Faith K. Osei doesn’t hesitate when asked what brought her to Wayne State University from Minneapolis three years ago.
“Location!” the 21-year-old finance major says. “Not only was being in a big city important, but diversity and academic support lured me here. And I am happy I made this choice!”
Almost any student would be happy, given the outcomes Osei has enjoyed. The Minnesota native is in her third year at Wayne State University, where she’s a part of the dynamic Multicultural Professional Readiness Education Program (MPREP) learning community in the Mike Ilitch School of Business and is coming off an invaluable internship at Huntington Bank, where she received a summer’s worth of hands-on experience handling investor portfolios. Osei also recently joined MPREP as the learning community’s social media ambassador.
As Wayne State kicks off its bold new College to Career campaign, President Kimberly Andrews Espy’s ambitious, university-wide effort to ensure that graduates are prepared for career success, Osei’s recent workplace experiences illustrate the university’s commitment to producing successful professionals.
From May to August, Osei, who aspires to a career in private banking, was part of a 12-week internship program at Huntington Bank that allowed her an opportunity to engage in portfolio analysis for major clients and the chance to familiarize herself with investment tools and strategies that she believes will give her an early edge in finance.
“I learned so much about the different roles and paths you can take in private wealth management,” Osei says. “And I learned also to sharpen my skills for group projects/presentations, networking events and lunch meetings. The program also did lots of leadership speaker series, too.”
Osei said she also learned a lot about interoffice dynamics in ways that classrooms can’t always convey.
“The most important thing I took from this internship was vulnerability,” she said. “Being vulnerable at work makes it easier to communicate amongst colleagues in times of need, support, or just overall efficiency.”
Osei says she learned about the internship after meeting a talent recruiter who recommended she apply for the job. In a twist of fate, that same recruiter later came to speak to her and other students in the MPREP program.
“I made sure to connect with him after his presentation, and the rest was history,” Osei says.
Osei, whose parents hail from Ghana, calls the MPREP program a key factor in helping her and other students access professional networks, job tips and opportunities that too often elude underrepresented students.
After signing up a few months ago to help the learning community cultivate its social media presence, Osei says that she’s happy for a chance to give back to a program that’s offered her so much help.
“I’m glad I get to use my position to not only encourage others to join, but to showcase the numerous opportunities MPREP gets at the MISB, Wayne State, in Detroit and even nationwide,” she says.
MPREP director Lauren Scott heaps praise on Osei and her counterparts in the program: “Our ambassadors are upperclassman and have been with MPREP long enough to understand our values and our mission and can be a leader to other students in the group. They are given roles to help them develop professional skills and support their passions and interest. Faith has helped us revive our social media platforms, connect with likeminded organizations, help share our stories with the community, and she keeps us connected and relevant to new audiences.”
Inspired by family, her summer internship and MPREP, Osei says she also plans to teach financial literacy and to spread the gospel of generational wealth.
“Financial literacy is a vital part of life that people may not know yet,” she says.
But as important as her career destination is, Osei says she’s also enjoying the ride along the way: “It’s been an amazing journey.”