MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Each month, we will feature a member of the Academy and share a glimpse into their professional and personal lives.

DONNA MEGREGIAN
Specialty: Life

WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME AN ACTUARY? AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE PROFESSION?

I liked math but did see myself as a teacher or engineer. My father, who was an auditor, said “Don’t go into accounting. You’d be better off as an actuary.” I looked into it my senior year of high school, and the appeal of using my math skills and potentially a good career path for a woman set me on the path.

DESCRIBE A PROFESSIONALISM-RELATED CHALLENGE THAT YOU HAVE FACED IN YOUR CAREER. HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?

I was called by a lawyer about some work that I did many years before. I certainly got nervous. I was afraid my work was being called into question. The lawyer sent me the information related to the work that I did. It had really been too long for me to remember the details of the project and I expressed that. I answered the questions honestly and as best I could. Nothing was being challenged, thankfully, and the matter was closed pretty quickly, but keeping honesty and integrity foremost in mind, I managed the situation.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU WERE AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER? 

Start sooner. I find that I wish I had more time to do things, so try not to put things off.

TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHERE YOUR ACTUARIAL EXPERTISE INFLUENCED AN IMPORTANT DECISION IN YOUR WORKPLACE.

Much of my background is in product development. I was able to convince a client that they had to change an assumption—although it negatively impacted financial projections, it was a more realistic assumption for the future.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?

Ask questions. Whether you don’t agree or don’t understand, asking questions will help everyone. Many people are afraid to ask questions especially early in their career but also later out of fear of not looking like they know something they think others think they should. Progress is stalled when pride or fear get in the way.

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WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT YOUR ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP?

 

The opportunity to discuss some very important issues to better the profession. I am a member of many groups within the Academy and all of the groups have great people focused on trying to advance the profession. I am grateful that membership allows me to do that.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ANYTHING ELSE WITH ASPIRING OR NEW ACTUARIES, OR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING FOR THE ACADEMY?

My volunteering has greatly enhanced my career. Having a voice and sharing that voice is important. I definitely encourage people to volunteer—not only to better the profession, but to better themselves and meet other people.


SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES OR OTHER PERSONAL INTERESTS? 

I have been married for over 17 years. I have two incredible children that keep me very busy. I love playing and coaching volleyball. I recently became a soccer referee, putting all those years of playing, coaching, and watching to use. I enjoy traveling, especially cruises. My artistic side sometimes comes out through singing, painting, and helping kids with projects.

SEE MORE

Meet: Seong-min Eom
Meet: Seong-min Eom

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Meet: Zerong Yu
Meet: Zerong Yu

"Career ups and downs are inevitable. Taking the long view is likely to make some short-term challenges less stressful—and it can also enable us to judge the situation with a clear mind."

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Meet: Rhonda Ahrens
Meet: Rhonda Ahrens

"In 25 years, I can honestly say my job has never been boring. It has been complicated, intimidating, even frustrating, but I continue to learn and to find satisfaction in the topics that I continue to learn about."

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Meet: Seong-min Eom
Meet: Seong-min Eom

"Don’t be afraid of challenges. If something new comes up, you might tend to stick to where you are and where you are comfortable."

press to zoom
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