From Alcorn to EY

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Chinedu Ufio is a Senior Accounting major at Alcorn State University (ASU). He is from Abuja, Nigeria. He completed his primary education in Rivers, Nigeria before moving to Abuja for his secondary education. Ufio came to the United States (US) to begin his tertiary education in the Fall of 2018 and he is currently on track to graduate with 150 credit hours by May 2022.

Ufio had always known he did not want to continue his education in Nigeria. He was on a consistent lookout for bigger and better opportunities which he knew the US could provide. ASU provided him with an opportunity to study in the US without the financial burden that would have otherwise accompanied it. Being an Accounting major seemed to be the perfect choice for Ufio, as it was the perfect match for his personality and checked all boxes for the perfect job field for him. He said, “A profession in Accounting helped me match my personality traits and I’ve always been looking for a lucrative option, and a profession in Accounting and Finance really was the best option, one that I was really interested in.”

Over the Summer of 2021, Ufio interned with EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four”. The “Big Four” refers to the four largest accounting firms in the United States. A lot of factors contributed towards Ufio securing this internship. He built his resume through work, leadership and organizational experience on and off campus. In addition to this, he engaged in a great deal of networking and connection-making on the popular professional networking social media site, LinkedIn. Through LinkedIn, he was able to contact recruiters and sell himself beyond simply his resume and receive an interview opportunity where he further sold himself and earned his internship with EY.

There were many motivators to keep Ufio pushing during the internship search, one of the biggest being the possibility of receiving a full-time job offer ━ with a company that would sponsor a H-1B visa (allows for US companies to hire foreign nationals for work) — before his college graduation. His second biggest motivator was the people around him who continued to motivate him and keep him going despite him wanting to give up at times.

Ufio was able to realize his dream, as he received a full-time job offer from EY after his internship. Knowing his steps after graduation a full year before graduating was a huge joy and relief for him. He said of this, “It’s a really wonderful feeling. I feel really happy, I feel really excited and I just feel relaxed. I don’t have that pressure on me to try and figure out what my next step is because I already know what my next step is.”

Despite his great opportunity, Ufio is no stranger to the feeling of lost hope or motivation, he has experienced it. Coming to the US was no easy feat and his first effort did not prove fruitful. A piece of advice from him is to keep building skills and improving oneself, because when an opportunity comes, one will have to be ready. He also stressed the importance of consistency in applying for jobs and networking to receive opportunities. Consistency and insistence are key. Ufio said, “There is always going to be an opportunity for someone who keeps pushing.”

The biggest goal he currently aims to achieve is to stop working under anyone else by 40-years-old. He is putting plans in place to one day achieve this and be independent of others with multiple streams of income.

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