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Isaac Poplin in the MAC (Mathematics Assistance Center) STAT

Isaac Poplin in the MAC (Mathematics Assistance Center) STAT

Finding beauty in the numbers

Isaac Poplin | Isaac Poplin | Actuarial Science, Undergraduate | Department of Mathematical Sciences For Isaac Poplin, mathematics is more than his major—it’s the way he thinks.

“It’s like a language and my brain already thinks in that language,” he said. “I find joy in that too.”

The senior actuarial science student found a community at IUPUI thanks to involved professors and peer mentoring opportunities—all preparing him for a top internship.

The IUPUI experience

A high school personality career test rated actuary science No. 1 for Poplin based on his strengths. His first response was – what is that? After researching the field, he soon found it’s the perfect field to use his love of math in real-world applications.

“I talk about actuarial science as math applied to business and insurance,” he said. “You are taking numbers that are relatively complex and you are extracting information from those numbers.”

As an IUPUI student, Poplin quickly became involved in Actuarial Science Club and the Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC). Poplin works as an assistant manager for the MAC STAT, which focuses on peer collaboration for statistics coursework. That experience gives him the opportunity to work with peers to solve problems—a skill he found valuable during his internship this summer.

Poplin credits professors William Cross, Richard Patrick Morton and Julia Arciero for their guidance and influence in finding his path at IUPUI.

“A lot of professors within the School of Science have just poured into me in countless ways,” Poplin said. “They taught me more than information through the way they carry themselves and the way that they teach. That prepared me for the industry as a person as well as with the head knowledge.”


Poplin works as an assistant manager for the MAC STAT on campus.

Internship leads to major career move

Headquartered in Indianapolis, OneAmerica is a national financial services and mutual insurance holding company just minutes away from IUPUI’s campus. Poplin was one of six actuary interns placed in the competitive summer program.

During his internship, Poplin heard stories about people whose lives had been completely transformed because of insurance—a realization that fueled his passion for his work.

“Insurance is a beautiful way that helps people in their darkest days and best days—specifically when people die and when people retire,” Poplin said. “I think that it is an incredible opportunity to be able to work for a company and be accurate with my numbers in order to provide for people.”

Poplin worked in the financial reporting department analyzing income statements and balance sheets to make sure everything was accurate while also predicting future expenses. Additionally, he worked on collaborative projects with other interns that resulted in applicable data for the company.

As part of his OneAmerica internship, Poplin (center) spent a day volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club.

As part of his OneAmerica internship, Poplin (center) spent a day volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club.

“This opportunity allowed me to step back from the numbers and say what I am doing actually has an impact in the real world,” he said. “It’s an incredible way to be able to use math.”

Following his internship, Poplin landed a job at OneAmerica as an actuarial analyst I, and he will transition to a full-time position following his graduation in May 2019.

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