Actuarial Student National Association Convention (ASNA)

The annual Actuarial Student National Association (ASNA) Convention is the largest gathering of actuarial students, industry professionals, and academics in Canada. Every year the convention aims to provide a platform for students to develop their knowledge of the industry and build their networks with professionals and their peers. This years’ theme for the convention was “Breaking the Paradigm”. It focused on the new exciting changes coming into the industry. The industry is changing at an incredible pace, with the introduction of autonomous vehicles on the road and the rise of artificial intelligence, the insurance industry must learn how to change and adapt effectively.

Throughout the trip, there were many events planned to further develop our understanding of what we have learned so far in our studies. One of my favorite features of the trip was the information sessions and seminars independently ran by each company, for smaller groups of students to learn from the company’s speakers. For example, I had the opportunity to talk to Intact, where we discussed how they are using artificial intelligence and Big Data to help with their insurance modelling. However, the conference was not all work. There were also several social events for the students exclusively. This ranged from some mingling socials to a cultural night. The highlight of ASNA was the career fair where students got a chance to network with employees and have the potential of securing a summer internship or a full-time job. This unique two- hour networking and hiring event gave students the opportunity to connect with recruiters, learn more about the actuarial roles and discover more about top employers in Canada. Moody’s Analytics, Manulife, Sun Life Financial, Munich Re, and Intact were some of the companies at the career fair. In total, there were 27 companies in attendance from all different aspects of the industry and the country.

During the weekend, a major accomplishment that the U of M achieved was at ASNA’s Case Competition. Out of the 17 universities, the U of M was one of the three finalists selected to present their case to a panel of high-level executives. The ASNA Case Competition is one the flagship events presented at each annual convention. It is open to all undergraduate students in Canada and it allows students to apply their actuarial, financial, and strategic skills by tackling a deep, layered problem. In this year’s case competition students had to advise on which industry sectors are most at risk of reputational insurance.

I learned many incredible things from the conference but above everything, I learned to step out of my comfort zone and learned about opportunities that are available to Asper students. I would encourage every student who has the opportunity, to attend ASNA.