Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10
Senior Risk Analyst at Flushing Bank
Nqobile Chitimbire ’12 believes that success is a mindset.
As a high school student in Zimbabwe, Chitimbire was a talented soccer player who had dreams of pursuing a career in the sport. In his senior year, Chitimbire’s soccer coach alerted the team that college scouts would be coming to watch them play. “My coach recommended that I take the SAT exam,” said Chitimbire. “I had only one week to study but I did okay.” Chitimbire, however, was not offered an opportunity to play soccer at the next level. But, as one door closed, others began to open up.
Chitimbire applied to several colleges in various areas of the world. Among them was Adelphi. “Attending Adelphi was sort of a family tradition,” he said. “My mother went to the University and she suggested it to me. My grandfather, uncle, aunt, and cousin all also went to Adelphi. All the way from Zimbabwe.” Chitimbire made the decision to enroll at Adelphi as a finance major with a minor in economics in the fall of 2008.
During his time on campus, Chitimbire tried out for the men’s soccer team as a walk on and spent a year training and playing on the team. Chitimbire was also involved in many other activities including being a member of the International Students Society, the treasurer of the Finance Society, and the co-founder of the Entrepreneur Society and the Men’s Soccer Club. “It was fairly competitive and we got a group of people together to play the game we enjoy,” he said. “It’s fun because we started something and it ended up working out.”
In his sophomore year at Adelphi, Chitimbire became a resident assistant in Earle Hall, a position he would hold for two years before being promoted to a senior resident assistant. “Being an RA is tough because you have to walk the line of being a friend and an authority figure,” said Chitimbire.
Some of Chitimbire’s favorite classes at Adelphi were with Professor Robert Goldberg. “He had us manage real money, utilize excel spreadsheets, and Bloomberg terminals to track performance against benchmarks, in different sectors/asset classes. It was all very practical,” said Chitimbire who also enjoyed his public speaking classes. “I have taken a liking to public speaking since the class and it’s something you have to keep working on.”
In his junior year at Adelphi, Chitimbire secured an internship at Flushing Bank. Following his graduation from the University, the internship evolved into a full-time job where he worked in strategy and development for two years before he decided to transition into enterprise risk management. “It has been one of my best decisions ,” he said. “I was given autonomy which I believe makes you more creative and allows you to grow.” Shortly after moving over to the risk management team, Chitimbire was promoted from risk analyst to his current role as a senior risk analyst.
Despite having a blossoming career, Chitimbire still found the time to do volunteer work. Ever the soccer enthusiast, Chitimbire began collecting used soccer equipment from friends and acquaintances in the U.S. and shipped them to his former academy/clinic, BN Soccer Academy in Zimbabwe. Chitimbire continues to serve in an advisory capacity, and looks to further support the program in the near future with a focus on empowering underprivileged children by bridging sport and education. He also became involved with Clean Water for Everyone, a charitable organization and social enterprise that provides access to sustainable, clean, affordable water and sanitation assets in schools and communities in the developing world. The organization relies on volunteers who hail from areas in the world where the need is greatest so that they can effectively communicate with the people who live there. “If you are a local, you know what the people’s needs are,” said Chitimbire who worked as an agent for the organization and reached out to communities and schools in Zimbabwe. Through Chitimbire’s efforts, they established what the needs were in that area and began asking for support from donors. Among the project’s supporters was someone Chitimbire met during his time at Adelphi; board of trustees member Patrick Smalley. “I met him at an event at Adelphi,” Chitimbire said. “His door was always open to me if I had any questions or ever needed any advice. I consider him a mentor and friend.”
In 2015, Clean Water for Everyone’s project in Zimbabwe was completed. Borehole water systems and septic toilets were installed that directly and indirectly impacted the lives of approximately 2,100 people in the region. Chitimbire, who recently returned to the area to see the completed project said, “Ideally the concept is to create sustainability and empower the people in those communities. I believe we did exactly that.”
While working tirelessly at Flushing Bank and on various volunteer projects, Chitimbire has also been working towards becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). In June 2017, he hopes to complete the final section of the CFA program. He also plans to go back to school sometime in the near future to earn his MBA. “At the end of the day, having an education means there will always be an opportunity for you because you have knowledge and experience. No one can take that away from you,” he said.
Chitimbire believes that success boils down to the individual, “You need to choose to be successful. Places like Adelphi alone won’t make you successful. They will give you all the tools you need but you have to put yourself out there and decide to succeed. I think you need to be able to know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If you fail, you need to pick yourself up. The way you react to failure determines your character. You have to stay persistent and determined. And, if you give people a chance you’ll be surprised by what they can accomplish. I think all people really need is a chance. Once you put yourself out there you will meet people who will help propel you to the next level. I am sure we are all where we are, because someone gave us a chance.”