Alisha Chowdhury Is Among ‘Girls Who Invest’ at Penn

With the hopes that their children would receive a better education, the parents of University of Pennsylvania student Alisha Chowdhury left Bangladesh the year before she was born and settled in New Orleans. 

After working with local and state politicians in Louisiana while in high school, Chowdhury knew she wanted to pursue political science as a major. As a freshman at Penn, she took a microeconomics course and was hooked. 

“By understanding how the scope of our economy affects our government, I realized how much I enjoyed studying both fields,” Chowdhury says. 

Now a rising junior, she’s pursuing a double major in the two subjects. Through late June, Chowdhury is remaining on campus taking advantage of the summertime academic experience Girls Who Invest.

It is a non-profit organization that inspires young women to become tomorrow’s investors through education, outreach, accessibility and career placement, with the goal of increasing the number of women leading the asset-management industry.

Along with a cohort of 30 students, Chowdhury is living in Harnwell College House and attending guest lectures and seminars, gaining exposure to different sectors, including asset management, banking and real estate.

The participants will also visit firms in Philadelphia and New York City to learn about capital asset pricing models, market efficiencies and active investments and to meet with people in the industry.

On the weekends, the students will take in the cultural offerings in and around Philadelphia, travel to nearby beaches and catch a Phillies game.

“I hope to explore more of Philadelphia, including taking salsa lessons on Friday nights and discovering new restaurants in the city with my friends,” Chowdhury says.

Girls Who Invest partners with companies in the United States and Canada to help the participants find work in asset management firms after finishing the first part of the program.

From early July through mid-August, Chowdhury will apply what she’s learned, working as an intern analyst with the private investments team at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, in Toronto. She’ll help to analyze portfolio decisions, investment prospects and financial models.

“I am excited to use the many topics I’ve studied in my major and apply it to the internship in Toronto,” she says.

Chowdhury will be learning about private investments and asset management during her internship, but she’s also hoping to learn a lot about herself, she says.

“Summer internships are a time for students to discover what they truly want to pursue as a career,” Chowdhury explains. “This internship will not only provide me with strong workplace skills and teach me what it is like to work at a large-scale company, it will also strengthen my interests and help me better understand where my passions lie and what I hope to do after graduation.”

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