Mercy Obino is in the first cohort of the Financial Engineering programme, under the Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences. She joined Strathmore University last year in July and is currently in the second semester of her first year. She describes the course as tough; in spite of this, she is among the top of her class. “I expected it to be tough because it has the name engineering in it and there is the mentality that with any engineering course, you have to put in quite a bit of effort. But I love mathematics and I am comfortable dealing with algebra, calculus and probability.”
Creating financial models
Financial Engineering deals with the management of money and assets in financial and capital markets. It is designed to prepare students to capitalize on the financial industry’s growing reliance on quantitative analysis. Students can look forward to careers in fields such as banking, risk management and in global capital markets. “Engineering involves looking for solutions to problems that are in the world so from that we deduce that Financial Engineering is about creating financial models that will solve financial problems,” she says.
Mercy went to Mary Mount Girls Secondary School in Nakuru. “What I carried with me from my experience there were skills in time management and excellence; doing my work to the best of my ability. Discipline was instilled in us from the very start. Back then I looked at it as being strict but I benefited from that rigor.”
She first came to know about the university through her cousin, a Bachelor of Commerce graduate, who had studied here. “Later, while I was in my last year of high school, we had a visit from Strathmore. I sat for an interview and here I am.”
Her love for children and for putting a smile on people’s faces propelled her to join the Community Outreach Programme (COP), a club based on community service. She describes her first visit to a children’s home, with her church mates, as thought-provoking. “The difference between what I had and what the children had was immense. How can one person seem to have everything and yet another nothing? It helped me appreciate what I have. The visits I have made with COP are an opportunity to bring hope to the children.”
She is gifted with an Alto 2 and is also among those in the chorale giving time and energy to daily practice in the hope of being part of the team that represents the university at the 11th International Johannes Brahms choir festival in Germany in July this year. “The experience I have had in the chorale is wonderful. I joined in August last year, one month after I reported to the university. The practice schedule is demanding; I have to allocate my time properly in order to fit in the practice every day.”
My contribution to Strathmore
If there was one thing she could do to add to the Strathmore experience, it would be to start a Financial Engineering club. “I form part of the class of 2022, the pioneers of this course. The club would be a medium to sensitize people about what Financial Engineering is and help expose students to what happens in the business world.”
In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading and being with friends.
This article was written by Wambui Gachari.
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