This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the CAUFP Youth Summit 2018 in Toronto at the Fasken LLP head office. The Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals is a member- based resource organization providing a link between corporations and the black communities through education, information, and programs to facilitate economic empowerment. The program aims at improving the diversity and inclusion in top finance firms across Canada
through engaging the African-American audience by development, training and connections. Listening to people in high positions at firms like TD, McKinsey and PSP Investments from the same background was an inspiring experience. While chatting with them, I was encouraged to not let the statistics get to me with regards to the demographic representation in careers such as consulting and investment banking being dominated by white males. The belief is that all over the world, there is more opportunity for black people to foster a career in these fields more than ever at the entry level with more recruiters looking for that. With that being said, it is still required to have those high grades and extracurricular activities on your resume as it is given on merit.
With regards to Nigeria, the president of CAUFP, Mr. Garuba, started his career working with the Securities & Exchange Commission in Abuja before moving to Ottawa to work at the Canada Revenue Agency. He is of the Edo tribe and still visits regularly with a lot of connections still at the motherland. He feels that Nigerian economy is a couple years away from realizing its potential depending on the performance of the millennials in changing the way things are run.
All in all, this summit was an unbelievable experience and having such an opportunity in Nigeria, especially in states where there is not much awareness of financial careers, can go a long way to living up to Mr. Garuba’s expectations.