For Olubukola Famuyiwa, the journey to his recent internship with FS Investments has been a winding one. The senior industrial and systems engineering major has lived in Long Island, Queens and Nigeria, attended community college and even pursued a career as a mechanic.
One common thread remains from his engineering education and experience as a data engineering intern in a new field for him: flexibility.
Olu spent his summer focusing on data engineering as a technology intern at the South Philadelphia finance firm. There, he worked on a project focused on data access for employees. Aside from the perks (see: top-notch gym) Olu also described dedicated managers, mentors and CEOs who shared influential life experiences and career tips in sit-down conversations.
From the help he received in his workplace, he learned to "always be willing to help people."
Although five years ago Olu wasn't familiar with how finance firms work, he's learned to apply his engineering knowledge in coding and analysis to the field he feels passionate about.
In his spare time, Olu finds time to get as involved as possible. He holds leadership positions in various student professional organizations, like the National Society of Engineers (NSBE) and Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and participates in others, like the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and Fox African American Business Organization (FAABA). He even finds time in his busy schedule to box and play the saxophone.
Olu said the best way for students to find a similar internship experience is to "be aggressive." Take advantage of as many resources as possible in college, like Handshake, career fairs and student orgs, as there will never be greater networking possibilities than in college.
He was offered his position because he was "intentional" in pursuing it by following up on the application.
And it led to what he found to be an impactful experience in shaping his future. One of many lessons that stuck with Olu from this is to get in the habit of always giving back. He hopes to eventually venture back to Africa where he once lived and use his skillset and new knowledge to help people.
"No one has it figured out," Olu said, but his drive to succeed is helping him find his way in finance.
"What's most important is accepting that things can change, and you might like something else," he said. "You just have to be bold enough to stay true to yourself and embark on that."