IABA Scholarship Recipient Perspective

Tenesia McGruder

Asrielle Allen is one of the fortunate. She learned about actuarial science prior to attending college, which is not typical, especially for minorities. Surprisingly, a sixth-grade career placement assessment listed actuarial science as one of the top three careers she should pursue. In high school, she attended a weeklong Actuarial Academy for minority students hosted by Illinois State. Through this experience, she was able to job shadow, visit actuarial employers, and learn about the actuarial science curriculum and exam process. During that week, a representative from IABA’s Chicago affiliate came to speak to the group, and she was happy to learn that there was an organization that supported minority actuaries.

Asrielle was encouraged by the experience and decided to attend Drake University because it is a Center of Actuarial Excellence. She received a scholarship from IABA for the following school year.

“The summer after my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to intern with Travelers as part of being an IABA scholarship recipient,” Asrielle says. “This experience helped me further build my network and gain a deeper understanding of the actuarial career.”

Asrielle received an IABA scholarship her junior year as well, which was coupled with the opportunity to intern with Prudential.

In addition to financial and networking support, IABA Scholarship program recipients receive an expense-paid trip to IABA’s Annual Meeting.  “It was truly amazing,” says Asrielle, of attending the 2019 Annual Meeting. “I was intrigued by the professional development sessions and the networking opportunities. The experience was very encouraging and inspiring!”

IABA’s Scholarship program was very impactful to Asrielle’s career trajectory—she has obtained two actuarial internships. Those experiences, along with networking and mentoring support, have set her up for a successful actuarial career.

Asrielle Allen is a junior at Drake University. She received an IABA scholarship for both her sophomore and junior years of college.
Tenesia McGruder, FSA, MAAA, is an actuary at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

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