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Emmanuel Uwakwe, a 2016 SDSU graduate, is currently an investment solutions associate with J.P Morgan Private Bank. Emmanuel Uwakwe, a 2016 SDSU graduate, is currently an investment solutions associate with J.P Morgan Private Bank.

Fowler Alumnus Sets Himself Up for Success in New York’s Financial Industry

Emmanuel Uwakwe credits his experience around campus, competitive business program for helping land his dream career.
By Suzanne Finch

Emmanuel Uwakwe is living proof of the philosophy, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” 

Uwakwe (’16, finance) was born in Nigeria and moved to San Ramon, California with his family when he was eight years old. While in high school he decided he wanted to attend what was then the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University because “It was cost-effective, close to home, and my older brother, Kacey (’12, accounting and economics), studied there.” 

However, his application was initially denied. 

Undeterred, Uwakwe knew SDSU was the right school for him and he didn’t give up: He “appealed immediately,” and was accepted.

Uwakwe moved to San Diego and enrolled at SDSU with his sights set on earning a degree in finance. As a sophomore, he chose to become involved with Associated Students (A.S.), which serves as SDSU’s student government, and he campaigned for one of four student representative seats for the business school. 

“I wanted to learn about, and get involved with, some of the decision-making processes that occurred at SDSU,” he said. “To become a representative of the school meant that my peers and colleagues put their trust in me to represent them and I took that very seriously.” 

Uwakwe built his campaign by asking his friends to spread the word of his candidacy, passing out flyers at social gatherings, and asking some of his professors if he could deliver stump speeches after class. 

“People were truly in shock when they saw I had won, but I knew deep down that if I put in the work, the rest would follow,” he said. Uwakwe recalls his winning campaign as “the most fun” he had as a student and his favorite memory of SDSU.

A Foot in the Door

Uwakwe’s hard work and networking skills came in handy again when he applied to J.P. Morgan as an equity solutions intern at their headquarters location in New York City. Before his interview, he did multiple internet searches to learn about the position, reached out to people already working in the industry, and scoured LinkedIn to connect with incoming and current financial analyst interns to ask questions. 

Once again, he accomplished exactly what he set out to do when he was offered the prized internship. 

Uwakwe met professionals in the organization “who encouraged and cultivated” him daily, paving the way for his full-time role within the organization after he’d earned his finance degree with magna cum laude distinction in 2016, shortly before the school was renamed the Fowler College of Business. 

As he’d done so many times in the past, Uwakwe used his wits, skills and connections to land his full-time dream job in New York City, as he returned to J.P. Morgan as a financial analyst. He is currently an investment solutions associate with J.P Morgan Private Bank. 

Lessons Learned
Uwakwe attributes much of his success to the lessons he learned as a student at SDSU in settings beyond the lecture halls. 

“Some of the best lessons are not taught in the classroom,” he said. “The best lessons I learned as a student are akin to hard work, dedication, and developing and maintaining a network of people, both on a social and professional basis.” 

He said he would advise today’s SDSU students who want to emulate his success to learn the same lessons. 

“My advice is to work extremely hard, build a network of peers and associates, and continuously think about the technologies of tomorrow instead of today. Once you do that, you will find success in whatever field you choose,” said Uwakwe. 

“The world is your oyster, so work hard but also take time off to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”