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Derek Eyler '07

Math is a fantastic subject to study in college. It gets a negative reputation in high school but you'll find it opens tons of doors for business, academics, and graduate schools. -- Derek Eyler

derek eyler at work standing in front of bookshelfDerek Eyler '07, of Glenside, Pa., always liked math, especially probability. When a high school friend suggested he consider a career as an actuary, he did some research and ultimately agreed with his friend that it was a good career fit.

“The combination of finance and probability math makes it an interesting field that is highly applicable to everyday life,” said Derek. “Math is a fantastic subject to study in college. It gets a negative reputation in high school, but you'll find it opens tons of doors for business, academics, and graduate schools.”

One of the advantages of attending Elizabethtown College for actuarial sciences is the preparation the program provides students for the challenging actuarial exams. Derek, who was also an Honors Program scholar, passed three exams while still a student.

“… I passed by committing the needed time to studying,” he said, adding that his college experience prepared him for not just exams, but for life.

Actuarial science is a fantastic career if you can handle the exams. It is a challenging and expanding profession with strong employment opportunities. The program at Elizabethtown is small but well designed. The teachers give you personal attention and work with you from Day One until you graduate. The course load is challenging enough that it will prepare you well for your career and the difficult professional exams associated with it,” he said.

His internship was an important part of his learning experience and, in fact, played a large in landing his position as senior analyst at Towers Watson in Philadelphia ,Pa. He was able to gain a true understanding of what working as an actuary would be like, as well as develop his computer skills. Derek also built professional relationships that helped him find a full-time job at a top firm.

Derek uses what he learned in college every day, and he believes his career allows him to carry out aspects of Elizabethtown College’s motto of “Educate for Service.”

“With the knowledge that I gained at Elizabethtown and that I continue to gain every day I help clients manage complex issues related to their retirement plans. The advice we give to clients allows companies to provide retirement benefits to their employees, which is an increasingly important issue for our society,” he said.

Derek added, “I had a great experience at Elizabethtown. It's a great place to learn and live. The teachers really give personal attention to students, and the students help each other learn. The courses were specifically designed to help me pass my exams and progress in my career while still giving me a breadth of knowledge and experience.”

It wasn’t all studying for exams at E-town. Derek started the College’s Ultimate Frisbee Club.

“We used to play every day at 4 p.m., rain, shine or snow. Possibly people still do,” he said. “I found Elizabethtown to be a great college for me. I had a great time and made tons of friends. I met my wife and fell in love. I learned a great deal that has prepared me for my career and life. It's really a close knit community of students and faculty that accepts everyone and looks out for each other.

Elizabethtown College