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Casey Word

Casey Word

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2009

Actuary at Milliman

Going Beyond the Numbers

MSF Gave Word a New Way of Thinking

Casey Word always knew she liked numbers more than words. From the time she was in high school in California, she planned to become a statistician or an actuary.

After earning her degree in statistics, Casey was drawn to Vanderbilt's MSF program, which offered a singular "blend of both finance and math that could be tailored to my particular interests." Her first visit to campus, on Welcome Weekend, cemented her decision; she discovered that faculty members already knew her by name. "I had applications prepared for eight other universities," she recalls, "but I decided not to send them after my visit to Owen."

In her intensive year of study, Casey learned the basics of finance that enabled her to complete her actuarial exams. "What I didn't expect to learn," she says, "were things not listed in course descriptions. Owen helped me see the big picture of how a specific project or department fits into the business as a whole.

"Before Owen, I'd simply create a model based on the information given. Now, I'll also think critically about the model's implications and assumptions and investigate what would happen if I varied the inputs. I've developed a whole new way of thinking."