Actuarial science students learn the business during internships at CareSource

Computer coding, research, teamwork and critical thinking were among the professional skills sharpened by Wright State University students and graduates interned during the summer at CareSource.

The four students were part of the Actuarial Science program in the College of Science and Mathematics. They are Samantha Creekbaum, Isaac Brown, Tyler Armstrong and Alyssa Ferguson.

Julan Al-Yassin, instructor and director of the Actuarial Science program in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, said CareSource has been a great partner. The company was able to facilitate a remote-work format for the summer internships, even when many large companies canceled or reduced the length of internships planned for the summer.

“Experiential learning is a key component of student education, so opportunities like the internships at CareSource are extremely valuable for our students” said Al-Yassin.

“We were fortunate that our efforts to recruit a summer intern at another university failed, which led us to discover the thriving actuarial program at Wright State University in Dayton,” said Stephen Butz, director of actuarial science for CareSource. “Julan Al-Yassin has been a champion for the Wright State Actuarial Program and is a valued partner for CareSource.”

Butz said an internship is not meant to define a career path but rather a chance to explore one.

“Alyssa, Tyler, Isaac and Samantha came to CareSource equipped and eager to explore, applying what they learned in school to more training on the job to help solve real actuarial problems,” he said. “The more they learn, the more they can make a difference.”

Creekbaum, of Middletown, is a senior majoring in statistics with a concentration in actuarial science and a minor in business. She interned at CareSource over the summer and now works part-time while she continues school.

“I learned many things while interning at CareSource such as SQL (Structured Query Language) coding, many actuarial basic topics, how the team runs and communicates, and how to organize my time to work online in a productive way,” said Creekbaum.

She said all of these things will help her in her career because they are part of the experience of working in a real actuarial team.

“I was also able to practice my presentation skills, do my own research on actuarial topics, and learn how to organize data I collected in a helpful way,” she said. “This will give me a huge upper hand when I am continuing my career because I do feel comfortable in the field I am going into.”

Ferguson, of Cable, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in statistics with a concentration in actuarial science. Following her internship, she was offered a full-time job as an associate actuarial analyst at CareSource.

“I help my teammates set reserves each month for the different products CareSource offers,” she said. “I have learned a lot about Excel, SQL and health insurance and will continue to learn more the longer I work at CareSource. This helps a lot in my career as I gain experience in the health actuarial field.”

Brown, of West Milton, graduated with a statistics degree with a concentration in actuarial science.

At CareSource, he worked as an associate actuarial analyst as part of the company’s Marketplace and Medicare Advantage actuarial team. He worked on the two insurance products every day.

“This is something that would be very beneficial to me in an insurance field,” said Brown. “Working at CareSource also helped me work on projects with no document headings and helped me critically think about topics where the solution was not clear.”

Armstrong, of Springfield, earned his bachelor’s degree in statistics with a concentration in actuarial science. Following his internship at CareSource, he was offered a full-time job as an associate actuarial analyst, tracking and predicting costs and membership for OH Medicaid/MyCare and GA Medicaid.

“I have learned a ton in my time at CareSource,” said Armstrong. “I work a lot with rate advocacy, so I have learned about the process and the importance of it. I have gained a good amount of experience with SQL and Excel, and I continue to learn more every day. This really helps in my career by helping me better understand all of the components of Medicaid insurance.”

The Actuarial Science program at Wright State is recognized by the Society of Actuaries as an Advanced Curriculum Program, one of only three programs in the southwest Ohio and Kentucky region to hold the designation. Students in the program have been very successful at placing in internships that transition into full-time work upon graduation.

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