Daniel Munson

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Hometown

Grove City, Pennsylvania

SCHOLARSHIPS I RECEIVED

  • Distinguished Scholar Award
  • Presidential Scholarship
  • Kuyper Honors Scholarship
  • Music Activity Scholarship
  • Nymeyer Actuarial Scholarship

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS

Anywhere in the B.J. Haan

FAVORITE CLASS

Either American Constitutional Law with Dr. Roth or History of the Muslim World with Dr. Cosgrove

COOL THINGS I DID AT DORDT

By far the coolest thing I got to do at Dordt was participate in and eventually lead Sunday Singing, a club of Dordt students that goes to the local nursing home every week to sing hymns and visit with the residents. I made a lot of friends through the club in my years at Dordt, and the joy and friendliness of the residents was always such an encouragement. There is nothing like sharing and hearing gospel truths in hymns from fellow Dordt students and residents alike! Other cool things I was able to do at Dordt were multiple tours with the orchestra (one in the Pacific Northwest and one in the Midwest), intramural basketball and volleyball, Dordt Men's Choir, and a PLIA trip to New Orleans.

CONCEPT THAT BLEW MY MIND

When we covered ARIMA modeling in my econometrics class, my mind was blown. I knew that in theory historical data could be used to predict future trends, but seeing how it actually works was really neat. ARIMA modeling allows you to consider a lot of historical factors, which in turn makes its future predictions more accurate. Statistics are such a powerful tool, and ARIMA modeling is a great example of that.

OBSTACLES I’VE OVERCOME

I think the biggest obstacle I faced, especially freshman year, was adjusting to northwest Iowa. Coming from Pennsylvania, everything here was just a bit different—down to even small things, like food and recreational activities. I also didn't have any of the high school or family connections some people at Dordt have, so I definitely had to put forth more effort socially initially. In the end, though, I’m definitely glad I had to adjust to those things. It encouraged me to branch outside of my comfort zone, and the community at Dordt was amazingly welcoming!

WHO I WAS WHEN I CAME TO DORDT

Coming to Dordt, I was excited for college but definitely less sure of myself. I'm a planner, so the prospect of going to a completely new place and trying to figure out whether actuarial science was something I wanted to pursue was very daunting.

HOW DORDT IMPACTED ME

It was very spiritually formative to hear from other believers with completely different experiences than my own. Dordt broadened my Christian perspective and helped me understand that being Reformed means so much more than just believing certain doctrines. My time here has also helped me become a more confident decision maker and realize that it's okay if things don't go exactly as I plan; as stressful and disruptive as COVID was academically and vocationally, it was a vivid illustration that God can and does work through uncertainty.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ME

After graduation I will be moving to Schaumburg, Illinois, to work as an actuary for Zurich North America, a Swiss Property & Casualty insurance company. I actually got connected with ZNA through Dordt; an alumnus who works there, Josh Nymeyer, encouraged me to apply there for an internship a couple summers ago—and the rest is history.

WHAT I WOULD TELL PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

I’d say that Dordt professors' first priority is teaching, the Christian instruction and support is unmatched, and Dordt combines the community of a small school with a surprisingly diverse array of activities and career opportunities to participate in. I would also encourage them to push themselves out of their comfort zones both intellectually and socially. College is the best time to wrestle with the big questions in life as you have the support of professors and fellow students to seek advice from. It is a great time to push yourself socially, as college will present activities and opportunities you might otherwise never get the chance to do. So get out there, go on PLIA, join a choir, or make an intramural team. You won't regret it.

HOW DORDT HELPED ME DO MORE

I think Dordt has helped me do more by encouraging me to grow beyond simply getting a job. I've seen myself grow spiritually, socially, philosophically, and emotionally at Dordt, and a lot of that has to do with the educational philosophy here.