Community Spotlight: Bryndis Arnarsdottir

February 14, 2024

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Hæ, I’m Bryndís! I am an Icelandic actuary at Assurant where I work in pricing on the Mobile side.

But before I worked as an actuary, I was an actuarial student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was the volunteer coordinator for the Actuarial Association. I was looking for more meaningful volunteer opportunities for our members—something rewarding where they got to use their strengths to help our community. That is when I found out about Math Motivators and The Actuarial Foundation. My fellow actuarial students were very excited about the opportunity of getting volunteer hours using their math skills to help younger students. I worked with Karen Lindebrekke, Program Manager for Math Motivators, for the majority of the summer of 2019 to get a tutoring program launched in Santa Barbara, and by the beginning of fall semester, the first Math Motivators program in California had launched! I still remember the excitement of it all—the actuarial students, the high school students, The Actuarial Foundation, and my university advisers—everyone was thrilled.


Then in 2020 I graduated from UCSB and moved to Atlanta where I was preparing to take my first actuarial exams. That is when Karen reached out to me and asked if I was interested in getting involved with Math Motivators again—and my answer was immediately yes. With the new virtual world where students’ reading and math levels were often below academic expectations, there was a greater need than ever for the Math Motivators volunteers. And so began the work on getting Math Motivators launched in Atlanta. For the next (almost) year I worked with the amazing Math Motivators team as I took my first two exams, and it was a truly rewarding experience. And then, I got my first actuarial job! I stepped down as the Program Coordinator for my area, but I have stayed involved with Math Motivators and The Actuarial Foundation ever since, and will continue doing so.


My work with the Foundation taught me skills that are typically not taught in the (actuarial) classroom—communication, collaboration, and innovation, to name a few. I had a rather untraditional path to becoming an actuary and had no internships or other actuarial job experience when I graduated. But what I did have was my work with The Actuarial Foundation. My experience with Math Motivators and The Actuarial Foundation was definitely a factor in getting my first actuarial role as the name carries weight in the insurance industry, and I am a better actuary because of that experience.


Having worked with university students as well as practicing and retired actuaries, I have had the chance to see the wide impact working with these students has. There has been tremendous growth in the last few years, which truly excites me as it means that more students get the help they need, and more actuaries get to reap the benefit of volunteering for this program. There still remain such a large number of students across the country who could benefit from tutoring and having that additional help that Math Motivators offers, and so I encourage every single person who has the time and capacity to get involved in educating the next generation. I can tell you from experience—there is nothing like it.


Categories: 30th Anniversary, Blog, Foundation News