Alumni Relations Department hold CEO roundtable at Nairobi Securities Exchange

By Benjamin Nengomasha

On Friday, November 17, USIU-Africa students were given a unique opportunity to attend the third edition of the CEO roundtable at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The occasion began with a warm welcome extended by the management team, three of whom are proud USIU-Africa alums, including the CEO.

The meeting kicked off with an engaging address by the CEO of the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Mr Geofrey Odundo. He shared his journey from humble beginnings, reflecting on his time as a student and the pivotal role USIU-Africa played in shaping his career. Emphasizing the practicality of the skills gained, he underscored the value of education in opening doors and encouraged students to approach learning with an open mind.

The CEO's address seamlessly transitioned into a professional discussion about the financial industry, focusing on investment banking and other careers in finance. As the CEO highlighted the significance of the NSE as the barometer for the Kenyan economy, the largest market in East and West Africa and the second most innovative market in Africa, he outlined the lucrative opportunities available for students pursuing majors in accounting, finance, and technology. He shed light on the various potential careers in finance and how to actively look for internships and secure them while making investments and building personal wealth.

Mr. David Wainaina, the NSE's Chief Operating Officer, reinforced the value of education and stressed the importance of effective communication and confidence in the professional environment. He encouraged students to participate in the NSE's Investor Challenge, citing its potential for job placement opportunities and prizes.

The event also featured insights from the Strategy Risk and Compliance Director, Mr David Wagemma, who delved into the role of big data in the finance industry, particularly in FinTech. He highlighted career opportunities in IT and Software Engineering, emphasizing his most significant takeaway from leadership courses: the importance of finding one's voice and identity in the professional world.

Adding a valuable perspective, the Chief Business Officer at the NSE, Ms. Mbithe Muema, shared her journey from adversity to a leadership role in the finance industry. She inspired young aspiring women to pursue their dreams and detailed the transformative steps the NSE is taking toward digitizing the trading platform. The Dosikaa app, she explained, facilitates automation and eases trading.

The event concluded with a dynamic question-and-answer panel, where students interacted with seasoned professionals from the NSE. The importance of personal values, resilience, humility, and the significance of networking was reiterated, leaving students with a profound understanding of the financial industry and the attributes required for success. The event served as a powerful catalyst for students, providing them with knowledge and a roadmap for navigating the complex and dynamic world of finance.

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