Celebrating 30 years of ASNA at the 2020 Convention

This article originally appeared in the CIA (e)Bulletin.

What’s the one event that brings together more than 600 aspiring actuarial students from across Canada? That offers two days of career-building opportunities with some of Canada’s top employers? And whose emphasis on fun is as important as learning?

The Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA) Convention!

Proudly sponsored by the CIA, ASNA 2020 kicked off on January 17, welcoming actuarial students, employers, and professional associations to Niagara Falls, Ontario, for a weekend of career growth, professional development, and networking. 

This year presented the CIA with a unique opportunity not only to connect and engage with Canada’s future actuaries as their life-long career partner, but also to applaud ASNA’s 30th anniversary. With a tone of celebration in the air, students had the occasion to participate in over 20 sessions. Among them was an informative workshop led by Joe Nunes, FCIA, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Actuarial Solutions, on becoming a professional and incorporating notions of approximation, materiality, and judgement. Another big hit was the crowd-pleasing CIA trivia session, using the Kahoot quiz app, where students got to learn more about the Institute and the profession and win prizes

One student said: “You had me at Kahoot!”

For students eager to meet actuarial employers and secure a job interview during the convention, the career fair was the place to be on Friday night. The CIA was proud to showcase its new job board, Actuarial Jobs, which offers employers complimentary co-op and internship position postings, as well as fee-based professional postings for candidates, ACIAs and FCIAs – an instant hit with both students and recruiters. As the grand patron sponsor of the event, the CIA was on site to talk and interact with students, providing free professional headshots to over 200 participants. Positive feedback was received from both candidates and employers during an exchange about the CIA University Accreditation Program (UAP), which is now in its seventh year.

“Our relationship with ASNA is one of the most important aspects of our student outreach strategy, and one which we enjoy immensely. We are energized and inspired by these next generations of actuaries all throughout the year, but particularly so at the Convention,” says Alicia Rollo, Director of Education and International Affairs at the CIA.

As a culmination to the weekend’s events, the CIA hosted the Saturday evening gala featuring a memorable address from CIA President-Elect Michel St-Germain, FCIA.

Drawing on his own experience as well as highlighting the achievements of current CIA members from varying backgrounds, Michel spoke on the “actuary of the future,” a changing profession, and the importance of knowing one’s strengths.

“We are all different, with different strengths … some strengths can be learned and some are innate,” shared Michel. “But what’s important is that you identify and understand what your strengths are, and where you want to take your career. This will give you a road map for where to focus your efforts.”

Linking to Michel’s theme, the CIA sponsored a bonus for students, offering every participant the opportunity to take the Work Personality Index® assessment – the results of which provide a clear framework for understanding the impact of their personality on job performance.

The CIA congratulates the executive led by ASNA President Angel Yang for their hard work and execution of this year’s event. Year after year ASNA delivers on its promise to provide participants with an enriching and unforgettable opportunity, one that will propel them forward as they ready themselves to become Canada’s future actuaries. We know their incoming president, Liddie-Beth Palmers, will continue to raise the bar.

“ASNA 2020 is record-breaking in terms of attendee and sponsor numbers. As part of the unique 30th anniversary experience, students also had the opportunity to hear and learn from the founders of ASNA,” says Angel. “We thank everyone for making ASNA 2020 a success!”

Until next year!

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