Meet some of our undergraduate alumni

ANSHUL ARORA (graduated with B.A. Hons., Actuarial Science in 2017) began his journey at York University in January, 2013 in Applied Mathematics. Having learned about Actuarial Science previously in India fuelled his interest in gaining advanced knowledge in the field and drove him towards honing his skills further. “I had always been extremely passionate about Mathematics & Statistics and wanted to learn more about it professionally,” says Anshul. When he heard about the Actuarial program offered at York, he decided to switch into it shortly after finishing his first semester, and, according to him, this switch has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions of his life. “The Actuarial Science program at York boasts some of the finest and highly qualified professors who enable students to learn from a diverse curriculum which not only challenges the students but also pushes them to strive for nothing but excellence. My Actuarial Science degree at York has helped me develop and strengthen relevant academic knowledge whilst also allowing to assess economic and financial challenges of the profession in a practical light,” witnesses Anshul. He believes the constant encouragement from professors allows the students to not only do well scholastically but also perform exceptionally in their professional actuarial exams.

“With the working knowledge that I gained through my program, I was able to get many interview opportunities in insurance, pensions and risk with many renowned firms like Manulife, TD and Towers Watson (NYC),” announces Anshul, and his current position speaks volumes of the same. Shortly after graduating from York, Anshul was very fortunate to have bagged an exceptional full- time role with Morneau Shepell as an Actuarial Pension Analyst. He says, “I am forever indebted to York and extremely grateful to my professors for helping me take the first steps towards fulfilling my dream of becoming an Actuary and I continue to look forward to this much enthusing journey.”

 

ZACK AXELROD (graduated with B.A. Hons., Actuarial Science in 2017) had a spark of interest in becoming an Actuary early on in his life, and he researched the field as well as the employment prospects in it thoroughly before starting his university degree.  “I learned that the field of Actuarial Science was quite competitive and warranting a job immediately upon graduation would require considerable and continuous effort. I then made it my goal to stand out as a candidate. That meant, first and foremost, I would have to choose the right school to study Actuarial Science. Then I would have to stick out in that school performance- and otherwise, and ultimately to excel on my actuarial exams,” says Zack.

In 2013 Zack chose to join the (back then) Actuarial Stream of the Mathematics for Commerce Program at York University to build his foundation as an Actuary. “It soon followed that the other steps in reaching my goals quickly fell in to place and it was during my third year studying Actuarial Science at YorkU that I was able to secure full time employment as an Actuarial Analyst with Sun Life Financial - one of Canada’s biggest and most renowned insurance companies,” exclaims Zack. “YorkU has not only given me the tools and resources to develop my analytical and technical skills as an Actuary but has also taught me to be unique and stand out in both school and the work place,” he adds.

 

NATHAN GOLD majored in applied mathematics at York University focusing on mathematical modelling and machine learning. He is currently a PhD candidate at York University in applied mathematics, studying under Dr. Huaxiong Huang and Dr. Steven Wang (statistician).Nate says “My time at York was highly rewarding and illuminating. When I was in high school, I did not see much of the utility of math, and initially pursued a degree in biochemistry upon arrival at York. After taking a first year calculus class, I began to appreciate mathematics in a new way and see how useful and fascinating it really is. I would go on to change my major to applied mathematics, where I took a variety of both theoretical and applied courses. I was also able to participate in undergraduate research projects using mathematics and statistics in both biology and finance. The instruction I received at York from leading researchers and educators, and the flexibility I was given to choose my own degree path was something I truly valued.”

 

BAKEESHAN KATHIRCHELVAN (graduated with B.A. Hons., Actuarial Science in 2017) came to York in 2011, but it was not until his transfer to the Actuarial Stream of the (back then) Mathematics for Commerce program, that he discovered he was a passionate and determined student. “I cannot speak high enough of York’s Actuarial program,” says Bakeeshan. According to him, “the uniqueness of the program is that it takes a very holistic approach and so, the students become well-versed in mastering both the theoretical and applied sides of insurance mathematics”.

“The knowledge I had acquired through the formal York’s Actuarial Science curriculum multiplied by the excellent mentorship of my professors, helped me a great deal to ace the many interviews I have had both before and after graduation,” says Bakeeshan, and he clearly knows what he talks about.  Namely, he spent two very exciting internship terms – one at Sun Life Financial, and another one at Morneau Shepell before graduating in 2017. Bakeeshan is now an Actuarial Analyst with Aviva Canada.

 

STEPHEN LIDDERDALE majored in applied mathematics at York University with a concentration in statistics. After obtaining his BSc, he went on to graduate school at the University of Toronto to continue studying statistical sciences.Stephen says: “After taking many courses in different fields of mathematics, I was introduced to linear models in a course on regression analysis. The far-reaching yet intuitive concepts taught in this course led me to concentrate my studies in statistics. York University gave me the freedom to explore, and the time to find my passion. With a wide range of topics taught by world-class professors, my time at York University was the most influential of my life.”

 

ROB NOEHAMMER (graduated with B.A. Hons., Actuarial Science in 2016) began his journey at York University in September, 2012 as a Physics Major. He loved being able to apply his mathematical skills to solve real world problems. “However, after two successful years in the Physics program, I began to worry about the potential practical applications of my education. After some research of the job market, I found that my maths could be very useful if I were to become an Actuary, which also happened to be an occupation with very high demand,” says Rob. So, he decided to transfer to the Actuarial Stream of the (back then) Mathematics for Commerce program, and he has not regretted ever since.

In 2016, during the final weeks of Rob’s time at York, he was called for an interview at the Head Office of Aviva Canada. “After describing to them many of the relevant skills that I had obtained during my time in the Actuarial Science Program at York, I was offered a 6-month contract with the possibility of permanent full-time employment. Now, six months later, I am a full-time Actuarial Analyst on the reserving team of one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in Canada,” concludes Rob with satisfaction.

 

JUDY WELTMAN completed her undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics at York University. She continued her mathematical studies at York and earned a Master’s degree in Mathematics together with a diploma in Financial Engineering through the Schulich School of Business. She is currently working as an analyst in the Treasury Balance Sheet Management department at TD. Judy says : “York provided me with the mathematical foundation to succeed in my career. The mathematics program exposed me to a broad variety of mathematical areas so that I could explore what I enjoyed most and develop skills that are currently in high demand, e.g. statistical analysis, computer programming, and optimization. The professors, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields, were always more than willing to guide me through any subject matter that I found challenging and were even eager to offer advice on topics not related to their course material. I truly appreciate the relationships I formed with the York faculty and the guidance they provided throughout the stages of my education."