Back in 2010, I moved to the USA to further my studies from Malaysia. Upon graduation from high school in 2008, I did not know where to go or what to study in college. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to study something related to Mathematics in college. However, I did not have a wide variety of options to consider when it comes to just Mathematics. I was asked to pursue a Math education major. However, I was not keen on becoming a lecturer upon graduating college. I was then given options to pursue Accounting, Statistics, and Pharmacy. However, I was not very interested in the career prospects in these fields.
Then I came across this area called “actuarial science” which I have never heard of before. Everyone says that it is tough to study and it is the perfect fit for a student interested in Math. Hence, I decided to pursue an actuarial science degree in college. I transferred to the USA after 1.5 years of studying at a local university in Malaysia as this particular college offered a transfer program to its students.
At that time, my goal was to pass all the professional actuarial papers as soon as possible. I was pretty confident that I would be able to get through all those exams even though I knew they were tough. Hence, I decided to take on my first actuarial professional exam during my first semester in the US back in 2010. I studied day and night and started my exam preparations four months before the actual exam.
I went through two exam manuals which were about 700 pages thick each to prepare for this actuarial exam. When it came to the exam day, I felt like I deserved to pass the exam since I worked so hard for it. However, I failed the exam on my first try. I was devastated and depressed. I began to think that life was horribly unfair because I had friends who barely studied for the exam and passed it on the first go. After being depressed for about one month, I decided to give that same exam another go. I failed again.
I became even more depressed. I could not understand what went wrong. Plus, I have never failed a Math exam before in my life. Hence, I could not believe I failed this particular actuarial exam twice in a row. However, I realized wallowing in your depression is not going to get you anywhere. I attempted the exam one more time. Moreover, thankfully, I passed this exam on my third try.
Feeling more confident, I decided to take on my second actuarial exam half a year later. I failed again in the first attempt. However, I learned my lesson from my first exam. The reason why I failed was that of me. There must be something wrong in the way that I was approaching and preparing for the exam. I should not be blaming everything else for the cause of my failure such as life, the assessment, my lecturers, and so forth.
My persistence in my actuarial exams paid off in the end. I passed my second actuarial exam on the second try. This allowed me to graduate university with two actuarial exams in hand. One year after graduating college I passed two more actuarial exams. I have also been offered a job at an actuarial education company one year after graduating university. I work on creating educational products such as exam video solutions to help students prepare and pass their actuarial exams in this company.
I hope to inspire people especially students to keep pushing on in times of failure and difficulty. Stop blaming everything and everyone about your failures. If you want to blame, blame intelligently. Instead of blaming something for not turning out the way you want it to be, blame it for the good that resulted because it did not turn out the way you wanted. This attitude changes your way of thinking and gives you the strength to persevere.
I moved back to Malaysia in November 2015. I am now an author of an a book titled “Strength In Numbers.” This book is written to create more awareness of the actuarial science field. This book will also help passionate Math students select a college degree with a lucrative career prospect. Feel free to contact me.
“Chloe is now an author and a consultant where she loves showing others how they can leverage on her actuarial skills and knowledge to multiply their own income.”
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