We recently caught up with 2015 Waukee High School alumnus, Alex Hoffman. So many great things have been going on with him since he took the inaugural Foundations of Insurance and Actuarial course at FBL Financial Group, including giving the commencement speech at Simpson University graduation last year. Learn more in our Q & A with him as he shares more about his experiences after APEX.
APEX: Hi Alex. Share with us the APEX course you took?
Alex: I was in the Foundations of Insurance and Actuarial Science in the fall of 2014, the very first class in the program. Our host site was FBL Financial Group in West Des Moines. It was a great experience to work on my love of statistics while exploring career fields.
APEX: Share a little bit about the path that you took after high school?
Alex: I went to Simpson College and double majored in Actuarial Science and Economics: Finance. During my time at Simpson, I enjoyed leadership roles with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Dance Marathon. I interned with the Iowa Center for Interdisciplinary Training (a non-profit organization) and FBL Financial (Farm Bureau). I graduated this past May and am back at FBL Financial full-time as an Actuarial Associate.
APEX: Do you think that the technical skills that you learned in your APEX course helped you be successful beyond high school?
Alex: The technical skills I learned in APEX definitely helped me beyond high school. One of the projects my classmate, Justin, and I worked on helped me learn a lot about Excel and reinsurance. I now work with spreadsheets every day in my current position.
APEX: Do you think that the soft skills, or professional skills, learned in APEX helped you be successful beyond high school?
Alex: The soft skills I learned in APEX played a major role in helping me be successful beyond high school. It isn’t always easy or comfortable navigating various situations in the professional world, but APEX gave me a great head start for understanding how to interact with others in the business environment. This allowed me to make better connections, which opened the door to many opportunities.
APEX: Are there other things about APEX that assisted you as you progressed beyond high school?
Alex: My current supervisor mentored me and another student associate for the project we completed at FBL, so that was a huge connection for me. I will always appreciate APEX for giving me that opportunity.
APEX: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any advice to share with future APEX associates?
Alex: Don’t be afraid to pursue your passions in your career and personal life. The professional world can seem intimidating sometimes, but there are a lot of professionals who want to help you reach your goals. Use that to build relationships and realize those relationships will help you find the purpose you are meant to fulfill!