Our Stories

Getting Her Break in Investment Banking

Vanderbilt opens the door for Ronke Oyekunle to pursue her passion in finance

Ronke Oyekunle
Investment Banking Analyst, Jefferies & Co.

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2015

Ronke Oyekunle wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do with her degrees in Economics and Chinese from Tufts University. After graduating in 2013, she stayed close to her Massachusetts home and worked for six months in Boston, in the fund accounting department of Brown Brothers Harriman.

There, she realized that her real passion was Finance. "I had a strong interest in investment banking, but I knew how difficult it was to break into the industry, especially after graduating with no IB internships," says Ronke, a New Jersey native who spent most of her childhood in Nigeria. She decided that an MSF would expand her network and give her the knowledge and credentials she needed.

Explaining her choice of schools, she notes that "Vanderbilt has one of the top MSF programs in the country. I liked the modular system, as it gave me the opportunity to take more classes with some very well respected professors. And as someone who has lived most of my life on the East Coast, I thought it would be cool to live in the South."

Her year at Vanderbilt, where she served on the board of the Women's Business Association, gave her more than just the skills to pursue her goal of becoming a managing director in an investment bank. "At Owen, I've had the opportunity to meet MBAs who've worked in interesting and varied jobs," says Ronke. "I've also met MSFs who went to school all across the country and the world. I like to think that my world has gotten bigger and more interesting as a result of Vanderbilt. I've had the chance to learn more about myself and what I'm capable of."

Fun Fact: In college, Ronke was an All-American in track and field.

I liked the modular system, as it gave me the opportunity to take more classes with some very well respected professors.