STUDENT Spotlight
Florence Ugokwe, Academy of Finance Student

Student Spotlight is a regularly-updated feature that highlights students involved in special Baltimore County Public Schools activities, such as camps, student councils and more. Spotlighted students receive and answer a series of questions through which they share their experiences from their respective activities. In this Student Spotlight, Florence Ugokwe, a senior at Lansdowne High School, discusses her involvement in the Academy of Finance. (To see more student spotlights, click here.)

Student Spotlight

What is the Academy of Finance (AOF)?
The Academy of Finance is an educational program that prepares students for real financial situations, while giving students a chance to study accounting, international trade and financial planning.

Why did you join AOF?
I joined AOF because I thought it would be a great opportunity to prepare me for the real world, while also handling money – what I love – and what most people need in order to survive with financial discipline. 

When did you join AOF?
I joined AOF immediately after my freshman year – going into my sophomore year.

How did you become a member of AOF?  
In order to become a member of the Academy of Finance, I had to meet with my counselor in order to satisfy both my high school requirements and AOF requirements. The two are extremely important.

What do you do as a member of AOF?
As a member of AOF, I participate in many different activities, like mock interviews, which prepare students for future interviews. I also participate in job shadowing, which lets you get an idea of the job market and possible employment opportunities. As an AOF member, I also visit different universities. Every year, AOF goes to Wall Street in New York to visit different historical sites and learn about the trade sites.

What is the most rewarding part of AOF? 
Gaining knowledge and experience would have to be the most rewarding part of AOF – I mean, who doesn't need financial security and discipline?

What is the most challenging part of AOF? 
The most challenging part of AOF would have to be the accounting course. Although I managed to get As, those were definitely challenging As! If you can manage your regular courses and AOF, you'll be fine.

 How does AOF relate to your career goals?  
Although biomedical engineering is my major, AOF relates to my career goal by giving me the guidance that I need to handle my money in order to open up my own business after I finish college.

How is AOF preparing you for the future?
AOF has taught me a lot a ways to invest my money rather just throwing it in a bank. There are stocks, bonds and mutual funds, all of which may give you an even bigger return than the bank in the future.

What are your hopes for this school year?
This school year, I would like to focus on college, maintaining good grades and applying for scholarships, while working part-time and running track.

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