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Mike Starr, actuarial services intern at Baldwin & Lyons, Inc., is not your average intern. Starr earned his master’s degree in student affairs and spent time in the professional world before an internship sparked a career change.

While Mike Starr did not always know what he wanted to do as a career, he always knew what he liked.

The actuarial services intern at Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. in Carmel realized early on that he liked math and science as well as a team environment. Blending those interests, however, proved more difficult before his current internship.

As a physics major at The Ohio State University, Starr assumed that medical school was in his future. When those plans fell through, Starr went back to the drawing board.

“While I was in school, I was extremely involved in different campus activities, so that’s when I became aware of student affairs as a career,” he said.

Starr worked for six years to receive his master’s degree in student affairs from Texas A&M University. While working at IUPUI as an academic adviser, he became interested in actuarial science as a career. Starr stumbled into his current role when his fiancé suggested he visit a career fair.

“I went to a career fair, but not one that I ‘should have been at,’ ” Starr said. “It was an accounting and finance career fair. I just went to see if any companies would be interested in an actuarial science intern.”

Starr thought the career change would be a good fit between his desire to work in a team and his knack for math and science.

“Just the way the business world is, everything is in teams even if you work on projects by yourself, you’re surrounded by people,” Starr said. “That’s why this internship was so valuable, I got to work in this career for a semester and see how I really like it and it’s been great.”

In his current position at Baldwin & Lyons, Starr spends most of his time working on a project with a trucking company, researching the company’s accident history and trying to find out what factors are contributing to the wrecks.

Starr’s internship ends next month, and he said that regardless of whether he ends up at Baldwin & Lyons full-time, the lessons he’s learned from this internship will prove invaluable as he starts his new career.

“When I first started, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do anything they needed me to do just because I didn’t know anything about the insurance industry,” he said. “My supervisor has been really great about explaining things to me so I can contribute. He’s been really cognizant of my development.”

Though he may not be a “typical” college intern, Starr knows that this was the right career move for him, and encourages others to look at all of their options, regardless of whether they already have a full-time job.

“There’s no right way to find an internship, you can find one a lot of different ways. I wouldn’t have found this opportunity if I hadn’t stumbled into this event,” Starr concluded.

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