An economics major pursues her goal of becoming an actuary

Photo of calculator and chart

“My parents had me when they were very young, at 17. Since they were so young, they didn’t have the opportunity to go to college while raising me. I want to be successful so that all the sacrifices they’ve made were worth it,” said Dominique Fawcett, a freshman at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

An aspiring actuary, Dominique shared how she discovered her career path: “I really, really like math and economics, and actuary science was suggested to me by my teacher in high school. I thought about it a lot, and I think it’s something I’d like to do. I think it will offer flexibility as a career, and I’ll get to do math, which is what I enjoy.”

An economics major, Dominique is now in her second semester and is focusing on her core economics classes. She started with macroeconomics with Professor Janet Koscianski, in which she received an A. “I really like her teaching style, and the online program we used made it really easy to learn,” said Dominique.

Based on her success in that class, she decided to take microeconomics with the same professor, which uses the same online program, MyEconLab. Dominique shared how the professor incorporates the tool into the course: “In class she gives us notes, basic definitions, and formulas, and then she’ll give us examples. Then she’ll assign us homework in MyEconLab that uses those formulas. I really like it because I get to do the questions on my own, and I can make sure I really understand them.”

Dominique continued, “I like how MyEconLab asks questions about the same topics, but you answer them in different ways. For example, some questions ask you to use the graphing feature to draw a graph; others are multiple-choice questions where you choose which graph is correct.”

It helps me learn when I can try the same problems in different ways using MyEconLab.

 

As a first-generation college student, Dominique is able to attend college through a combination of student loans and financial aid. To pay her living expenses, she works full-time as a pharmacy technician, in addition to taking a full load of classes. Given her busy schedule, she often finds herself studying whenever she can, and she likes the flexibility of having online course materials. She said, “I really like doing my homework on my laptop. It’s a lot easier to submit things online rather than dragging around my backpack and books.”

Though it’s a challenge to juggle everything in her life, she credits her parents with teaching her the value of hard work, and she stays focused on reaching her goals. She concluded, “Since I’m the first person in my family to attend college, I really want to do well. I want to be able to help my parents like they’ve helped me.”