Meet a Roadrunner: Dante Okpala
Meet Dante Okpala, an undergraduate finance student at the Carlos Alvarez College of Business!
Expected Graduation: December 2023
Favorite class, professor or topic you’ve learned about this year?
My favorite class so far has been FIN 3063, where we learned the different uses of Excel. I like the class because a lot of the things we learned can be directly applied to the field that I want to work in post-graduation. Also, the class included a lot of problem-solving, something I enjoy doing. Another class I have enjoyed is my ethics course because it forces me to really question the way I think.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of school?
I love playing basketball and going to the gym to work out. Also, I love listening to music. My friend and I have started a podcast where we talk all about music.
What is the most memorable experience you have had at UTSA?
My most memorable experience at UTSA was when our football team won their game with a last-second touchdown in the 2021 season at the Alamodome. We had only lost one game at the time, and the last-second win helped us secure a spot in the Conference Championship.
What challenges have you faced in your academic journey and how did you overcome them?
The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge for me because it cut into my senior year of high school, causing me to begin college remotely and continue that way for a year and a half. I was able to find comfort in the fact that many other students were going through the same thing, and I was able to lean on my friends during times when I was unmotivated to study or pay attention in class. It was also a challenge because it took away human interaction, which is an integral part of college. The way I overcame this was by joining clubs and taking opportunities to interact with people in any way that I could.
Lastly, I used the time I spent at home to learn about myself and what I wanted to pursue during college and in the future. This allowed me to learn about different opportunities and craft a plan to achieve the goals I set for myself. I was able to use a negative situation to my benefit and gained so much knowledge about myself and finance.
Do you have any previous/upcoming internships/job offers you are proud of?
I have previously interned with Exencial Wealth Advisors as a tax intern in San Antonio. I’m proud of this experience because I had to go out on my own and email the director to inquire about the position, and initially she said I was not qualified due to me not having a tax course on my transcript. I told her that I could look online to see if there were any online courses and took the initiative to enroll myself in an H&R block course in addition to my UTSA courses to increase my tax knowledge for the internship. I believe that she and the rest of the team liked my initiative and drive to go seek out a way that I could be qualified for the role, and I was blessed enough to have them interview me and then eventually hire me.
I am proud to announce that I have an upcoming summer internship at JP Morgan Chase in Los Angeles. I interned there last summer and was blessed enough to receive a return offer in their Financial Sponsors Group as an intern.
What do you hope to achieve in your future career?
I hope in the future to graduate and work in private equity or tech, and then possibly get an MBA. I also want to find a way to educate underrepresented communities about opportunities within business and finance and use my experiences to show them that there is a way.