Finding Your Passion in Your 20s
Learning about yourself and what you value is key when making big life decisions like where you want to go to college and what your future career will be. Grace Greving, Athene actuarial intern, looked internally and stayed curious which allowed her to navigate her options and find her passion.
As you enter college, there is pressure to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. This decision then determines your major, how many years of school you will complete and what college is best fit for you. And, all of these life-changing decisions are supposed to be made at the age of 18.
Using an Interest to Spark a Career Path
As I looked at colleges, I became overwhelmed by the options. I knew I needed to figure out what was important to me and how to prioritize size, program and the lifestyle the college offered.
I soon realized, before I could even consider colleges, I needed to take a step back and figure out what career paths interested me. All throughout high school, I knew I liked math and people.
Knowing teaching was not for me, I started to look up other careers focused on math, and a top career that continually came up was an actuary. I dove deeper into my research and eventually shadowed an actuary and was hooked.
From there, I started to research schools that had actuarial science programs and found Wartburg College. Now I am a fourth-year student studying actuarial science at Wartburg College on track to graduate in December of 2021.
Putting My Passion Into Action
The decisions did not stop there. Now I needed experience. Through Wartburg, I was informed of an event where companies come to colleges to interview and hire actuaries. The whole day is devoted to connecting actuarial students to companies with internships and job opportunities. This is where I found Athene.
When deciding which company I wanted to work for, I followed similar steps to when I chose a college. I needed to identify what was important to me. I valued an open culture, and I wanted a company that broke intern stereotypes. It was important that I gained experience, not just go on coffee runs, to confirm that the career track I chose was best for me. While at Athene, I gained confidence in my ability to concisely communicate high-level concepts in a digestible and engaging way.
I learned a ton about office culture as well as the importance of open communication about daily work expectations from my co-workers and manager. As someone who was trying to absorb as much as I could about the actuarial industry, learning about how Athene measures up to other institutions was a high priority of mine.
Within my department, I valued their dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The actuarily profession is a subcategory within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). There is a general lack of diversity in STEM disciplines, but Athene has set goals to help increase diversity that engage employees at every level.
Through the five-year process of pursuing an education in actuarial sciences, I learned how to identify key factors that matter to me which allowed me to make life decisions without all the stress. It is easy to over-seek advice from family, mentors and peers, but ultimately you are the only who can decide what you love and how you can apply that to your everyday life. I am now in my early 20s, and I feel I have found one of many lifelong passions. My actuarial experience at Athene not only helped me affirm my career path but allowed me to grow as a professional and develop a network in a city where I plan to begin my career.
Athene USA is proud to offer a comprehensive, fast-paced intern program for the next generation of talent in the financial services industry — all right here in Des Moines. Members of the 2021 Athene internship class were asked to share their experience and why a Des Moines-based company was the place they chose to spend their summer.
Job opportunities and career resources are abundant in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Whether you're looking to find an internship, a job, develop professionally or grow as a student, we have the resources to help you thrive.
Grace Greving is an actuarial intern at Athene USA. She is a senior at Wartburg College studying actuarial science expected graduation December 2021.