Tell us a little about yourself – where did you grow up, what are your hobbies and interests, what year are you in school and/or when did you graduate?
My name is Novae Sylva, and I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica. In 2018 I migrated to the United States to further my studies at the University of the District of Columbia where I am a senior and I will be graduating in May 2022. In my downtime I enjoy watching Medieval period time shows such as Game of Thrones, Vikings, The Last Kingdom, Merlin and many more and engaging in lively conversations with my friends and listening to my favorite artiste Alkaline.
What are you studying in school and why did you choose that major?
I am currently studying Accounting and I chose Accounting as my major because of my father. Seeing how he utilized his accounting degree to prepare his students professionally for the career world continues to be my inspiration. My father’s countless efforts in assisting me with my accounting assignments in the 9th grade contributed to my extensive knowledge and love of the subject.
How did you hear/learn about the Structured Finance Foundation scholarship? What about the opportunity seemed interesting to you?
I learned about the Structured Finance Foundation Scholarship from my academic advisor: Dr.Alex Tan, he recommended it to me personally and when I researched the scholarship program, I saw that the foundation was geared towards helping students seeking higher education and ensuring that they are prepared for post-secondary education. I found this interesting because I know first-hand how stressful it can be when you want to further your education, but you don’t have the means to do so, especially financially. It warms my heart to know that we have organizations like the Structured Finance Foundation that are willing to give a helping hand to students who want to further their education but don’t have the means to do so.
What does being selected as a recipient of the scholarship mean to you?
Being a recipient of this scholarship means a lot to me because it serves as another milestone to my hard work. It also serves as a representation to other international students on my campus that they can achieve anything they set their minds to when they step out of their comfort zone. I am a living representation of that, being a recipient of this scholarship, I continue to exemplify what it means to be a black international Student despite my financial constraints by breaking down barriers and paving the way for other international students to come.
How will it help you achieve your academic, personal, and career goals, both in the short-term and down the road?
This scholarship will be of tremendous assistance as certain inevitable expenses such as my insurance fees, rent expenses, and any extra costs brought on by my courses would be funded. I will put the remaining balance in my savings account, and it will be oriented toward my graduate studies. I have been accepted to a program called Summer Institute of Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML) where I was awarded a fellowship from the University of California for one year of full tuition to any one of the 6 UCs for Graduate school. Since this fellowship will only cover my tuition, the remaining balance from my SFF Scholarship will be gear towards my rent expenses and other expenses that may be brought on by my courses when I start in the Fall of 2022.
Where does your interest in finance/structured finance/business stem from?
Contributing to businesses’ financial decisions was always something that sparked my interest. A major in accounting fulfills this interest as I can collect and analyze a company’s financial information to see the business’s performance, financial position, and cash flows. Learning this is imperative in monitoring the business’ financial health, create and control budgets for the company, and monitor the business’s growth once I become CPA certified.
What are other ways the partnership between SFA and UDC could be impactful to you and your fellow students?
The other way that the partnership between the SFA and UDC could be impactful to me, and my fellow students is by partnering with our National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Chapter by providing incentives such as sponsoring our game nights and other events. This would help students to become more aware of what the SFA is and its purpose. I would also recommend that the SFA does a presentation to our School of Business and Public Administration (SBPA) to help bring awareness about the organization. Sponsoring these scholarships was a good way to start but I think a lot of students including myself were not aware of this organization so I think it would be good to help students be more informed.