Lapeer West graduate says more math can equal more money

Ravi Sharma, a 2007 Lapeer West graduate, spoke to a few of Mrs. Wilcox's upper-level math classes on Thursday about careers in mathematics. Sharma, a Kettering University graduate, is an actuary now working in Chicago.

LAPEER, Michigan — Ravi Sharma remembers well what it was like to be a student in Mrs. Wilcox’s calculus class. After all, it wasn’t that long ago for the 22-year-old Kettering University graduate.

On Thursday, Sharma spoke to several of Wilcox’s classes about the importance of taking math seriously as a career-friendly discipline. For Sharma, math has proven to be his ticket to a lucrative career track; it’s a track that has taken him from an insurance company in Southfield to a large consulting firm in Chicago.

Sharma is an actuary, a risk management analyst that uses math on a daily basis to calculate insurance risks, premiums and a multitude of other potentials. It’s a complicated profession, to say the least.

“I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I guess we’ll have to explore that together,” he said, before recalling a lighthearted definition. “Actuaries are to risk as lion tamers are to lions.”

Sharma encouraged the students to perceive math as a discipline with import across a diverse swath of professions. He told the students that he wished he’d taken math more seriously when he was in high school.

“If I had, I’d be even farther along in my career,” he said.

Sharma also encouraged students to make a point to challenge themselves with their studies.

“You can get just as good of an education here as you can at Cranbrook or Brother Rice,” he said. “It’s all about what you make of your experience.”

Ravi’s father is a local medical doctor and his mother is a retired LCS teacher. His sister Neena, a 2003 Lapeer West graduate, is completing her MD residency.

Click here to watch a video of his presentation.

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