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Photo of Effeh Badu
Photo of Effeh Badu

Effeh Badu, a Business Administration major, completed a summer internship at M&T Bank in New York City.

  • September 8, 2023
  • Roger Coda

Navigating a dramatic change in academic focus – from pre-med with a concentration in Sociology to Business Administration – didn’t derail plans by Effeh Badu to complete a summer-long internship in the banking industry before entering her senior year at SUNY Fredonia.

Despite switching majors, starting out in Biology, Ms. Badu, who is also enrolled in the Honors Program and is a Keeper of the Dream scholarship recipient, will graduate on time – in four years. She is a graduate of the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School in the Bronx.

“Her goal with the internship is to learn how to oversee the operations of a bank and how to manage resources and staff to develop and attain sales goals, while growing that location’s revenue.” - Internship Coordinator Jennifer Wilkins

The Career Development Office (CDO) staff had a major supporting role along the way, helping Badu to refocus her resume toward finance during the fall semester of her junior year and prepare her to seek a highly competitive internship with M&T Bank.

“We did a practice interview, prepared sample questions and then ran through a mock interview in the  Fall 2022 semester,” recalled CDO Internship Coordinator Jennifer Wilkins.

“I met with her last September and talked with her a few more times about the interview process.”

Badu learned of M&T Bank’s strong reputation in the industry while attending the 2023 Job & Internship Expo that the CDO holds every spring. She also utilized FREDNetwork powered by Handshake, a career management system that connects students to relevant job and internship opportunities based on their profile, interests and search activity.

“From what I heard about them, I decided to give them a try and apply for any internships that they had available,” said Badu, who lives in the Bronx. There were two virtual interviews, one last September and the other in January. A major player in the banking industry, M&T Bank has a vast network of over 1,000 branches and 2,200 ATMS in 12 states.

M&T Bank internships are not easy to get, Ms. Wilkins noted. Students accepted into internship programs typically have a prior connection to M&T Bank or a direct referral, and Badu didn’t have either.

The branch manager internship focus is on retail operations. Badu worked full-time, learning retail banking functions, such as handling deposits and withdrawals, opening checking accounts and verifying checks. Also acting as a liaison, she set up appointments for customers seeking mortgages to meet the bank’s mortgage advisors. Badu attended virtual meetings and observed how a branch manager communicates with staff, those on the retail side and in back-office operations.

“Her goal with the internship is to learn how to oversee the operations of a bank and how to manage resources and staff to develop and attain sales goals, while growing that location’s revenue,” Wilkins said.

Through the internship, Badu gained a stronger appreciation for the value of communication and how to solve problems. “I learned about the power of teamwork, and being able to rely on your co-workers and utilize your manager,” she said. “If you’re stuck on a problem, go to your manager with a possible solution. When you need help, come up with a possible solution before you reach out for help.”

Badu will draw upon the internship experience and her attendance at an immersive 30-day course that focused on guiding Black women on how to invest and trade in the stock market, to pursue a career as a financial analyst.