- Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Mathematics, Virginia Tech, 2000
- Position: Actuarial Consultant
- Company: St. Paul Travelers
- Industry Sector: Finance and insurance
Melissa is the actuarial contact for the Travelers Commercial Accounts Actuarial Division and the Agribusiness market. She is the link that provides visibility into the general pricing process, as well as the details underlying the policies and claims.
Melissa O'Connor is an actuarial consultant with St. Paul Travelers Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut. As a member of the Commercial Accounts Actuarial division, Melissa is the actuarial contact for the Agribusiness market. From the review of current rating structures to analyzing the advantages of new growth initiatives, Melissa's position encompasses a broad scope of responsibilities. Melissa serves as the key link between the actuarial and corporate environments; interaction with the financial, underwriting, and product line sectors is therefore essential. Her position provides visibility into the general pricing process as well as the details underlying the policies and claims. Melissa states that, "The balance of working with the 'details' and exposure to the 'big-picture' in my position is ideal."
Melissa's interest in the actuarial field was cultivated in high school during a Probability & Statistics class and further developed in college with exposure to mathematics, economics and applied statistics. She had two actuarial internships during her college career: the first in the life side and the second in the property-casualty side of actuarial. Both provided a solid understanding of the responsibilities and duties of an actuary. The unique mixture of mathematics and business was what ultimately attracted Melissa to pursue an actuarial career. Melissa says that, "I highly recommend that students considering a career in actuarial sciences pursue an internship that will allow hands-on training and overall exposure to the field."
Although her mathematical degree is not exercised everyday, Melissa affirms that, "The skills acquired during my time at Virginia Tech provided a solid foundation for problem-solving, teamwork, and the ability to pick up new concepts quickly -- all important in her everyday projects." Leadership opportunities within the department's clubs also played an important role in understanding the key traits of successful leaders and their desire to continually learn and improve those skills.
A common concern within the Agribusiness market is to define the most profitable business by program type and hopefully retain those types of risks. The market consists of many programs including: citrus, cotton, dairy, horses, and livestock. Some programs, although they possess elevated levels of risk, are more predictable and can therefore be more adequately priced, while lower-risk programs may fluctuate in their year-to-year experience. A strong technical background is required for computing the analysis, executing frequency and severity summaries, and performing trending procedures.
Melissa has a BS with double-majors in Mathematics and Statistics from Virginia Tech. After receiving her degree, she returned to St. Paul Travelers full-time, where she had previously interned.