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Ivan Agyaakwah talks investment banking internship at Furman Engaged

Ivan Agyaakwah ’25 will present during Furman Engaged about his time working in finance over the summer of 2023.

Last updated April 6, 2024

By Liv Osby

Furman senior Ivan Agyaakwah encountered mergers and acquisitions, investment banking and other aspects of high finance during his internship last summer, getting a glimpse of a potential career.

“You can watch it on movies,” he said. “But actually seeing it live was really exciting.”

On Friday, the 23-year-old will share that experience with his fellow students at Furman Engaged, a day set aside for students to share their research, study abroad, internships, performances and other work.

Originally from London, England, Agyaakwah, who is double majoring in economics and politics and international affairs, spent his internship at The Capital Corporation, a Greenville-based investment banking firm.

Agyaakwah said he spent his days sitting in on calls with buyers and sellers, preparing Excel spread sheets and researching companies that might be good investments.

Among the highlights, he said, was interacting with Paul Gallagher ‘07, vice president of The Capital Corporation, and Chief Operating Officer Devin Green, who shared their insights and knowledge.

“The best part of the experience was the opportunity to speak to someone who was very experienced about the business,” he said. “If you’re speaking to investment bankers, they can see right through it if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Agyaakwah said he was well-prepared for his time at the bank thanks to Katie Maxwell and the Furman internship program, which readied him for networking calls, practice interviews and getting his foot in the door.

“That really prepared me for the kind of questions I had in my interview,” he said. “You need to stand out. And there are so many resources here at the internship office that make it easy for us.”

In his panel discussion at Furman Engaged, Agyaakwah plans to discuss the work he did at Capital Corporation as well as give students looking for financial internships a better idea of the investment banking profession.

“The biggest thing I want to say is what investment banking is,” he said. “People think it’s a high-paying role, but they don’t know what it is – debt capital, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), investment capital.”

After he graduates in December, he hopes to get another summer internship in the field and eventually go into investment banking.

But as captain of the Furman men’s soccer team, Agyaakwah, a midfielder, wants to play professional soccer first. He hopes to try out for various teams and sign a contract.

“My biggest dream is to go back to Europe,” he said, “but maybe play here too.”

Agyaakwah, who last year was a finalist in the Paladin Pitch competition with his idea for a business that links college soccer coaches with young players in the area, said he’s loved his time at Furman. In addition to the academics, it’s helped him build his confidence, he said, and provided opportunities to expand his interests, for example, with a campus group that focuses on the culture and tradition of the African continent.

“It’s more than I expected,” he said. “Once I stepped on campus, there’s nothing more brilliant in my opinion. It was a great experience.”

Furman Engaged Is April 12, 2024

The Furman Advantage guarantees students the opportunity to participate in high-impact engaged learning experiences. Furman Engaged is a day dedicated to highlighting these diverse and immersive learning experiences. Learn more >>


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