed me what it's like to work at the company."
Nymeyer recommends working very hard to get an internship as soon as possible, and then continuing to work hard in that internship to secure a job. He also insists Dordt prepared him for the hard work that comes along with actuarial science.
"Having an actuarial science major shows companies your interest in the area," he says. "That is only one of the reasons I'm thankful for Dordt and its actuarial program."