Carol Adu-Bobie on Deepening a Practical Understanding of Financial Literacy
In the Nasdaq Internship Program, we provide a variety of professional experiences to emerging talent through an immersive 10-12 week internship program. From Stockholm to the United States, whether in person or remotely, we get an inside look at the bright minds and personalities that encompass the next generation of investors, disruptors and leaders.
In honor of internship season, we spoke with Carol Adu-Bobie, Business Solutions Analytics Intern, about gaining a deeper understanding of financial literacy through hands-on experiences.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your job at Nasdaq.
I recently completed my second year as a Business Administration student at the University of Windsor, majoring in Finance and minoring in Applied Information Technology. I am involved in undergraduate research on the effects of technology investments, specifically their effects on an organization’s financial performance.
The main objective is to generate a coding system capable of determining the value of an investment for the operations of a company. I am also part of an initiative to raise awareness of research opportunities on my campus. To do this, we interview faculty members and student group leaders for people from marginalized backgrounds, as well as projects that students undertake on social media.
On a more personal note, I enjoy reading, drawing, cycling and trying new restaurants with friends. Learning to dance salsa and traveling to six continents are at the top of my to-do list.
What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on so far, or the one you’re looking forward to?
My favorite project so far is more of a task, and that’s asking investors and analysts about their perceptions of our clients. I ask follow-up questions to better understand how they feel about a range of topics, such as their management and investor relations team and their opinions on the valuation of the company compared to its peers in the sector. I also edited interview transcripts and performed quote analyses, which are summarized and forwarded to the client for further action. Something I’m looking forward to is my final project which involves all things Investor/Analyst Days.
What’s stood out the most about the Nasdaq now that you’re part of the global team?
What stood out to me the most about Nasdaq was their commitment to fostering a culture of teamwork and innovation. In every department, people are more than willing to lend a hand and explain new concepts to others. There is such camaraderie among all the employees that it makes you excited to show up to the office. Most teams have members on different continents, but everyone works together despite cultural differences and varying time zones. The Nasdaq is also constantly on the lookout for new ideas or companies with the latest inventions or data on trends and technology. They always expand into unforeseen industries and acquire businesses in niche areas, which generates so many opportunities for growth. Managers really encourage you to express your point of view and take initiative.
The Nasdaq is truly committed to its core values, in particular playing as a team, driving innovation and extending its mastery. In terms of the number of employees, it’s a small company, but it has such a huge impact in the world of fintech, and I would attribute that to the brilliant people who work at Nasdaq.
What is your goal as a #NasdaqFam intern? How does the Nasdaq support your long-term goals?
My goal as #NasdaqFam is to learn more about the finance industry, especially the things that aren’t taught in school. Financial markets have always fascinated me with their ability to increase everyone’s utility and provide everyone with access to global wealth. The Nasdaq is always at the center of all the action, so there’s no better place to learn more about this area than here. Their adjacency to businesses and markets as well as internal business units allows him to possess a wealth of knowledge that will be incredibly beneficial no matter where I find myself in the future. Also, accepting this opportunity took me out of my comfort zone by moving to a bigger city on my own. I connected with other employees on and off the job and learned about the different opportunities in different business units. I hope to make lasting connections with the company’s interns and full-time employees. Ultimately, this internship is a chance for me to explore the many avenues present in the field of finance and technology as well as narrow down the areas I plan to pursue in the future.
What advice would you give to future interns?
My advice to future interns is to be proactive and make your interests heard. The people are incredibly nice, but they’re not telepaths. If you don’t approach them about things that interest you, they’ll never know. A simple introduction or question goes a long way and the more you educate yourself, the more comfortable you become reaching out to people. Know that even if they are professionals, they are also people! So relax and overcome the fear of rejection, which rarely happens.
I would also say keep track of your accomplishments. Sometimes you may be given mundane tasks that don’t seem important to you, but at the end of your internship, you can look back and recount the many accomplishments as well as challenges you’ve overcome along the way.
Finally, don’t subject yourself to unnecessary stress. Some missions or projects can be difficult but not impossible. You’re still a student, so you probably won’t know much. Realize that you are not supposed to be an expert on day one, but you are there as a learner. Ask for help and remember to take a break when you need it. Your physical and mental health should always be your first priority.
How do you bring a fresh perspective to your industry?
I would say that my inexperience and my enthusiasm bring a new perspective to my department. When you’ve spent so many years operating a certain way, you may not see the inefficiencies or the different methods of getting things done. Having someone with limited exposure presents new ideas on how to do things differently. Also, as a student who has never been in the business world, everything about this organization intrigues me. Being close to this excitement as a full-time employee can rejuvenate your love for your work, and I hope I have had that effect on my colleagues.
Intern Budgeting 101: Do you have any tips for budgeting and managing finances outside of college?
My advice for budgeting is to list all of your non-negotiable expenses and income streams. It allows you to determine how much money you have left for various items like recreational activities. Also, as someone who has moved to a new city for this position, try to avoid unnecessary expenses. If you can pack your lunch on certain days or stop buying items in bulk, those little savings add up and can be used for more exciting items.
What did you learn about yourself through this course?
This internship made me realize that I can grow independently while relying on others. I left my hometown to live on my own and it was a massive adjustment at first, but I showed resilience by being responsible for my money, how I present myself to others, and keeping track of everything. regarding deadlines. However, it was incredibly isolating being alone in a big city, so the bonds I made with other employees were so vital. As someone who prefers to do everything alone, it was difficult to ask others for help. Working here as an intern reinforces that there’s a lot you don’t know, and that humbling fact has made it more comfortable to ask for help and collaborate with others.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.