Alumni Profile

Picture of Kevin Cavanaugh

Kevin Cavanaugh, ’14 Mathematics and Statistics

Actuary, Mercer Retirement

Beyond calculus, probability, and statistics, at UMass I learned how to be a learner.

I became a math major because I can do something not that many people can do. UMass Amherst has a very good math department, and my classes definitely prepared me. I loved how up front my professor was about the challenge of actuarial science. In the iCons (Integrated Concentration in Science) program I learned so much about my mathematical abilities and how they could be applied in every single different context you could ever imagine.

But more than the calculus, probability, and statistics, at UMass I learned how to be a learner. I learned how to adapt to a situation and figure out a problem that you come upon and it’s impossible to solve it. That was constantly what I learned at UMass--and  that’s what I constantly do in my career.

Picture of Kevin Cavanaugh with UMass campus in background

Some friends and I formed the UMass Amherst Actuarial Club. We had speakers, we held resume workshops, and we set up a resume book that we can send to companies. We offered support and information about actuarial science in general. We built a lot of interest and awareness of actuarial science on campus.

iCons gave me the capacity to work in a team of people—and especially being a math major—to work with people who don’t necessarily know everything you’re telling them. I had to simplify my knowledge so I could share it with my team without making it useless. The quintessential client skills that every actuary needs to have is the ability to transfer knowledge in a way clients can understand AND is also useful. UMass literally got me my job, and the skills I learned here will benefit me the rest of my life.