Graduand Spotlight; Linda Obwora – What it takes to Be Top in Finance
For 22 year old Linda Obwora, choosing to study finance was an easy option, borrowing from her business studies unit in high school; but the 1st born of 3 children – all girls, did not expect to be the top student throughout her university life.
Linda, will graduate top of her Bachelor of Business Science: Finance class, with a 1st class honors in the upcoming 2017 graduation.
Linda, who is very soft spoken, describes herself as a choleric – an attribute that pushes her to pursue her goals carefully and to completion. She also realized that the field of finance is very competitive and with that, ensured that she always maintained the best positions to give her an edge in the industry.
I joined Strathmore in 2013 July. I have enjoyed my time here. I joined the university because it is known for its business courses that do well in the market. The school did not let me down. In first year, our former Dean, Mr. Geoffrey Injeni requested to speak to all the students and during that session he mentioned the top students and I was among them. I was shocked because I did not expect to be at the top; I did well in highschool (Precious Blood Riruta) but I was never the top student in my four years. So this was such a surprise and a humbling experience. Since then, I maintained the position.
Linda attributes her great success to hardwork, and exploring various methods of learning that included participating in group activities. Following the saying, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, she ensured that at the end of each semester she evaluated how she performed, improved in the areas that needed improvement and let go of methods that did not work for her.
Aside from studying Finance, Linda also studied ACCA from her 2nd year of university. Undertaking both courses was challenging and required a lot of sacrifice from her, but she managed to study through. In her final year though, she put ACCA on hold to focus on her final project.
My parents are so excited about my achievements, they keep telling their friends and our family about this success. They are already preparing their outfits for my graduation, I don’t even know what I will wear. Their excitement grew when I told them that I may be the top in the whole school, in all three programs; BBS Finance; Actuarial Science and Financial Economics.
Linda is grateful to the Deans she has been privileged to interact with in the course of her studies; her current Acting Dean, Ferdinard Othieno, topping the list. Ferdinard, who also supervised her work, guided her not only academically but with choosing a career path. Linda was encouraged to most especially, learn to read finance news to remain informed in the field, an advice that she took to heart and implemented.
Ferdinard was known as a tough supervisor generally, because he is the Research Director and therefore a tough one for many students. I had to pick him as a supervisor though so that I can learn best from him. When we started going through the research project, Ferdinard gave me feedback that was really helpful. Many people generally expected a lot from me, but very few pushed me out of my comfort zone. Ferdinard did and I was grateful.
Information Diffusion and Stock Return Predictability in Kenya was the topic of research for Linda’s project.
Although the topic was exciting, executing the project was challenging. Linda had borrowed some assumptions from a paper that analyzed American and European markets, which she used to analyze the Kenyan system. The variables did not work best as she experienced many challenges. The softwares she used did not give her the right equations that resulted to the right answers she needed, she had to try several softwares to get the best outcome. Needless to say, her efforts paid off when she finally got a system that work, although the results were not what she expected, they were the most relevant results.
Linda aspires to work for 3 years before she studies her Masters and obtain international experience. She also hopes to have finished her ACCA by the three year mark. She wishes to grow her career globally and implement what she has learnt in the country to better the financial systems nationally.
When she’s not studying finance, Linda enjoys reading novels and cooking new recipes. She is currently looking for a project she will be passionate about that she can get into, to give time to the society.
Congratulations to Linda Obwora on her great achievement!!!