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Taking it further: Rebecca Osamudiame

Posted by Yitong Liu on June 8, 2022 in Students, Alumni & Friends
Rebecca Osamudiame, a Black woman with medium-length hair, stands next to a balcony in the Rowe building. She is wearing a white, blue and beige dress and gold hoop earrings. In one arm, she holds her son, a Black toddler wearing jeans and a blue shirt. She holds his hand with her free arm, and they both look at the camera, smiling.
Rebecca Osamudiame with her son, Ethan. (Nick Pearce photo)

Rebecca Osamudiame graduated this June from the Master of Science in Business program. Rebecca grew up in Nigeria, Africa. Prior to coming to Dalhousie, she worked in a private accounting firm as a tax consultant for three years. She chose Dalhousie not only because she wanted a new challenge and to gain research experience, but also because Dalhousie is internationally recognized as one of Canada's top schools, with a welcoming and inclusive culture. Recalling her choice, Rebecca says she would choose Dal again if she could go back in time. "I’m really glad that I came for this program,” she says, adding that it helped her “to understand the flow of how to do research and where to start from with an idea.”

Starting to explore 

When it comes to her research experience and writing process, Rebecca was fueled with passion and determination. “After reading papers in related fields, I started to reflect on what was already there. What else could I explore? I believe this is what makes my paper different.”

At first, she found it challenging to adapt to the education system in Canada, which has exam schedules and tighter assignment deadlines than she was used to. It took time to develop her thesis topic into something original. But the MScB program provides a lot of opportunities for one-on-one mentoring from a variety of experts, and Rebecca benefited from the support of her professors. Drs. Jun Zhou and Professor Yonggan Zhao helped her hone her research skills. Dr. Oumar Sy, her thesis supervisor, pushed her to explore her ideas further, helping her find a topic that was new and interesting. "Dr. Oumar always urged me to improve," Rebecca says. She believes that it was his high expectations for her that contributed to the eventual success of her thesis.

Looking closer

Rebecca chose to focus on the relationship between finance and politics in the United States at the micro level. “Firm-Level Presidential Premium” explores the relationship between presidential administrations and equity performance at the firm level. She chose this topic because existing literature had only tested the relationship between presidential administrations and stock market performance at the macro level, and she wanted to look closer. Her findings support that the stock market performs better under Democratic presidents and that certain firm characteristics can determine presidential effects, which fills a gap in the current literature.

Going for it  

Rebecca and her son on stage accepting her degree at convocation. Rebecca is grinning under her mask, talking to a Dalhousie official, and Ethan is smiling at the person taking the photo. Rebecca wants to tell incoming MSc students that participating in this program will undoubtedly help them excel in their research on current financial issues. She also recommends asking the professor without hesitation if you have any questions. The approachable professors at Dalhousie impressed her a lot.

Rebecca currently works for Ernst & Young, considered one of Canada’s “big four” accounting firms, and she hopes to pursue a PhD in the future. She wants to use the research skills she learned at Dalhousie to advance in finance, teach others, and expand her academic career. "I always tell myself: ‘Rebecca, you can do better’. I know doing a PhD is even more stressful and rigorous than a master’s. When I'm ready, I'll definitely go for it."