Finance Student Cashes in on Kent State Experience
As president of his fraternity and chief risk officer of the Golden Flash Asset Management Group (GFAM), senior finance major Cameran Cunningham has made the most out of his experience at Kent State University and is already set to begin his career in finance.
Cunningham recently accepted a full-time position at JPMorgan Chase after successfully completing an internship at the financial institution this past summer.
Cunningham’s journey to success began when he made a last-minute decision to attend Kent State. He initially had plans to attend a regional campus of another university but chose to attend Kent State late in the summer before his freshman year after discovering the family-like aspect in the Black community at the university. Cunningham instantly found life-long friends and experienced unforgettable memories at the Kupita Transiciones (KT) freshman orientation program through the Student Multicultural Center.
“KT was probably the greatest college experience I’ve had because it built that platform for the black community relationship that we all have today,” Cunningham said. “It introduced us to something that we didn’t perceive Kent State as.”
As Cunningham continued his college career, he became involved with the Male Empowerment Network (MEN), stayed involved with KT as a navigator and mentor and joined his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. He says that the skills he has obtained through working with these organizations have helped him grow not only as a student but in professional opportunities as well.
“I’ve always been pretty decent at talking and relaying what I want to say, but I got a lot of sensitivity training from the Male Empowerment Network,” Cunningham said. “I learned how to want more from myself and to want more from other Black male-identifying people around me too.”
MEN also introduced Cunningham to mentors from Kent State that he can turn to for anything. Michael Daniels, director of the Student Multicultural Center, N.J. Akbar, Ph.D., associate vice president for the division of Diversity Equity and Inclusion and Cesquinn Curtis, former chief budget, personnel and assessment officer for the Division of Student Affairs are among the many mentors that have contributed to Cunningham’s success at Kent State.
As president of his fraternity, Cunningham encourages his fraternity brothers to be the best they can be.
“I always acknowledge that grades, community service and things like that are essential, but in the process of pursuing those things it is easy to let your career goals fall by the wayside,” Cunningham said. “So I always try to make it a priority that my members are looking for something that benefits them in the long term.”
Cunningham has made sure to apply his advice to his own life too. From a young age, he always knew he wanted to pursue a career in the finance field.
“I chose finance because in my household we always needed money, it seemed like money was always an issue or a problem for us,” Cunningham said. “So I figured going to college and putting all of my energy and focus into learning about money, how it moves and how you save and invest it was the best plan of action for me.”
In pursuit of a career in finance, Cunningham took advantage of every opportunity at Kent State to help him achieve his goals. During his sophomore year, he studied abroad in the Cayman Islands where he studied a range of finance-related topics and developed relationships with other students and faculty members, the experience motivated him to pursue even more for himself.
“It was an eye-opening experience for me, I was so deeply involved in the class that we took,” Cunningham said. “I wanted to expand on that experience, and I figured I was going to get that with GFAM if I joined.”
During the fall semester of his junior year, Cunningham applied to join GFAM and got a second sector lead position in the industrial sector where he analyzed stocks. Now he is the chief risk officer and manages all of the portfolios, ensuring that the organization is within its bylaws and other responsibilities.
After making the most of his Kent State experience, Cunningham is eager to take on the next chapter of his life at JPMorgan Chase.
“I want to come in and work really hard, find something that changes the company, makes it better, and provides value to it. “ Cunningham said.
Cunningham will start in a two-year rotational program at JPMorgan Chase in July where he will work in different departments at the financial institution every eight months.
Cunningham encourages students interested in pursuing careers in finance to get involved, try new things and build a network.
“When people say to try new things, organizations and new experiences, definitely do it,” Cunningham said. “When you get those experiences, tie them in with what you want to pursue.”
For more information about the College of Business Administration visit: https://www.kent.edu/business.
Banner Image Captions:
- Left: Cameran volunteering with his fraternity with First Energy.
- Center: Cameran
- Right: Cameran at 70th-year anniversary celebration for his fraternity chapter.