Return on investment

Ebenezer Musookho

Ebenezer Musookho has always been interested in the stock market. When he was a freshman in high school, he remembers watching a YouTube video of a middle schooler buying a popular shoe brand’s stock, making a good profit and buying Christmas gifts for his family.

“I thought that was inspiring, and naturally started doing research about the market,” Musookho says. “I won a stock market competition my senior year and that’s what made me realize that finance is a career I should think about pursuing and I went on to apply to the Haworth College of Business.”

Fast forward to his senior year of college, and Musookho is closing in on his goal of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst—learning about the calculated world of finance from every angle through his courses at WMU and his internship at Greenleaf Trust. 

Musookho seems to possess the exceptional quality of being undeterred by things that stand in his way. It’s this combination of persistence, determination, kindness and hard work that is helping him make leaps and bounds as a Business Bronco.

Family footsteps

Born in Kampala, Uganda, Musookho moved to Kalamazoo in the second grade after his father received an opportunity to earn his master’s and Ph.D. in science education at WMU. “Adjusting to life in the U.S. was a challenge,” he says, “but I find myself in a position that people with my background don’t normally get and aim to take advantage of that. I want to inspire those back home to be bigger than their environment.” 

Despite the difficulties of adjusting to life in a new country, Musookho knew from an early age that he wanted to follow his father’s example. “It was hard to leave all of our family behind and start life again from scratch, but the bigger picture was clear,” he says. “When it was time for me to select a college, it made the most sense to follow suit as a Bronco.”

Invaluable experience

With his sights set on earning a degree in finance, Musookho began looking for every opportunity to gain professional experience and learn more about the field. He heard about the Greenleaf Trust scholarship and internship program, which helps support underrepresented groups in finance, from a fellow student and scholar at the time. 

“I didn’t think I would get the scholarship because of how competitive it is, but I applied anyway,” Musookho says. “I didn’t get it the first time, but I applied again and got it the second time. The scholarship has aided my growth as an aspiring professional in countless ways. When you become a scholar, you join the Greenleaf family. The whole company becomes an open resource to you, and it is completely up to you how much you take advantage of that.”

Musookho has maximized his experience by tapping into every resource made possible through the program. As a Greenleaf Trust intern, he has been able to rotate through the company’s four divisions: personal trust and wealth management, operations, research and retirement planning. 

“The internship exposes you to what it really looks like to work in finance,” he says. “The projects and tasks you are responsible for are meaningful to the company and the clients we serve, which makes it an invaluable learning experience.”

Investing in oneself

Ultimately, investment research is Musookho’s playground, and he delights in seeing how certain sectors of the market perform. “What excites me most is the number of quality-growth companies in existence right now that are going to be wonderful long-term investments,” he says. 

Additionally, he looks forward to seeing more diversity in his field. “There are not a lot of people of color doing investment research today, but I think the industry’s social climate is changing and is starting to open up those doors.”

Despite his already impressive resume, Musookho is always looking for ways to improve his skills and broaden his network. “One of the top things companies look for when hiring is a strong communication skill set,” he says. “Originally I struggled with that but the more events I took part in and the more professionals I got in front of and had conversations with, the more comfortable and confident I started to become.”

As he continues to push own boundaries as a business student, he implores other students to remember one thing: “You have a purpose. Don’t give up on yourself, you never know where tomorrow might take you.”