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Real World Math

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Business and Education Connected

On Friday, November 8th, Henderson Brothers opened the doors to its beautiful headquarters located on the Allegheny Riverfront near the Convention Center to a Pine-Richland High School senior interested in learning how math and science apply to the real world. The job shadow was coordinated by Business and Education Connected, LLC, a career development company in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The job shadow provided the student with unique opportunities to gather information on career possibilities in actuarial science. The student previously met with executives at Business and Education Connected, LLC, to complete strengths and interest assessments and review complementing careers. Henderson Brothers very generously supported the interest of this student by planning a job shadow where the student met with a variety of employees to learn about how financial projections can help lower costs for their clients. Henderson Brothers is a leading independent insurance agency in the tristate area, and was established in 1893 to serve businesses in the river industry. Today Henderson Brothers has diversified into all areas of insurance and risk management providing products and services tailored to individuals, large corporations, small businesses, and non-profits organizations. The student observed and interviewed various employees throughout the day. The questions, which had been prepared in advance, allowed this student to gather information about educational requirements, experience, compensation, expectations, and the work culture. This experience helped the student by connecting their work site experience to their course work, bringing clarity and understanding to possible career pathways, related skills requirements, and various aspects of industry and post-secondary education options.

Aafke Loney, President of Business and Education Connected, LLC, met with the student following the job shadow to review the experience. The student learned how healthcare costs are affecting today’s business decisions and was fascinated by how the financial analysts used not only the most recent health care data but also included historical data in the cost projection discussions. The student saw real value of how assisting business clients to project healthcare costs in the different sub group populations provides essential information to determine how to remain efficient and cost effective.

The student worked closely with two actuarial science co-workers and found it interesting how the different departments work together to create the best options for their clients, as well as the challenges and difficulties they had to work through to find these options. Another challenge the student found was that working with insurance policies can sometimes be dry and monotonous. However, the rewards that come from the numerical analysis are fascinating discoveries and creative adaptability especially in today’s healthcare landscape. In order to pursue a career in actuarial science it is important to be strong in math and finances. The student was given these web sites as references: Be An Actuary  and Society of Actuaries.

During the job shadow the student was introduced to some of Henderson Brothers top management, who asked about future college plans. The student shared hopes of being accepted into their “reach” university. As the student was concluding the job shadow exciting news was given when one of Henderson Brothers management mentioned they would make a call on the student’s behalf with an old college roommate of theirs: the dean of the business school at the student’s chosen “reach” university!

The student reflected on the job shadow and shared “Seeing what they do as a whole even though it consisted of desk work and working with numbers, it isn’t just that…it is using your knowledge in math and people skills to help others. It showed me how math was applicable to the real world.”

For more information on the services of Business and Education Connected, LLC visit:

To schedule an interview please contact: Aafke Loney at 412-496-2389 or Christine Ricci at 412.303.9822.


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