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Student Spotlights

Alison: Actuarial Science

Alison Dian Jepsen was an intern on the underwriting team at MotivHealth. Learn more about the unexpected skills that she developed.

What did you do for your internship?

I worked with the underwriting team to quote new groups for health insurance. I mostly did documents prep. If a company wanted to see how much our rates would be, I would communicate with their insurance broker. I'd ask for information about their employees including birth date, zip code, current health concerns, and past rates. Then I would format the data so we could use it to calculate premium rates.

What was the most useful thing you learned from your internship?

The hardest part was when documents contradicted each other or had incomplete information. I had to comb through them to find what I needed. I also would update our internal records to keep track of groups we cover. I really liked the connection I saw between this work and the classes I've taken in school. The company's actuary pulled out a whiteboard and showed me and the other intern how we use a normal distribution to estimate how many claims will be above a certain threshold. Instead of just hearing about theory in class, I was seeing how it applied to real-world phenomena. I also was grateful for the respect I received from the actuaries, being invited to all meetings and having things explained that I didn't understand yet. I felt like part of the team.The most useful thing I learned was business emailing. I did a lot of emailing internally and out of the office.

What professional skills did you develop in your internship?

I had to learn how to be professional and relay information quickly and clearly. Another thing was Excel. We used Excel most of the time to format data and summarize it. I learned more functions and tools in Excel and got a lot better at it. The most help I had was familiarity with the terms such as deductible, out of pocket maximum, copayment, etc. Also the idea of distributions and how we can estimate how many claims would be above what threshold, etc.

Alison is a winner of the Experience Expanded: Video Contest. View her winning entry here: Experience Expanded: Student Video Contest.

Alison Jepson at her internship work desk.