Piedmont Grad Set to Start New Job in Actuarial Science, Wants to ‘Extend a Helping Hand’
Just weeks after graduating from Piedmont University, Geeth Mahagamage will start a new position in actuarial science that will allow him to be financially independent — a goal he set for himself years ago as a student in Sri Lanka.
“I am really thankful to Piedmont for the opportunities it gave me,” he said. “Now I want to extend a helping hand to someone else.”
Mahagamage came to Piedmont in 2018 as a participant in the Georgia Rotary Student Program, which provides scholarships to international students, allowing them to study for one year at a Georgia university.
“I was placed at what was then Piedmont College,” he said. “After one year, I had experienced so many great things that I decided to stay.”
Moving from halfway around the world and leaving all his friends and family behind presented Mahagamage many challenges, but in the supportive, close-knit environment he found at Piedmont, he was able to overcome them all.
“There were many difficult things, from cultural differences to the language barrier — I couldn’t understand the Southern accent,” he said.
“I was able to see every one of those challenges as an opportunity. Each one of those challenges gave me a new perspective, a new way to learn and grow.”
Even before he arrived at Piedmont, Mahagamage knew he wanted a career that involved mathematics, but he still hadn’t quite decided on his path.
“I knew that I didn’t want to do academia or research,” he said.
“I wanted something with a more practical approach.”
He had heard of actuarial science while still in Sri Lanka, and when he came to Piedmont, he started learning more about the program, which seemed like a perfect fit. Actuarial scientists use math, probability, and statistics to calculate risk. Their work is used to determine health insurance premiums, design and maintain pension plans, evaluate and propose changes to social welfare programs, such as Social Security, and more.
Mahagamage graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Actuarial Science and Business Analytics.
“Intellectually, it’s a very challenging career,” Mahagamage said.
“There are always regulatory changes, new concepts, new technologies coming out. The industry is always evolving. There is space to grow.”
While studying at Piedmont, Mahagamage completed an internship at AIG, an international insurance company. That internship built his professional network and helped him land his new job with Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm. Mahagamage recently moved to Atlanta for his new job.
“I did not see my life going this way,” said Mahagamage.
“A lot of the opportunities I’ve had came through hard work and building good relationships with other people.”
With his Piedmont degrees and new career, Mahagamage hopes to help his younger brother and sister, who are still in Sri Lanka, navigate their own educational journeys. He is also happy to serve as a mentor to Piedmont students. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Many people have helped me,” he said. “I want to give back.”
Learn more about Piedmont’s actuarial science program at Actuarial Science | Piedmont University.