colin powell school
“Enjoy the college experience.” - Infinite Clovie, B.A. Economics, Class of 2025
Growing up in Brooklyn and experiencing first-hand the inequities of New York City’s public school system, Infinite Clovie always dreamed of building a school for students with special needs in his neighborhood. Now that he’s pursuing his degree at CCNY and building his professional network, he hopes to have all the capital instruments he needs to realize that vision.
Please share a little about your background — what's your story?
I grew up in Brooklyn, East New York, with my grandmother and two younger sisters. I did all my grade schooling in my Brooklyn neighborhood. What initially drew me to CCNY was its affordability. It was one of the only schools I could attend without incurring significant debt. And once I visited campus, it sealed the deal for me, especially as I was greeted by the large gates held by the two stone pillars and all the castle-like buildings. I knew this was a place I belonged. I currently work as a finance and operations assistant at the Colin Powell School. I’m involved with The Institute for Responsible Citizenship, which is an intensive leadership development program for talented African American men. I helped create the first executive board within the New York Collegiate Institute of The Institute for Responsible Citizenship; and I currently preside as the Vice President of External Affairs. Once I graduate, my goal is to work at one of the large financial services firms, somewhere like JPMorgan or Morgan Stanley.
What is your passion or purpose behind your studies at CCNY?
I decided to pursue an economics degree at CCNY to understand the demands of investment clients and offer a range of products curated to their needs. My passion is building a school for special needs students in my neighborhood. Growing up in a district that lacked resources, I noticed the divide between students who needed extra help and those who were prepared. Many schools do not have the funds or the human resources to address the different needs of neurodiverse students, and not everyone has the funding to enroll their children in private tutoring. The education gap compounds when students are pushed through school without learning. This project will take many factors to become a reality, but most importantly, it will take funding! By studying economics, then working in the banking industry, I will have access to the capital instruments needed to mobilize this venture.
Where are you in your career? How has the Colin Powell School helped you along the way?
The Colin Powell School is helping me reach my career goals in many ways. My economics classes help me understand how different factors affect our economy, and my math classes help me understand how to represent economic shifts with numbers. I started full-time as a finance operations assistant at CPS in June 2022. In this role, I track and manage the school's finances, which includes purchasing, charge reconciliations, budget analysis, physical asset management, and database curation. Along with my role at CPS, I juggle my responsibilities at The Institute for Responsible Citizenship. I was the first student from CCNY to be accepted into the program. Participating in it has allowed me to expand my professional network, and meet practitioners in the financial industry.
Working full-time and taking 15 credits a semester has its challenges, but I think it’s worth it. This summer, I will take time off from work and school to join Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's investment banking team; I will be a full-time analyst working with various products, including asset-backed securities. Given the strategic alliances between other finance firms and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, I couldn’t be more grateful for an excellent start to my career in investment banking.
Please share a significant memory and/or accomplishment from your time at CCNY.
My most prominent memory at CCNY was in one of my business courses. I presented my business plan, which focused on purchasing large life settlement contracts for investors, managing the contracts, and collecting a service fee. This was my first experience creating a business plan, and I discovered a valuable lesson; if you don't have a plan, you don't have a business—a simple but not always obvious lesson.
Do you have any advice you could give to current or future students?
The advice I would give to future students is to enjoy the college experience. With work and school, I sometimes forget to slow down and enjoy life, which I am certain is the case for many other students. I am at a college filled with amazing staff and students, though I often do not interact with my peers because I am caught up in work. Working hard is great, but taking a break is sometimes okay.
What are your post-graduation plans?
My post-graduation plan is to work on structured financial instruments. I want to begin working as an analyst and move up the career ladder. I plan to continue exploring different options after my first few years with Morgan Stanley, but I know I want to start my career at the firm.
How would you describe the Colin Powell School in three words?
"Opportunity for all." I choose these words because your time at CPS depends on you. The classes range from moderate to extremely difficult, with abundant fellowship/internship opportunities available as soon as you begin your first semester. The options here are limitless; it is the student's choice of opportunities to take advantage of. Like many other students, I have participated in many fellowships, including the Edward I. Koch fellowship & David Berk fellowship. These programs are open to anyone; you just must be willing to put in the work.