Welcome to the CAS Staff Spotlight, a column featuring members of the CAS staff. For this spotlight, we are proud to introduce you to Ran Guo.
- What do you do at the CAS?
As the director of international relations, my primary responsibility is to engage with the local stakeholders in Asia to promote the CAS brand and to serve our members. The stakeholders are universities, regulators, local members and students. The services include professional education and training as well as hosting social events.
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
The world needs more actuaries! We have a special set of skills to view and analyze risk. The most satisfying part of my job is to introduce the wonderful profession of an actuary to the young students in the region. Being an actuary has given me the opportunity to travel the world. The training we receive through the examination process adequately prepares us for the challenges we face at work.
- What’s your hometown?
This is a difficult question to answer. The first 30 years of my life were split half and half between China and the U.S. I was born in Beijing and grew up in California. Now four years since moving back to China, I have finally settled down in Beijing again, so I’d probably say my hometown is Beijing. On a side note, if any of our members ever travel to Beijing and need some restaurant suggestions or fun things to do, feel free to reach out!
- Where’d you go to college and what’s your degree?
I am a proud Cal Bear! I earned my undergraduate degree in statistics from University of California, Berkeley. I followed up on that with a master’s from UCLA, also in statistics.
- What was your first job out of college?
I was lucky to be hired by Farmers Insurance during the financial crisis. As an intern, my first project was a by-peril homeowner product segmentation using GLMs. It was during this time that I learned what it’s like to be an actuary and made the career choice.
- Describe yourself in three words.
Energetic, down-to-earth, mission-driven.
- What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Basketball used to be the game of choice, but nowadays I spend my time on the bike trying to stay fit and improve my FTP or functional threshold power.
- What’s your favorite travel destination?
I am a big fan of the outdoors. I recently visited Switzerland — its rugged mountains are truly mesmerizing. Tibet also has some very impressive natural landscapes. I would highly recommend the two destinations, although, Tibet may be difficult to access for foreigners due to its tight border control.
- Name one interesting or fun fact about you.
My name Guo Ran in Chinese means something happens just as expected. That’s the approach I take to work and life — no surprises. A fun fact about me is that I have lived in six different cities in four years since moving back to China.