2002-2003 Statistical Society of Canada Endowment Award

Clement Wu

The Statistical Society of Canada Award will be presented to an undergraduate student who is a declared major/honors in Statistics and/or Actuarial Science. The criteria for selection for the award are academic merit and a commitment to the mission of the SSC.

Clement Wu writes: "What is actuarial science anyway? This is the second most frequent question from my family and friends, second only to the typical "How are you doing?" Frankly, two years ago, I still believed that actuarial science is somehow related to agricultural science, the reason being the slight resemblance in their pronunciations. Now, having passed two actuarial exams, in addition to completing an eight-month work term at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, an actuarial and consulting firm, I can speak with confidence that actuarial science is the study of anything that involves the access of financial risk, and the details can go on and on."

"I was introduced to the field of actuarial science when I was a second year computing science student. My affection for the subject has rooted in the heart ever since. The analytic and mathematical skills employed to make survival and financial predictions vastly amazed me. Thus, I changed not only my major, but also my career goal; I am striving to become an actuarial consultant. There are eight exams and one professional development course organized by the Society of Actuaries. Like many actuarial students, my goal is to finish them all and earn the designation as a Professional Actuary. Furthermore, to learn how actuarial knowledge is utilized in practice, I work as a co-op student in Watson Wyatt Worldwide, an actuarial and consulting firm. Being in the same environment with professionals in the field, my understanding in different actuarial practices expands everyday. Such knowledge would be invaluable in the future as I seek employment."

"This semester, I have been quite busy in terms of both school and work. I am working as a Co-op student in the daytime while taking two actuarial science courses at night. I find time management is absolutely essential, as I need to divide my time among work, classes, assignments, and studying. Moreover, I am planning to write Course 3 in May. Even though it can be quite stressful at times, I find self-satisfaction in my busy schedule, as I am another step closer to reaching my goal. You never know how far you can go until you try, and I am trying my utmost to achieve my goal."