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Tallmadge High School alum advises students to challenge themselves

Scott Hovest speaks Jan. 17 as part of Spotlight on Success series

Published: February 8, 2017 11:27 AM
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 “Challenge yourself.” That was the closing advice Scott Hovest gave to students when he spoke during the Spotlight on Success Series at Tallmadge High School Jan. 17.

Hovest, a 2008 Tallmadge High School graduate, is employed as an actuary with Ohio National Financial Services in Cincinnati.

“What I want you to learn from this is that whatever path you are on, it will change in 10 years,” Hovest told the sophomores.

Hovest began his presentation by talking about how he had no idea what he wanted to study when he was preparing for his first year in college, although he knew he liked math and was good at it. Growing up in what he described as a “Buckeye House,” Hovest said he thought he’d attend Ohio State University. However, as he was applying for colleges, he was offered a full ride to Miami of Ohio which he decided would be the best choice, financially.

Hovest went on to explain to students he uses probability and finance to design and price financial products. In addition, he said he learned he would need to pass several exams to enter the insurance industry, which included Probability, Financial Math, Financial Economics, Life Contingencies and Construction of Actuarial Modes. After more research, Hovest said he decided this would be his professional career.

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The summer after his junior year, Hovest interned with Ohio National Financial Services, and the summer after graduation he was hired.

Hovest gave students a lesson on probability and then offered some advice. He recommended students learn how to use Excel and sign up for business classes while in high school. He said that in corporate America, Excel is important to learn. He noted when on the job, he has to show his work so he told the students to focus and be sure to show details in their work and assignments. Hovest told students that communication was crucial and that means both speaking and writing. He spoke about the value of what they are learning at Tallmadge High School.

Hovest also encouraged students to enroll in AP courses and be sure to study for the AP exams. He said besides earning 30 college credits, it was important both for his internship and his job interviews. He said he was selected for the internship because he was an AP scholar.

“Scott is another Tallmadge High School success story,” said Principal Michael Householder. I never knew what an actuary did, but it is a great career and it took a lot of dedication by Scott to achieve his position.”

“Scott is an excellent advocate and speaker for careers in mathematics,” said industrial arts teacher Keith Bee. “Outside of mathematics, Scott also had a message of challenging yourself and being well-rounded as a student. Scott spoke of the need to learn cross-curricular because of the skill sets that are necessary in life today. If you take the path least resistance, you could be on the path of minimal rewards. I also appreciated when Scott spoke about remaining flexible on your educational journey, because sometimes the path leads you in a different direction. You need to embrace those challenges, because you never know what doors will open.”

The Spotlight on Success Series is organized by Class Advisors Joni Giles, Julie Headrick and Arene Staszak.

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