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Shaddae Findley: HBCU Fellow Researches the Most Significant Risks of 2020

Working with The ALS Group, Columbia School of Professional Studies student Shaddae Findley (’20SPS, M.S. in Enterprise Risk Management and 2019 HBCU Fellow) contributed to a list of the most significant risks organizations may face in 2020.

Over the past few years, the Enterprise Risk Management M.S. program has worked with The ALS Group to place students, including Findley, into the company’s internship program

Lauded as a “bright, enthusiastic mind” by ALS Group, last semester she researched a list of the most significant risks of 2020 and will spend her summer interning in ALS’ offices.

"We are very proud to have Ms. Shaddae Findley in our Enterprise Risk Management Program," said Deputy Academic Director for the ERM program Bob H.S. Kostakopoulos, Ph.D. "We are thrilled that ALS is featuring Shaddae in their publication. Shaddae has a bright future ahead of her. On behalf of the Academic Director for the ERM program, Sim Segal, I thank ALS for nurturing interns like Ms. Findley to become accomplished professionals."  

Shaddae joined the School of Professional Studies community through the Columbia HBCU Fellowship Program, which aims to be a bridge between talented African-American students and the Fortune 500 companies looking to employ them. The program selects high-achieving undergraduate seniors at partner HBCUs for a fellowship granting full tuition and housing, as well as benefits such as an internship and assigned industry mentor, for a range of master’s programs at the school.

We caught up with Findley about her experience at SPS so far.

1. What were you doing before the ERM program? What motivated you to apply?

I graduated from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in December 2018 and I returned home to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Prior to the program I was working at KPMG in Jamaica in their asset management department as an Auditor. I assisted with the auditing of alternative investments, such as hedge funds.

I always knew I wanted to pursue higher education. I was, however, motivated to apply to Columbia University’s HBCU Fellowship by my academic advisor, Danny Harvey, and the Assistant Dean of the College of Business, Carolyn Davis, at PVAMU. After I perused through the programs available, the Enterprise Risk Management program at the School of Professional Studies caught my attention.

Risk is an inevitable phenomenon and if I am able to learn the tools and develop the skills to mitigate it, I know I will be an asset to any organization. 

Shaddae Findley, ’20SPS, M.S. in Enterprise Risk Management & 2019 HBCU Fellow

Prior, I had no knowledge of what Enterprise Risk Management was, but after reading through the description and the courses offered, I knew for sure it was something I wanted to pursue. I knew this because risk is an inevitable phenomenon and if I am able to learn the tools and develop the skills to mitigate it, I know I will be an asset to any organization. Not only that, but I would be able to truly make a positive impact.

2. What has your experience been like as an HBCU Fellow?

Being an HBCU Fellow has been a magnificent experience thus far. The fellowship has provided me with an opportunity that I never thought in a million years I would have. The HBCU Fellowship team has been a great support system in making the transition to Columbia and New York as smooth as possible. Also, my peers in the Fellowship have made the experience an enjoyable one and we all have a sense of community.

HBCU Fellowship Program - 2023 Orientation

3. What has your experience working with the ALS Group been like? 

I have developed a great relationship with the ALS Group over the past few months. Earlier this year, I connected with Jessica Aviles, the VP of Talent Management, at the resume review workshop held for the HBCU Fellows by the Career Design Lab.

I had a great opportunity to network with their team at their internship breakfast in November of last year and was asked to collaborate on the article about risk I wrote, which I was excited to do. 

I have not started my internship yet; I am set to do so this summer. I am looking forward to joining their amazing team and utilizing my classroom knowledge as well as learning as much as I can.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

My hopes for the future are to utilize my acquired skills and knowledge to make a difference. I do believe Enterprise Risk Management will provide me with the tools I need to do that and more. 

I would like to be in a position where I am helping companies to strategically manage their risk. I would also like to eventually start my own non-profit. Giving back is extremely important to me because I would not be where I am today had it not been for my family and people investing in me. I would love to provide similar opportunities for others.

Interested in learning more about the Enterprise Risk Management program at Columbia School of Professional Studies? Check out program information here. And if you’re interested in learning more about the HBCU Fellowship program, you can find more information here