Internship Gives Darko ’13 a Global View of Finance

Ayebea Darko '13
Ayebea Darko '13
In the world of high finance, little compares to the overwhelming New York Stock Exchange for sheer volume of information and hustle and bustle. But Ayebea Darko ’13 is getting a truly global perspective on the global economy. With aid from the Summer Internship Support Fund, Darko is interning with Databank Financial Services in Accra, Ghana.

Instrumental in setting up the Ghana Stock Exchange 20 years ago, Databank is the leading investment firm in Ghana as well as a brokerage. A Ghanaian firm is more limited in its scope than is a U.S. firm because it does not operate on such a large scale, having a smaller range of clients and fewer companies in which they can invest, Darko explained. Often praised for its customer service, Databank advises its clients to invest in products that they can trust. Databank shows in almost every way that its clients are its primary concern, as it has aligned with four commercial banks in Ghana to allow clients to access their accounts even easier: “Since Databank is an investment bank, and therefore does not have many offices around Ghana, they strive to make it easier for clients to operate their accounts from the city they live in,” Darko observed.

Concerned about the economy in her home country, Darko opted to start her financial career in the slower-paced Ghanaian exchange. “I believe that investment banking here in Ghana is at a much slower pace than it is in the U.S. because of how small the Ghanaian market is,” she commented. “I think that working at an investment bank in the U.S. will be much more stressful because of the size of the New York Stock Exchange.” Darko believes that, by working in a slower environment, she can understand the diverse functions of the firm at her own pace, as well as receive more attention from the employees.

One of the primary benefits of a smaller organization is that Darko is able to try a new job almost every day. She helps clients set up accounts in Retail Services, she answers phone calls to advise potential investors as to the best investment products, and she works in the Brokerage department to help clients buy and sell their shares. “I am hoping to learn more about investments in the real world, and I have already learned much more than I thought I would,” Darko said.

An aspiring mathematics and economics double major, Darko expects to apply her new knowledge in finance-oriented organizations upon her return to Hamilton. She hopes to embark upon a career in investment banking after she graduates, so her internship with Databank allows her to determine the specific role she would want to have within a firm.

Darko’s internship has been made possible by the Summer Internship Support Fund, managed by the Career Center. This fund supports the cost of living assistance to students who might otherwise have insufficient resources to take on a summer internship, including a paid or unpaid opportunity at a for-profit or not-for-profit organization.

Darko is a graduate of Lincoln Community School in Accra, Ghana.
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