Meet Samantha (Sammie) Meneilly, Assistant Actuary
Please tell us about your career journey and your path to Sompo International.
When thinking about my career journey and path to Sompo International, there are two perspectives I tend to focus on: the ‘book end’ version, and the ‘novel’ version.
The ‘book end’ version goes like this: I entered college as an actuarial science major in 2016, landed my first internship as a part of Sompo International’s Reinsurance Pricing team the summer of 2018, and after graduating from St. John’s University in December of 2020 with a degree in quantitative risk management, I began working full time as a pricing actuary at SI in January 2021.
What’s missing from this ‘book end’ version is the twists and turns that connect the months between when I ended my internship with Sompo in December 2018 and began working here full time in January 2021. During that time, I took two medical leaves of absence from college and pivoted my career path from actuary to teacher. Nonetheless, I continued to remain in contact with members of the team I had interned with at Sompo – my career plans had changed, but my respect and appreciation for the team I’d worked with at Sompo had not.
Seeing as I am writing this today, you’ve probably figured out that my career shift to teaching did not last all too long. A few weeks before I began my last semester in college, I came to the realization that while I loved teaching, I didn’t want to be a teacher. I missed working with a team, using my analytical skills, and being challenged to look for the story behind the numbers. When I realized this, my immediate instinct was to reach out to Sompo in the hopes that I could return to the company where I’d gotten my start. Gratefully, circumstances (and an amazing team) worked out so that a month after graduating, I was brought on full time to the same team I had interned with two years earlier.
It’s been about a year and a half since coming on board, and not once in that time have, I regretted my decision to pivot my career journey back to actuarial science and Sompo. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given so far and am excited to see what lies in store!
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
I think the top three pieces of advice I have received and given over the years are to ask questions, network, and find a mentor. I wholeheartedly agree with all three of these, but recently I’ve been offering a different/additional piece of advice: Know yourself and have the courage to ask for what you need. Sompo International is a company brimming with opportunities and people who are experts in their fields, eager to share some of that expertise with others; however, it is only when each individual is able to fully show up as their true selves that these learning and growth opportunities can be wholly taken advantage of. So, know the things that you’re good at and own them, and be humble enough to own up to where you fall short – it’s only then that both individuals and the company can achieve their full potential and continue to move towards success in all that we do.
Tell us about an initiative at Sompo International that you are most excited for in 2022.
I am really excited to see and be a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and initiatives that Sompo currently has in the works. Most recently, the company has launched several focus groups with the intention of hearing directly from the people of the company belonging to historically under-represented groups. While I can’t speak on behalf on the organizers or participants of these groups, my role in helping to facilitate some of these groups has left me with the impression that the company is working hard to ensure that its employees’ voices are being heard, and that the company is recognizing where we’ve historically fallen short so we can do better moving forward. It is my hope and belief that these DEI focus groups are just the beginning and will become a jumping board for a more robust and active DEI program at Sompo moving forward.
What is your idea of a perfect day outside of the office?
Anyone who knows me well knows that my perfect day outside of the office will involve my dog (Maddy), coffee, and ice cream. With that said, my perfect day would start off with a walk with Maddy along the Highline in NY (since it’s my perfect day, we’re going to imagine the high line allows dogs for the day), followed by breakfast at a local coffee shop with a friend. The day itself would be filled with a walk around central park (inevitably resulting in me getting a little lost), indulging in some random NYC food finds, and potentially a trip to get a new tattoo. I’d wrap up the day with a movie night snuggled up with my dog and a pint of ice cream. Most importantly, no studying for actuarial exams!