My name is Arsema Tesfai and I am a rising sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business. In the fall, I will serve as fundraiser chair for a mentoring organization on campus. I am interested in learning more about stocks, bonds, trades, and investing; as well as the allocation of money to different institutions like Chicago Public Schools. Through the Greenwood Project, I am interning at Chicago Board Options Exchange with Business First AM and Angela Miles. There I work on sales, production, marketing, and business news stories. Last week at Business First AM, I worked on booking a guest to speak on a news segment called Politics and Money as the subject matter corresponds with my major. I also tracked social media progress using an organized spreadsheet. Because Business First AM is relatively new to Instagram, I have been able to work on giving the page a fresh start with new ideas while watching the followers grow organically.

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Because this news station is spreading quickly, I helped Ms. Miles reach out to news station to ensure that all TV stations we are airing, are accounted for. In addition to advertising and marketing, I also worked on B-roll to insert into the news segments. B-roll involves researching different news stories affecting the stock market and inserting company clips or pictures to go along with it. The goal of Business First AM is to bridge the gap between Main Street and Wall Street. I feel as if my internship at Cboe and my time with the Greenwood Project has begun building the blocks to close that gap. Not only has my network grown, but my understanding of the American economy and the professional skills necessary to succeed in it have developed. Moving forward, my goals are to utilize the resources and connections that I have collected this summer to ensure that the lessons and experiences I have been provided do not get left behind.

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Every note, business card, or handshake is valuable to my future in the professional world. Along with utilizing all of my tools, I hope to pass along some of the tokens I’ve received from The Greenwood Project to future scholars. Before I attended Greenwood Project annual Wall Street, this summer has already been one of the most transformative summers. After the New York trip, my aspirations and goals became a reality. I know now that it does not always matter where you come from but where you are going. The Greenwood Project has opened up a lot of doors for me, and I plan to walk through every single one.