May 28, 2021 at 10:15am
Kendall Trump '13

Recent graduate and future actuary reflects on Millikin experience

Haley Vemmer, Class of 2021, graduated from Millikin University on May 16 with majors in Mathematics, emphasis in Actuarial Science and Computer Science, and minors in Finance and Spanish. Despite the unique program requirements that she hoped to pursue, Haley didn't have to search for long when looking for a school that offered the things most important to her. Millikin University fit the bill for the Decatur-native, and she chose to stay close to home for her college education. 

"I picked Millikin because I wanted to go to a smaller school with a good Actuarial Science program," said Vemmer. "Millikin is actually only one of only a couple hundred schools in the world that has a program recognized by the Society of Actuaries."

Millikin's Actuarial Science program is only the sixth program in Illinois to receive recognition as an Advanced Curriculum Program (UCAP-AC) by the Society of Actuaries, making it stand out from other schools for Haley. The University's tight-knit, inclusive campus and the ability to stay close to home helped make Millikin the right choice for Haley to pursue her education. 

During her time at Millikin, Haley took advantage of the full spectrum of academic and extracurricular activities on campus. She was involved with the Honors program, the Long-Vanderburg Scholars program, the Pi Mu Epsilon honorary mathematics society, Math Club, the Newman Catholic Community and Robotics Club.   

The numerous Performance Learning opportunities in which Haley took part also helped her become a more rounded student and broaden her interests and skills. Through the Honors and Long-Vanderburg Scholars programs, Haley presented twice at Millikin's annual Celebrations of Scholarship event. She also participated in a study abroad trip to Spain and spent a semester working with the Tabor School of Business's investment portfolio. 


"While I was at Millikin, I learned a lot about how to be more open to opportunities and to not say "no" to things before I tried them," Haley said, remarking how this new approach helped her discover an unexpected interest in computer science, which became one of her majors. The hands-on experiences at Millikin also helped prepare her for the summer internship that led to her full-time position following graduation. 

While Haley says that Millikin, as a whole, was the perfect place to earn her degree, she credits the University's Math and Computational Sciences Department as the biggest contributor to her success. 

"The whole math department is a close-knit community. The professors are all dedicated to their students and will help them succeed however they can." Haley said, recalling the valuable time she spent with her fellow students and professors studying in the department in Shilling Hall. "The professors are always open to advising independent study courses that we could use to get extra exposure to topics that interested us and would be useful to us in the future."

Haley's time at Millikin helped her earn an internship with Genworth Financial during the summer of 2020, which led her to accept a full-time position with the company starting in July 2021. Following graduation, Haley will be moving to Virginia to begin her career as an actuary for Genworth Financial.