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Following a tip from a lecturer who taught him at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sam Nolley took actuarial science classes to combine his math skills and entrepreneurial interest and find internships. After interning at Ernst & Young in Boston, he joined the firm as a consultant and subsequently worked in predictive modeling at Sentry Insurance. In 2014, he joined Arch back home in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he works on casualty pricing.
What is the biggest challenge of working through the pandemic?
It’s hard maintaining the emotional energy for work while also playing substitute teacher for two day care-aged children, but we’re lucky. My wife and I work in flexible industries, and Arch has a great culture where we’re all adjusting and in this together.
How will your work change going forward?
As an actuary, I usually want more data. But increasing data and technology adds complexity, inefficiency and new risks. Simplicity is often really important, and I think that those who figure out how to isolate which data really matters will have an edge.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
For success, ask lots of questions, learn the whole business, not just your role, and share your ideas. You’ll learn faster, and people with new perspectives have a chance to make a big difference. For your happiness, figure out which parts of the job give you the most satisfaction and spend your time at work with good people with positive attitudes; negativity is contagious.
What is something about you that would surprise people?
I was really into Brazilian jiujitsu and judo and did two cage fights once upon a time.
All-time favorite movie?
“The Big Lebowski.”