Winifred Akande isn't taking any chances.With graduation looming just six months from now, Akande, 21, is doing what it takes to position herself for the future – especially in this economic climate." />
Nov. 9, 2009
Renee DeGross Valdes, 404-413-1353
Winifred Akande isn’t taking any chances.
With graduation looming just six months from now, Akande, 21, is doing what it takes to position herself for the future – especially in this economic climate.
Akande, an accounting major, visited nine companies over four days as part of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business Panthers on Wall Street program last month. She was one of just nine undergraduate students selected to participate in the competitive program.
While in the Big Apple, Akande networked with several Robinson College alumni at big corporations, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and a hedge fund. While touring the New York Stock Exchange, Akande unexpectedly met Henry Kissinger.
Though a purpose of the trip was to help students land jobs in New York, only two corporations held interviews due to the economic forces at work.
“New York City is known as being a hyper competitive place – it’s sink or swim,” Akande said. “I met with partners, managers, and a whole range of staff where someone could be in their career at any point in time. Whether in Atlanta, New York or beyond the U.S., I felt like I could compete with my GSU degree.”
Akande knows that graduating in an economy that has claimed more than a million jobs is going to take more than just experiences.
“Relationships are invaluable to securing offers and internships,” Akande said.
In addition to participating in the Panthers on Wall Street program, Akande is launching a networking club on campus with two others dubbed The Women of Robinson. The club seeks to build links between the Robinson College and the business community.
Several area women executives are already lined up as speakers.
To get it launched, Akande did what any resourceful student would do: held an information breakfast and invited women faculty, career advisors, and other staffers from Robinson College. The net result – not one but two advisors.
“We’re go-getters,” Akande said. “It’s a great concept. It’s not like anything on campus.”