Hitting the financial field running — an FDU graduation story

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

— T. S. Eliot, writer

By Kaidi Ilves

Another academic year is coming to a close at Fairleigh Dickinson University, signifying the pinnacle of many students’ academic careers — graduation. It is a time of many endings: no more classes to attend, essays to write, dormitories to live in, campus clubs to be part of… But what is an end if not a new beginning?

Yusuf HamzaFor one student in FDU’s Silberman College of Business, Yusuf Hamza, graduation will mark the beginning of an exciting adventure, a strong launch for his career in the financial field. Hamza, a Metropolitan Campus student, recently accepted a job offer from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., a leading global financial services firm, and one of the largest banking institutions in the United States. He will be part of their Financial Analyst Development Program located in Delaware.

“J.P. Morgan has one of the best development programs in the finance industry,” says Hamza, a Ridgewood, N.J. native, who is completing his B.S. in marketing with a minor in finance. “I don’t quite know the specifics of what I want to do with my career, and this is a company known for fostering growth in young employees — I’m confident the program will help me build my strengths and give me a better understanding what I want to do in the long run.”

Banking world is tough to get into, and this is a very competitive program. "Just the fact that a student from a small school like FDU made it into the program is a huge feat,” Hamza says.

Hamza was involved in several extra-curricular activities during his time at college. He was a member of ALPFA — the Association of Latino Professionals For America — and he played for the Knights men’s soccer team.


Hamza (bottom right) with peers at the Association of Latino Professionals for America's annual convention. Attendees (L to R), bottom row: Ziquing Yu, Carissa Anderson, Nidia Rodriquez, Omar Hamzan and Yusuf Hamza; Top row (L to R): Mary Sakin, Sabrina Sanflippo, Oma Nand-Gri, Laura Hernandez, Darwyn Nolasco, Michele Jorge and Sidney Salvodon. (Photo courtesy of Sakin)

Hamza credits his campus involvement for its part in securing the job offer — he says both the ALPFA convention last summer, and the internships he held while at FDU, helped prepare him for the job market. He interned with Morgan Stanley, Today’s Business, Enhancement Associates, and SI Paradigm Diagnostics.

“The best thing you can do for yourself is to get involved early on, and try to get as many internships in your field as you can. You don’t have to know what you want to do, but you do have to learn to apply yourself,” says Hamza.

Hamza also says that it’s important to pay attention in class and have the drive and ambition to take on the world. “One of the biggest highlights for me has been maintaining a high GPA, while playing soccer, and interning. My college experience has taught me to persevere, and I’m very proud of that.”

Perseverance, grit, and dedication carried Hamza through his academic career at FDU. Although graduation will close this chapter of his life, he will take with him those lessons into a new journey, only just beginning.

What’s your graduation story? Share with us on Twitter or Facebook — #fdugrad!