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Major: Applied mathematics with a concentration in actuarial science

Graduation Year: 2019

Hometown: Lodi, CA

Activities: Success Program, ballet instructor, horseback riding

Olga Highley

Olga Highley
I like the feeling of getting to the end of the problem and thinking, 'Oh, I got it.' I like the struggle along the way, not, 'Here's the formula. Just find the number.' I have to really think about what I'm doing.

Q: What interests you about actuary science?

A: I really like math. First, I was thinking about being an engineer, but I took some physics classes at my high school, and I didn't really like it, so I decided to do more math-based stuff. That's how I found out actuary is a good job for people who want to deal with math. So, I started taking courses here and I found out I really liked it. I'm taking financial mathematics, and I really like that subject. That's why I decided I want to be an actuary because it has the math aspect.

Q: What do you like about probability and risk?

A: I'm taking a probability class right now, and it's a pretty tough class. It's not easy, something that you can get in five seconds. That's another reason I like it because it's not something that you can look at and  'Oh, I understand it.' You have to go more in-depth into the question. It's not algebra math where you find a number from an equation. 

Q: Do you have a favorite Pacific memory?

A: I think my favorite part was orientation day. I really liked that because you got to know a lot of people that come here and are in your field and see what kind of jobs they're going to go into. We have a really small group because not a lot of people go into math. So, there were only five of us and our adviser. I really like that's it small because we got to know each other better than if we were in a big group.

Q: What would you tell a prospective student who wants to study Math?

A: It's not easy. You have to really dedicate yourself to the classes, especially the probability and statistics classes. It's not something that you just look at and understand really quickly. You have to actually struggle a little bit to get to where you want to be.