Students begin their higher education journey with the expectation that it will lead to a fulfilling career. While some spend this time determining what that career will be, others know exactly what they want and how to get there. First year Florida State University student Rebecca Caro falls into the second category.

Interested in math from an early age, Rebecca is pursuing a degree in actuarial science. In honor of Math Awareness Month, Rebecca shares insight into how math has played a role in her life, leading her to a future in actuarial science. 

Cengage: What is actuarial science?

Rebecca: Actuarial science uses math and statistics to measure risk. Most people who study this subject work in the insurance industry as they learn to blend calculus, business and economics to determine the likelihood that an event will occur. The cool thing about the actuarial science degree at Florida State University is that it comes with a minor in business.

Cengage: How did you become interested in this topic?

Rebecca: I came to FSU planning to study engineering but quickly realized that I don’t love physics. Someone had suggested actuarial science to me, so I looked into it. The degree encompasses a lot of what I enjoy and it’s on the top ten list of bachelor’s degrees with the highest salary potential!

Cengage: Have you always enjoyed math?

Rebecca: I have! I have always both enjoyed and been good at math. A lot of people dislike the subject but I really appreciate that it’s not subjective. There’s always one answer – one single numerical answer. I struggle more with subjective subjects, like English. I also appreciate that actuarial science blends math with business and the real world.

Cengage: How can math empower students?

Rebecca: I find it incredibly empowering when I work on a problem for a long time and finally arrive at the right answer. If you are really struggling with a homework question, WebAssign, a Cengage product I use in class, gives you a few different options for ways to get help. This empowers you to take control of the situation and persist through the challenge.

In high school, I took four different math courses with the same teacher. I still keep in touch with her and she has two daughters at FSU. She has been a constant inspiration and great role model for me. I would encourage students to find a role model to help keep them on track and provide encouragement.

Cengage: If you weren’t studying actuarial science, what would you study instead?

Rebecca: I love the idea of fashion merchandising but I would probably find something else with finance, business or risk management.


Rebecca Caro is a first year student at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She is currently studying in the field of actuarial science and is part of FSU’s Honor Program, as well as a variety of clubs including the Women in Science, Math, and Engineering club. Although she takes academics very seriously, she spends her free time in a dance studio, at the gym and at the local library. She takes her physical and mental health seriously as well, and loves to take care of her body and mind. She has worked with children in the past for three years, and has enjoyed doing so. She also loves to help others and better herself.