This week at Wawa required me to sort through old statistics notes that I had taken last semester. Usually when I store my notes from old classes, I never have to look at them again. But, this week, that was not the case. One of my supervisors assigned a project to me that required a hefty amount of statistical data research. Sounds boring, right? Well, for us math ‘nerds’, one can only dream about the fun that I had this week (Dr. Lamb will be happy if he’s reading this). Anyway, the project assigned to me required me to research and forecast projected losses that Wawa might intake over the next year. This whole process can be simplified into three short steps:
-Look at the total cost of risk (TCOR) for the past ten or so years.
-Take current losses for the year so far, and compile them with the previous years.
-Punch all of the numbers into a calculator (or in your head for you smart ones) and present the finished product.
Those three steps might have seemed simple but each step requires roughly five hours of research and number-crunching. Forecasting is a difficult concept to grasp sometimes, because all it entails is predicting and with predicting comes levels of confidence. Some predictions can be right, while others can be wrong; and if you make the wrong prediction in the business world, it can certainly result in financial chaos or even potentially reduce your chances for job security. This week has taught me a lot about my major, Actuarial Science. I have learned how to make very educated guesses that usually result in near-perfect results. I also have learned that the more confident you are in your own work, the more on-point you will be once the real numbers come in.
On another note, we had 4/5 sunny days this week, which is a first for the PA-NJ area this summer. But, currently as I am typing, I am witnessing a monsoon develop outside. Good thing I have my Wawa umbrella to keep me dry!