Funmi Afonja – CUP Fellow Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?

I began my career as a credit analyst and over the years built on it at various financial service firms. At Standard and Poor’s, I leverage my credit and underwriting skills as a Director in the commodities team, focused on metals and mining.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?

Conducting credit due diligence and the supporting analytics can be a challenge with material last minute changes to a deal’s structure. I handle the dynamic, transaction-driven environment in which I work by being analytically astute, very organized and skillful in managing multiple stakeholders and tight deadlines.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement at work was winning the Gold ACE Award for Analytical Excellence. I was the first analyst at Standard and Poor’s to win a Gold ACE in the category of Outstanding Analysis, Top-2% of Analysts at Standard and Poor’s globally.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?

I deeply admire the late Maya Angelou’s writing. She had a succinct command of the English language that galvanized socio-political awareness and change.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I envision leading a business unit and shaping strategy to develop market moving credit thesis in the commodities industry.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?

The experience of being a mentor and having mentees has been extremely beneficial. In contributing to my mentees, I have grown immensely and by allowing others to guide me, I exceed expectations I set for myself.

What do you hope to gain from your CUP Fellows Program experience to help you make a significant and positive impact in your community?

A good education can transform a person’s trajectory in life; and so I hope the CUP Fellows Program will position me to serve on the board of an education focused organization. I truly believe this is an area I can serve with great passion and make, what I hope would be, an indelible impact in the community.