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Casey Word

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2009
Actuarial Assistant, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

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."
Since 1969, Vanderbilt Business has been building a new kind of business leader. The kind who aren't afraid to challenge old ways of thinking. Who don't think they've heard it all before (or pretend they will ever know it all). The persistent kind. People who are ready to work harder and dig deeper, and who put ideas over ego and performance over pedigree.

We attract the kind who are looking not only to succeed in the business world but to shape it for the better. While also shaping their skills, their careers and their futures. All while shaping our own community in ways that make a lasting difference for themselves and others.

You'll find stories here of Vanderbilt Businesspeople, people much like you, who have done all these and more.

We invite you to become a World Shaper yourself. Or to recruit one. And, most of all, to read how Vanderbilt Business has become such a richly shaping experience for so many. Close