MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

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

SUSAN PANTELY

Specialty: Health 

WHY DID YOU BECOME AN ACTUARY?

I graduated college with a mathematics degree without a clear plan. Searching for a career, I saw an advertisement in the local paper for an actuarial analyst (listed under math or I may have never seen it!). I answered it and was offered the job. I accepted the offer and after a few weeks realized that the combination of business and mathematics was not only challenging but fulfilling.

DESCRIBE A CHALLENGE YOU HAVE OVERCOME.

At a board meeting for my largest client, the board asked the director to leave the room and called me in. The director hired me and was my primary point of contact. I knew she had told the board her recommendation, which did not agree with mine. The board questioned me on my analysis and what I would recommend.

 

It was difficult to be placed between the board and the director. However, I explained objectively the analysis I had performed that led to my recommendations. The board ultimately followed my recommendation. It did put tension in the relationship with my client; however, the director left several months after and I still have the client 20+ years later.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ACTUARY?

I like solving problems that will help my clients and hopefully contribute to making health care more affordable in the future.

SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.

I love to travel—I’ve been to all 50 states and 68 countries. I’m also a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I also enjoy wine-tasting and golf.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUNG ACTUARIES?

Be curious and ask questions. Learn to understand the analysis and interpret the results, rather than focusing only on formulas and coding.

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