For many university graduates, careers begin at a pace relative to knowledge and experience acquired while still in school. Wasif Vimawala has a solid foundation managing his career experience and his education long before he completes his university degree in finance. He is currently a Senior at Depaul University in Chicago.
Wasif Vimawala explained that he gains strength and empowerment from family. The two driving forces in his life are his father and grandfather. His admiration for both men comes from the example they have set with expertise as entrepreneurs, in leadership, and a selfless devotion to family.
As a family, they own a real estate business as well as a flagship retail store. Wasif Vimawala has had the opportunity to serve his family in their ongoing endeavors. He established himself within the family’s retail store. He began in sales and over the next four years was promoted to a management position. Ultimately, he was tasked with implementing a second store in a suburban location. He embraced the challenge. He demonstrated his ability to establish the new store by arranging all aspects of the project. It brought to light his talent for identifying a suitable retail market to business licensing through marketing and advertising. He has managed that store for the past six months. When assisting his family in their real estate business, Wasif Vimawala manages work crews on the operations end of the business. He also performs property analysis for desirable real estate purchases.
The future is bright for the soon-to-be graduate of DePaul University. His plans are to work in investment banking or as a financial analyst.
In his free time, Wasif Vimawala enjoys listening to music and trying new foods and restaurants. However, he admits to consistently requiring the feeling of productivity, as a result, much of his time is spent on researching the stock market.
What led you to choose finance as a major?
Initially, my parents wanted me to be a doctor in my field of choice. I wanted to follow my parent’s wishes. I studied to become a psychiatrist. My grades did not reflect what I would normally achieve. I was not motivated. I realized that I had no passion for that field. It was simply not for me.
The day I made my decision to change my major was when I was watching a moving one day. It was called The Big Short. I was watching Traders who were analyzing the market. It really resonated with me. In an abstract way, it was like watching the economic psychiatry of the market. They have to look at trends and patterns. They are looking at behaviors of the market. They are analyzing what they can do and trying to make a prediction for your betterment. It just hit me that this is what I was supposed to be doing. At the time, I was still working with my grandfather. I admire him as an entrepreneur. He knew that I had the entrepreneurial spirit in me. Both of those passions resonated with me. That is when I changed my major to finance.
What are the current financial trends that have your attention?
Right now, the market is a bit crazy. Everything has to be carefully analyzed. The interest rate is rising, and you must follow the Fed. Everything affects the market, Trump’s withdrawal powers, odds with China, Tokyo, Japan markets. There is a global slow down right now. All of these things can impact the markets. I am also invested in watching emerging markets.
As you are getting ready to graduate this year, do you have a specialty focus? Why?
At this point, I am not focusing on an industry specialty. I know how to dig into a company’s finances. I have an analytical mindset. I have memorized the Qur’an, which is a 1,500-page Arabic book. You have to find patterns in the language to remember all of these things. Ever since I was a child my thinking has been in patterns. That way of thinking is what brought me to this point. I know I can post their revenue and profitability by doing so. I am very confident in my ability. Another reason why I am confident is that I have traded for myself and I understand what makes a stock go up and what makes a stock go down. I follow economic trends and I have made trades to benefit both personally and professionally.
Will you be working in your own business or will you initially work for another company?
Initially, I plan to work for another company. I have trade operations, but I have no plans in the near future to start my own business. I see it in my future, but not at this time. For now, I will be focusing my efforts on working for an established company. Corporations have a great understanding of consumers. Everything that they are doing with Artificial Intelligence and analytic data can evaluate every consumer everywhere. If you can perfect the understanding of the data that you are receiving, you can boost confidence in anything that you are getting infinitely.
What advice would you give to new students in finance?
I would tell new students of finance that at first it is new and it is difficult. It is like learning to speak a foreign language. But if you can buckle-down and settle into the mindset that I am going to do this, it will become a breeze. When I first started, I thought I was going to bomb within the first eight hours. But I put in the work and I really studied. It is a series of fundamental structured concepts that you must completely understand. Once you have the fundamentals of these concepts, everything builds from there. It is not easy. Just get through the initial hurdle and the rest of the work is not as challenging. Complete those steps and find your niche, and the rest will come.
What is your view of success?
Success for me would be to be with family sometime in the future and to just know that they are proud of me and that they love me. I want to have things that have value to me. I don’t mean millions of dollars, I mean real value.
What books have you read that have inspired you?
The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I read that book in high school and it has always stuck with me. I was shy in school. I resonated with the book as I read along. It taught me to accept myself the way I was.
The Whistler, by Jon Grisham. I appreciate this book as a great work of art. It is so well written. It actually transports you into the book.
A gift that was shared with me, I share with your readers.
Sometimes there are things that happen that are beyond your control. You can control how YOU react. That is how you will pave your way into existence.