Sophomore slump? Not likely for Business Honors student Dzifa Amexo ’21. After her jam-packed freshman year, the finance major is even more determined to see more, do more and achieve more.
Amexo found her way to Mercy College through the Summer Business Leadership Academy, which she describes as life-changing.
“I know it sounds cliché, but I came home a completely different person. During that week, you’re sharing vulnerable stories through public speaking and working as a team; but you come out on the other side stronger and with closer relationships than you could have imagined. We went through the week with the mentality that the best things happen outside of your comfort zone, and it was true” said Amexo.
Exceeding expectations and pushing herself farther than she thought possible has been a theme for Amexo. She’s climbed mountains and reached new heights—literally. During her freshman year, Amexo and her classmates climbed Mt. Marcy and reached the summit of the highest peak in New York.
Amexo didn’t spend all her time on the trail though, during spring semester of her freshman year she interned with Dabl3, a startup company that helps local merchants increase foot traffic and sales on slow business days, by using a proprietary algorithm on merchant and consumer apps.
“It was such a unique experience working for a startup and getting to see what it was like to help a business develop from the ground up. I was also really connected to Dabl3’s mission and I loved getting to use my business skills to give back and help small businesses,” said Amexo.
Amexo also had the opportunity to compete on Mercy College’s Enactus team. Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. The Mercy College team was named a champion of their league at the regional competition in Philadelphia, PA in 2017.
“It was a really amazing experience because I got to improve on my public speaking skills, share what we did as a business and our impact all while having fun. The countless hours of practicing our presentation created a special bond amongst our team. The professor in charge of Enactus, Mahmud Wazihullah, better known as “Wazi,” is big on ‘Doing Good, Doing Well, and Having Fun’ and this was definitely the case throughout the competition,” said Amexo.
During the summer, Amexo interned for Johnson & Johnson and expanded her business skills by venturing into IT with the company’s Rapid Value team.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to intern over the summer,” Amexo explained “Until Julia Wexler from the Career and Professional Development department contacted me about this internship. It was such a unique experience that I don’t think I would’ve gotten if I went to another school, especially as a freshman. Going from learning about Johnson & Johnson’s Credo my junior year in high school in a global business class to living the Credo at the company was something I would have never imagined doing.”
While at Johnson & Johnson, Amexo said her position gave her a different point of view than she had as a finance student in class.
“The team was created to teach Johnson & Johnson to act like a startup. We facilitated workshops and helped product development teams to understand the problems that they are trying to solve. It was a very cool experience because it wasn’t directly related to business and outside of my comfort zone, but all the skills that I learned, like lean, agile, design thinking, how to communicate and adapt to different situations, is so important to my life and business. Having an internship so early on in my career allowed me to get a taste of the corporate world and build relationships with a multitude of great individuals at the company. Interning at Johnson & Johnson was in part so great because the culture they have created is inclusive, welcoming, and focused on giving back to the community which I identify with heavily.” said Amexo.
For her Sophomore year, Amexo is refining and re-evaluating her activities. Currently she’s president of the College’s National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and a member of the Marketing Club, Finance Club, and Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI). She’s also exploring data analytics in her coursework, a new subject area and one she’s eager to delve deeper into.
Outside of class, Amexo is a resident assistant and looks for opportunities to mentor and guide the freshman class.
“My first year, the class above me was really involved and did a lot to help us so it’s important to me to take some of the freshmen under my wing,” said Amexo.
While she’s not entirely sure what the future holds, or where she wants to take her career, Amexo said she does have a five-year plan:
“I want to be happy and make sure my career and personal life involve giving back to the community. I want to be a financial analyst and work for a Fortune 500 company, really make an impact on people’s lives and in business, while paving the way for those who come behind me.”