Featuring FinPro World

Jiaming Lou, Editor-in-Chief

I had the opportunity to talk with Nikita Agrawal, co-founder and president of FinPro World, a student-run non-profit that educates students on finance topics through programming at no cost. Nikita shared with me how her organization impacts students at WY and across the world.

Q: It looks like your impact has affected 13 countries. Very impressive. How were you able to do this?

A: Through partnership with Schoolhouse.world. It was a challenging goal to have an impact on students globally, [but] really impressive to see how motivated students are. A student from Indonesia joined the session even though the time difference was 12 hours and it was 6 AM for them!

Q: How do the different positions in your team work together?

A: Currently, we have a small team and a shared mailbox. We are looking for volunteers – instructors with Python or Finance experience, help with marketing/outreach, also help with social media and curriculum updates. If anyone reading this is interested, sign up on finproworld.org/volunteer.

Q: I saw a place on your website (www.finproworld.org) where interested individuals can sign up for a series. How does a series work?

A: A series is composed of 1 hour weekly sessions for 10 weeks. We are starting a new online series on Oct 24th at 6 pm CST, so now is a great time to sign-up!

Q: On a smaller scale, take me through what the agenda for any typical weekly session looks like.
A: During the first half of each session the financial concept is explained. In the second half, students write code to apply that financial concept. For example, simple and compound interest is explained and then students use Python to create a function to code and output the simple and compound interest amount for a given principal, rate, and time. Students are taught to understand the relationship between interest, rate, principal, and time by the changing values in their code to see how interest amounts change over time or with changing rates. In subsequent sessions, we expand on this learning and make the financial concept real and visual for the learners to see how it can be applied. These new skills will open doors for them when seeking paid internships or part-time jobs in accounting, finance, technology, or programming areas.

Q: There’s a place on your website to donate. What does the donation go towards?
A: Good that you asked. Donations go towards administration for our non-profit status, the 501(c)(3) filing, website maintenance, and also for awards during our final challenge competition. With enough donated funds we will be able to procure devices for students in underrepresented communities and support them through our program.

Q: Is FinPro World strictly for those with a strong passion for math, science, and/or economics? Would you advise someone with an interest outside of these areas to join (eg. a literature lover)?
A: Yes, absolutely. No prior finance or programming skills are necessary to join. As a literature lover, for example, one day when you start making a living you would not want to wait until then to understand the benefits of saving and
investing your money, or how to spot a good debt from a bad debt, how do mortgage payments work and how interest rates impact your monthly payments when you’re ready to buy that big home that you’ve worked so hard for!

Q: Is FinPro World a club or organization? A little of both? How can interested WY students join?
A: I see how it can be confusing. FinPro World is a non-profit organization whereas the club here is a “Whitney Young Chapter” of the parent organization. Interested students at WY can join using the Google Classroom code: 5p2cn63. We meet every Thursday during enrichment in room 110.

Q: Anything we haven’t addressed so far that you’d like to share?
A: I’d encourage readers to follow our Instagram (@finproworld) even if they are not sure of joining the WY club. If any student is interested in starting a “Chapter” in a school, like in their middle school or neighborhood school, this is a great way to show leadership and give back to the community. You can also get service hours through FinPro World.

For other questions/comments, contact [email protected].