Rachel: Aspiring actuary, activist, creator

By Alexa Ganzeveld ’22

Rachel Ndjuluwa ’21 isn’t just a Wartburg student, she is also an aspiring actuary, a Davis Projects for Peace grant recipient, and a creator of YouTube videos.

Before attending Wartburg, Ndjuluwa was a student at Waterford Kamhlaba, a United World College in Eswatini. Ndjuluwa chose Wartburg because of its actuarial science program.

“Looking at the number of programs made me really commit because it gave the impression that this is a good school,” Ndjuluwa said. “I had never been to the United States but I just felt like I’ll probably find a home at Wartburg.”

During the summer of 2020, Ndjuluwa completed an internship with Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest women-led insurers in the nation. Through this internship, she worked on a variety of projects, from using data to determine assumptions to studying inflation rates.

“It was an amazing experience. Not only did I advance my skills in terms of the actuarial profession, I also learned a lot of things that are important for my personal development and as an actuarial,” Ndjuluwa said.

While she is working to better herself in the U.S., she’s also made progress improving the education system in her home village in Namibia. Though a public education is free, a lack of resources prohibits some children from attending school. The Davis Projects for Peace grant helped her bring those much-needed resources to those who needed it most.  

Rachel Ndjuluwa

“What really stood out for me was the educational needs of the community. I’ll see my cousins going to school, and they didn’t really have basic shelter where they are being taught. They didn’t have learning and teaching materials. I knew about the Davis project, but I just really never thought of something in terms of like having this project in my own home village,” Ndjuluwa said.

When Ndjuluwa went home during the summer of 2019, she helped her village construct a school. She also worked with the Waverly Public Library and Vogel Library at Wartburg to collect books and learning materials for the students.

“It was a really good opportunity to see hope restored in the community and to see kids happy and being inspired to just keep on pushing,” Ndjuluwa said.

During her second year at Wartburg, Ndjuluwa decided to use express her creative side by launching a YouTube channel, Actuaries in Creativity. Her videos allow her an outlet to talk about everything from her faith to her fashion.

“Right now I’m shooting videos where I’m talking, but I want to switch that up a little bit, maybe having interviews here and there, maybe putting in some sort of vlogging as well for some of the stuff that are related to the purpose of my channel,” Ndjuluwa said.

As Ndjuluwa approaches her graduation date, she is polishing up her resume and applying for jobs in the United States.

“My goal is to continue pursuing my actuarial profession. I do plan to continue working as a full-time actuary after graduation but also continuing to take my exams. I plan to take my third exam in March before I graduate,” Ndjuluwa said.