My name is Derrick Denton. I am a rising junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I’m majoring in Agribusiness with a concentration in markets management and commodities. Since beginning college, the task of securing an internship was stressful to me. After facing rejection from multiple firms since freshman year, the Greenwood Project was generous enough to give me an unmatched opportunity.

This summer I was afforded an opportunity to attend the Deloitte Amplify Your Fit Conference. I learned about Deloitte’s culture, explored consulting, and was informed about other pursuable careers within the company. Learning about different working styles allowed me to identify my goals in small groups and gain insight on how the company achieves its purpose. Nonetheless, this would have not been possible without the Greenwood Project which connected me to this opportunity.

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As a scholar of Greenwood, I have developed a deeper understanding of financial literacy and money management. As soon as I started, I realized the importance creating your own personal brand to aid you in networking. Being an intern at Option Pit this summer has allowed me to navigate Bloomberg terminals, observe trading floors and sit in office spaces of hedge funds. The Greenwood Project has broadened my horizons and created limitless opportunities for me. Not only am I learning essential skills to make myself a viable candidate in the financial sector, but they are also forming me into a more well rounded individual.

Gaining real-world experiences, creating connections, and having hands-on exposure to the financial industry comes second to none. Just thinking about working with companies like UBS, Nasdaq, or Goldman Sachs is an idea that motivates me to work even harder to accomplish my goals. Being apart of powerful cohort like Greenwood is an honor and something to live by. I hope to pass the power of exposure and opportunity onto other minority students.

I am working under Mark Sebastian this summer, and he has taken me under his wing to not only teach me options trading but also life skills that I’ll cherish and pass onto others. Even though the summer isn’t over yet, it is safe to say this has been the best one yet for my family and me. I also recently found out that I was one of few students selected for the third annual Greenwood Project trip to New York where I will get first-hand experience with major finance corporations in the city. I cannot reiterate enough that the opportunities I’ve had from Greenwood are simply unmatched.

Thank you, Greenwood!