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Featured Alumnus

John Wiechecki '08

WiecheckiOriginally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, John Wiechecki graduated in 2008 from UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. During his junior year he was offered a summer internship in Keene, New Hampshire with Liberty Mutual as an actuarial analyst, and before the end of his senior year he was offered a full time position with the firm.

Founded in 1912 Liberty Mutual is the 5th largest P&C insurance company in the United States with an A.M. Best Co. 'A' (Excellent) rating, for their breadth, depth and financial strength in the United States and around the world.

John's position is in the Loss Reserve Department where he estimates future costs associated with unpaid claims. Full blown analysis is based on the claim, the state and policy limits. Insurance premiums are determined by a statistical analysis, taking into account crime rates in the area, as well as many other variables. Premiums are then based on an average cost for a particular group. John crunches the numbers to ensure his firm retains an appropriate level of funds necessary to pay claims.

The transition from college classes to the work world has had some 'ah-ah moments.' "In college, there are always specific answers; in the working world there are variables to consider so specific answers are rare," says John.

John said his statistical modelling classes prepared him best for this position, but since graduation he has taken and passed six of nine actuarial exams. "It is a continual learning process -- employers look for people who are willing to continue to learn," says John.

Liberty Mutual has targeted the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences to recruit students. Within the Keene, NH office it's well known that UVM students often are more interested in relocating to rural areas.

"Part of the draw for me was the location itself," says John. "Keene is a college town within a rural setting."

What does John miss most about UVM?

"Now that I am working 40 hours a week, I wish I could have some of that free time again," says John. "The irony is that when you are in college you think you are super busy, but you soon find out that the business world is far busier."