Career Corner

Jessie Augustyn

Where can you go with a liberal arts degree? What options are out there for Lawrence graduates? The Career Corner tells the stories of some almni who have found answers to these questions and proves that, yes, there is a job out there for you.Economics can send people in many different directions, but for one Lawrentian, it led to the Windy City. Dom Yarnell graduated in 2001 with an economics major and philosophy minor. After graduation, his career path took him to Iowa for graduate studies in actuarial science. He attended the University of Iowa for one year, as most graduate students in the field do not need a degree in order to be placed.

Last May, he interviewed for several jobs and was accepted for a position at a large firm in Chicago. “Typically, people go straight to a job out of undergraduate,” said Yarnell, but the extra schooling was beneficial.

“Most people get a job as a life actuary, which means they analyze life insurance, health care, etc.”Yarnell’s field is reinsurance brokerage, which is more specific.

When asked how a Lawrence student should prepare for a career in actuarial science, Yarnell said, “You have to take the calc sequence at Lawrence as well as upper level statistic courses.” He would also recommend being proficient with the Excel and Access computer programs, as they are used frequently in the profession. Yarnell added, “Economics courses don’t hurt.”

One of the challenges he faced coming into his job was not having enough math courses. In addition to more math, he recommended more specific courses, saying, “My econ classes came in handy… corporate finance and industrial organization to some extent. It gives me insight in some areas that the people I work with aren’t familiar with.