Finance Association

Homepage for the Penn State Smeal MBA Finance Association

The mission of the MBA Finance Association is to prepare Smeal students for a career in both corporate and investment finance. Careers in finance are related to both the internal perspective of the firm and the external perspective of the markets. The association is designed to give students access to Smeal alumni and current business leaders who can help mentor students with a professional interest in finance. Additionally, the Association provides internal support to students for their professional development efforts in the field of finance.

Officer Bios

Portrait of Madhu Joshi.

Madhu Joshi, President

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Madhu Joshi graduated with a B.S. in Management Science (Economics) from the University of California, San Diego in 2011. Over the past four and a half years, Madhu has worked in the Semiconductor industry at Lam Research. There she held corporate finance roles focused on product group R&D Capital and Opex management.  This work experience has inspired her to further pursue a career in corporate finance, and to join the Smeal MBA program to continue building her analytical, business, and finance skill sets. 

As President of the Finance Association, Madhu plans to help build a strong community of professionals. Through various events and touch points, she hopes the Association can become a resource for both those pursuing employment in finance, as well as all MBA students interested in professional development.

Portrait of Godspower Akala.

Godspower Akala, VP of Operations

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Godspower (GP) is from Lagos, Nigeria. After graduating from the University of Lagos with a Bachelors in Finance, GP worked for five years consulting at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) specializing in projects in the Financial Services Industry. He is a Certified Chartered Accountant (CPA) and is also passionate about Finance.

GP is pursuing an MBA to expand his knowledge of Finance and to get an international business perspective. He was drawn to the Smeal program specifically because of its strong corporate finance program, alumni network, diversity and close-knit environment. He hopes to support the board and ensure that every MBA candidate interested in Finance has a unique and accomplished experience at Smeal.

Past Association Events

Past Association events have included; a trip to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett, an annual corporate sponsored golf tournament, networking events and dinners with Fortune 500 companies, and lunch sessions with professors discussing financial impacts of current events.

The MBA Finance Association standing outside on the steps leading up to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

On February 21, 2014, the MBA Finance Association went on a NYC Roadshow with 23 members. We learned about the US Central Banking System at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, got to visit the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, spoke directly to the President of the Bank of New York Mellon, and saw the closing bell at NASDAQ.

Here’s what the members said were the best part of the trip:

"The coolest part of the trip was being able to go down to the trading floor of the NYSE and talk directly to a Designated Market Maker." Anthony Cheng [2013-2014 Finance Association VP of Treasury], Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

The MBA Finance Association visiting the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

"It's always exciting to visit and learn more about places with such a history behind them, but I have to say that such a friendly meeting with President of BNY Mellon was definitely one of the highlights not only in my MBA but also in my entire life so far." Masoud Ghayoumi [2013-2014 Finance Association VP of Corporate Relations], Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

“The best part for me was becoming a millionaire, even if only for a couple minutes. Deep within the Federal Reserve's vault, I had the opportunity to hold two 30lb gold bars valued at over $500,000 each!” Jeff Goff, Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

“I was excited to see three different kinds of financial organizations in one day and I loved the feeling of holding a big, big gold bar in my hands. And this would be one of the most memorable trips in my MBA life.” Carrie Zhou, Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

The MBA Finance Association saw the closing bell at NASDAQ.

"I got to hold a $500,000 gold bar at the Fed, talk with market makers on the trading floor of the NYSE, and see the closing bell at the NASDAQ, but the most fun part was spending 18 hours with Alpha Nayete [2013-2014 Finance Association President]. That guy is crazy and so fun!" Andrew Svoboda, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15

“Being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was a fascinating experience. I'm also glad that we had to chance to speak with the President of BNY Mellon and feel very fortunate that she offered her time and gave us a chance to speak with her. Overall, it was a very exciting trip.” David Eilenberger, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15

The MBA Finance Association speaking directly to the President of the Bank of New York Mellon.

"My favorite part of the day on Wall Street was talking to Karen Peetz, President of BNY Mellon and Penn State alumnus. She spoke candidly about the banking industry: how it works, how it has changed and how it can utilize technology to face its most pressing challenges. In addition, our discussion with her on leadership and the skills that we should focus on was eye-opening. Karen emphasized how it takes a lot more than a high IQ to be influential in today's business environment. It's opportunities like these that make the MBA program both unique and invaluable." Matt Herbert, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15