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Christian Union: The Magazine
September 14, 2021

CU Nova Leader Interns with Goldman Sachs

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Goldman Sachs, a premier investment banking, securities, and investment management group, is known for offering a handful of remarkable college-aged students a grueling internship where they often log eighty hours per week. The intensity of these positions is notorious, allowing only a select bunch of top students to say, “I got Goldman” when they come through the recruiting season for finance positions. 

But for rising Princeton senior Andrew Hama, who was awarded one such internship, the role is another opportunity to bring glory to God as he pursues a career in finance that he hopes will ultimately benefit his home country of Ghana. 

andrew hama nova copyAndrew Hama, Princeton '22Hama ’22, who is studying economics and finance, was born in Ghana and was raised primarily in Atlanta, Georgia. He traveled back and forth frequently through his youth and even lived in Ghana for a couple of years in early childhood. But the older he got, the more he realized that Ghana and America were radically different nations. 

“[Traveling back and forth] shaped my view of how I saw the world, seeing huge differences in economics in the two countries. This drew me to economics, wondering why capital flows to some areas and not others,” he said. 

When Hama arrived at Princeton, he discovered that he was far more interested in the micro side of economics rather than theory, and wanted to understand how businesses operate. Hama was fascinated by how finance drives a business and provides a key to understanding the broader financial world. After landing summer internships at McKinsey & Co after his freshman and sophomore years and gaining experience in business, Hama set his gaze on Goldman in pursuit of a more robust financial experience to equip him on his way. 

“My grand vision is to be in a place where I can impact the flow of capital, whether directly as an investor or indirectly as an advisor. I want to use my degree to build a network and become skilled at understanding business and how to make decisions. But ultimately, I want to do something in Ghana to bridge businesses and to build a flow of business and capital,” says Hama. “I’m also interested in investing directly in West African economies, to build infrastructure or invest in business there. The private sector in Ghana is lagging for many reasons, but it would really help the country to have private sector growth for quality of life for many people and many things.”

But, as Hama believes, achieving this goal is only possible and worthwhile if he navigates the finance world in the power of the Spirit and with Christ at the center of his life. Working in the finance world, Hama is keenly aware of the love of money that surrounds him, and the possibility of work becoming the most important aspect of his life. Though small networks of Christians have formed within the finance world to have Bible studies and pray for one another, he knows that being a Christian in this field will have its challenges. 

“I want to really make sure that I put God first. In finance, you give a lot to your work. People get caught up in the material side of things in the way that the business is set up. I am very cautious of falling into the trap of achieving professional goals, but not growing spiritually,” Hama says. “That is the biggest fear I have. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I’ve achieved all this stuff if my relationship with the Lord hasn’t grown.”

Through his time in Christian Union, Hama has learned how to put the Word first and rely upon it as the grounding reminder of who he is and what matters most. Christian Union taught him how to manage his time so that he could always prioritize time with God in his day. Hama says the Proverbs have proved especially helpful in keeping his heart oriented on Christ.

“The Proverbs will humble you quickly about what you think is important. It’s difficult because a lot of people go into finance for money and prestige,” he said. “I have to continually remind myself that I don’t care about that. My primary goal is to do something I really enjoy and make sure I am not straying away from God.”

Hama attributes much of his firm foundation in Christ to his time in Christian Union Nova at Princeton. As a student leader who has spoken at their leadership lecture series, Hama notes that speaking to his peers and challenging them to be faithful has forced him to a higher level of accountability. For Hama, this accountability has grown his faith and given him the resources and practice to integrate his faith into every aspect of his life; something that is proving to be fruitful as he works in a challenging environment like Goldman. 

“Once you’re in a leadership position and speaking in front of people, you have to live up to what you are saying. People see you around and expect you to live to the standard you are talking about,” said Hama. “There is an incentive to be a good Christian for God, but also because people, even non-Christians, will be disappointed if they see me doing things I shouldn’t. I like that. It makes me more bold about my faith.”

The accountability that comes from living in Christian community has shaped Hama in such a way that he is eager and willing to share his faith boldly in his work environment. Hama sees a deep spiritual need among his peers in the finance world.

“Sometimes there is a stigma around Christians for whatever reason. Christian means not welcoming, or prejudiced against other people. I usually try to mitigate this by getting to know people and get them familiar with what the Bible says and who Christ is so they don’t have this warped perspective.”

“A lot of people are at similar companies and have done really well for themselves, but often  have questions about what this is all for. A lot of fellow interns ask me, ‘this is great, but what else? It feels like something is missing.’ It’s a great place to step in and show them what else there is.” Hama says.

Though his work has just begun, the future is bright for Hama; both professionally and spiritually, as he carries the light of the gospel with him wherever he goes.

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