Name: Cafui Awasu
Graduation Year: Spring 2020
Major(s): Management and Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises
Hometown: Loch Sheldrake, New York
This past summer Cafui Awasu worked as an operations intern on the commercial product management team at Healthfirst, a health insurance company based in New York City. According to Awasu, before the internship she was not well-informed about either the health insurance or operations industry but was able to learn quickly with the help of her mentor and the skills she learned at Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
“I think Syracuse University and the Whitman School are particularly good at preparing students for the real world,” said Awasu. “Being able to attend trips and meet alumni during events such as Whitman Women on Wall Street and the Retail Road Trip allowed me to learn more about potential majors and companies, and helped me to decide my career path from as early as freshman year.”
Some of Awasu’s major accomplishments at Healthfirst include acting as a project lead to implement a rewards program for members and policyholders, as well as presenting to over 300 stakeholders on the company’s 2019 commercial products.
In addition to these achievements, Awasu is a heavily involved and academically recognized student at Syracuse University. She is a Whitman leadership scholar, Renée Crown honors scholar and Wellslink scholar. Previously she served as the community relations chair for a year and a half at Syracuse University’s chapter of UNICEF, and is an ambassador and peer mentor for the Whitman School.
Both of Awasu’s parents are Syracuse University alumni who met as Ph.D. students. She admitted she fell in love with Syracuse University and the Whitman School after visiting campus with them and meeting with a recruiter.
“She [the recruiter] was warm, welcoming and enthusiastic about all of the great things happening at Syracuse University and Whitman,” explained Awasu. “I knew I was making the right decision to come here.”
Upon graduation, she wants to work in product development, corporate strategy or brand innovation, as she feels her creative skills and logical reasoning abilities will help her succeed in these roles. Eventually, she hopes to get an MBA or Ph.D., like her parents.
Awasu has a few words of advice for incoming students.
“Be confident, don’t be afraid to ask questions and always be prepared!” she explained.