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Understand financial markets, manage investments

A dream, perseverance and a tip from a good friend have brought Osivue Michael Lucky from Nigeria to study in Kiel. His goal is to become an expert in financial and economic analyses.

Osivue Michael Lucky
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Osivue Michael Lucky is studying in the international Master's programme Quantitative Finance. He is one of about 100 students with a Deutschlandstipendium.

"I want to understand exactly how the financial markets operate, so as an expert I can develop the best possible forecasts for financial investments," said Osivue Michael Lucky to explain what drives him. The 28-year-old from Nigeria is a student on the international Master's degree programme in Quantitative Finance at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences at Kiel University. The Stiftergemeinschaft (funding community) of Förde Sparkasse is supporting him with a Deutschlandstipendium (Germany Scholarship).

Michael grew up in Lagos State as the third of five children, and was the first person in his family to study. "My father is a grocer, my mother had a hairdressing salon, and education is very important to both of them. They have always encouraged me to follow my own path," he said. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics summa cum laude at the end of 2014. When he then didn’t get his desired job as a university teacher, he initially completed his service in the National Youth Service. "In Nigeria, the young graduates work for a year, wherever the state needs them. I think this is very important," explained Michael. He then worked as a maths teacher at a school and for the state road safety authority. “After that I started as a data analyst at a life insurance company, and eventually decided to focus on this completely, instead of continuing to dream about a career as a university teacher," he said. He still wanted to pursue a Master’s degree, and so he applied to many universities abroad. "I had read that the practical component is usually larger at European universities than in Nigeria," he explained. However, gaining admission including a scholarship proved to be very difficult. Over a period of many years, he only received rejections.

Michael had already decided not to apply abroad any more, when a friend persuaded him that they could try it together in Germany. During his research, he read about Kiel and the CAU for the first time, about the good ratio of 3,000 teachers and staff to 27,000 students, and about Nobel Prize winners who came from here. "But above all, it was the curriculum with the many courses on business, finance and related topics that convinced me," he revealed. In order to specialise further, Michael chose the Master's degree programme in Quantitative Finance. Double success by also obtaining a Deutschlandstipendium makes him proud. In 2019, a private donor supported him. In the 2020/21 academic year, the Stiftergemeinschaft of Förde Sparkasse is supporting him, which enables him to concentrate more on his studies.

His favourite course so far: Corporate Finance. "In this course, we talked a lot about the activities in companies, about capital structures, payout policy, mergers and acquisitions and the procurement of equity. I could link this well with my previous experience of working in a company," he said. In order to gain more practical experience, Michael is seeking an internship at a financial services company for his third semester.

In his free time, Michael enjoys jogging, and would like to participate in a marathon again. He likes the beach in Laboe, meets with friends and plays football. He regrets that he mainly has friends from Nigeria and Africa here. "The Germans I have met were very friendly and helpful, but it is difficult to build a real friendship from the initial contact," he said to describe his experiences. He bridges the approximately 5,360 kilometre gap to his family and to his young daughter through video calls. "I only want to fly back to Nigeria again once I have completed the majority of the Master’s degree and have improved my German language skills," he emphasised. He is not yet sure whether he will return to his homeland permanently. He wants to write his Master's thesis about investments in the European financial market, and can well imagine working in investment management at a bank, at an insurance company or a financial company in Europe afterwards.

Author: Beatrix Richter