A math and science enthusiast, Jacob Akstins studies actuarial science at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. He loves baseball for its implications of math and analytics and enjoys extracurricular activities including serving as the President of his Actuarial Club. Here is our Q&A with him:
- What are you doing this summer?
This summer, I am interning at CNA Financial in Chicago as an Actuarial Intern on the Specialty Pricing team. In particular, I am developing a Quick Quote Tool for Management Liability coverages and analyzing our team’s Life Agents portfolio.
- What is your favorite activity (extracurricular/volunteer/work) to do outside of class, and why?
Social justice-related work and baseball are my favorite activities.
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I have the privilege of serving as a Multicultural Advocate. This live-in position gives me a unique opportunity to serve a diverse group of students as a facilitator and consultant regarding social identity. Mainly, I really enjoy working with students with disabilities and students who identity as LGBTQ.
As far as baseball goes, I have always been a super-fan whether as a player, umpire, or spectator (go White Sox!). This sport is, first of all, so fun to me. Additionally, it has really evolved since I’ve grown up; the implications that analytics and math play in this sport (through analysis and player shifts to cover probable ranges of hit balls, etc.) are endless.
- Name a few goals you wish to achieve in the near future.
I’m hoping to sit for (and hopefully pass) a fourth actuarial exam in early 2018. Additionally, I am looking forward to successfully completing my second internship with CNA this summer!
- In your opinion, why is risk management important to the society? Where do you see the industry trending in the next 5 years?
I believe that risk management is essential to our existence. The world is full of risk. Tools like insurance exist as a way for people to pool together their resources and protect one another through a guide (insurer). I believe that with increased reliance and innovation with technology (cloud computing, increased data usage, self-driving cars), our risks are becoming much more complex and unpredictable. Thus, advanced modeling, analytics, and other analysis is going to be a key-driver of risk management’s future.
- Share something unique about yourself (fun fact/talent/skill/accomplishment).
I was a musician throughout high school, playing marimba!
- How do you wish to succeed in both risk management and promoting social justice?
I believe that it is important to be knowledgeable about social identity and its impact on our world today. In particular, there have been many movements including those for disability rights, #BlackLivesMatter, gender-inclusive bathrooms, and more, and it is interesting to see how these progressions towards (or, sometimes, against) social equity affect everything around us.