Preparing for Wall Street – Zainabu Otieno

All Meredith students identify their top five strengths as part of StrongPoints®. It was no real surprise when Zainabu Otieno, ’16, learned that her number one strength is “achiever.”

“I am very goal driven and I always work to achieve the goals I set.”

A double major in accounting and economics, honors student, and Broyhill Fellow, Zainabu will be moving to New York City after graduation to start her career as an investment banking analyst with Deutsche Bank.

Zainabu, whose hometown is Nairobi, Kenya, credits Meredith with preparing her to take on the challenging position right out of college. Her experiences from the past four years have included serving as president of three organizations, holding three jobs on campus, and landing two highly competitive summer internships with CitiGroup on Wall Street.

“I can confidently say that I am prepared for the long hours and challenges that a career in investment banking may present.”

According to Zainabu, her Meredith experience has also prepared her in more subtle ways to enter her field of choice.

“Meredith College has taught me to sit at the table, speak up and not always expect to get the corner office. In class interactions everyone is expected to participate – and getting advice from women leaders who have been through the same experience has always been inspiring to me.”

In addition, Zainabu noted that two of her classes, Business Strategy and Gender and the Economy, were very intense in terms of their presentation requirements. As a result, the classes pushed her to strengthen her communication and presentation skills – skills she knows she’ll need in her career.

Her advisor, Professor of Business Susan Wessels, kept Zainabu moving intentionally toward her next goal as she helped her develop her overall career plan. Associate Professor of Business Bing Yu advised Zainabu on her honors thesis and provided concrete advice based on his own professional experiences as a financial analyst.

Zainabu noted that Meredith’s unique environment as a women’s college also helped her become the leader she is today, thanks to the friendships she formed with other strong women.

“ I will never forget that dining hall table where my friends and I sat for long hours every evening while we had powerful discussions about what our futures held for us.”

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