Students Finalists Selected for Fall Cohort of the Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery Program

CITI® Ventures is collaborating with California Community Colleges and NexusEdge Education to connect students with real-world, real-time capstone projects through the Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) program.  Under the CUPID Program, CitiBank/Citi Ventures is looking to develop a pipeline of California community college students from which to recruit for employment. The “Capstone to Career” project through CUPID allows students to test the waters in a real-world, experiential format and is more simplified than a formal internship process.

The program offers a series of digital badges with subjects ranging from bitcoin to blockchain, smart cities to securities, personal finance, capital markets, and others. The digital badges can be assigned as class assignment, course complement, extra project, or as a group club/organizational challenge. To qualify for the interview phase of CUPID, students had to pass 3 Citi exams, complete 3 essays, and forward their resume. Many students across California completed all 3 Citi exams for consideration into the Citi CUPID Capstone program as part of their courses. Students were selected based on writing samples simulating on-the-job responsibilities.

The selected students will be assigned a Citbank mentors to work with them on Capstone which projects reflect current business challenges at Citi. The following student have completed the interview process and been selected as finalists for the Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) program:

Chase Nortman

Chase Nortman is currently studying economics at Irvine Valley College. The CUPID Program excites him for the fact that it provides community college students the opportunity of a lifetime; a step in the door connecting scholastic education to real-world experiences. He is excited to be a part of the Citi Team, working alongside brilliant individuals creating market-ready projects and gaining mentorship from a vast array of intelligent minds at Citi. Going forward, after transferring to a university, Chase sees himself continuing to pursue his passion of finance with a global bank such as Citi, seeking a role in investment banking. Besides his love for traveling, Chase typically finds himself surfing the gorgeous beaches which Southern California has to offer.

Sofya Abrahamyan

Sofya Abrahamyan is currently studying Business Administration at the Glendale Community College and looking forward to transferring next year. Before attending GCC, she lived in Armenia for 16 years. She finds it amazing how students have the chance to receive real-life work experience before they graduate. As a first-year college student, Sofya interned at a private equity firm which helped her close the skills gap that college students have. She is excited about the Citi CUPID Program which is a great opportunity to start a career in the financial services industry. She believes that the experience of partaking in internal Citi projects and receiving mentorship from professionals will help develop professional skills and reach their career goals.  Sofya enjoys traveling, taking photos, and writing articles about recent news and well-known people of the Armenian community.


Vivian Du

Vivian Du is a first-year Business Administration major with a concentration in finance at Irvine Valley College. She aims to pursue a career within the fields of investment banking, private equity, and venture capital. She is beyond ecstatic to be a part of the Citi CUPID program this cohort! As a community college student, she finds it truly inspirational that large firms like Citi actively open their doors to all driven students regardless of demographic. She looks forward to working with many talented individuals with a passion just as strong as hers to contribute creativity and progression towards Citi’s internal projects. Currently, her interests lie in learning about the nuances of blockchain development and cryptocurrency. She enjoys keeping up with riveting innovations that work every day to impact and improve our world.



Tommy Truong

Tommy Truong is currently studying Management Information Systems at De Anza College. He aims to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Business Analytics. One of his ambitions include breaking into the consumer technology industry as a Program Manager. The Citi CUPID program is one of many extraordinary opportunities that has the ability to bring bright-minded students together from various backgrounds. Through CUPID, he’s passionate about learning from industry experts and exploring new ways for technology to be integrated into the Business world. Tommy is always seeking for new opportunities and ways to reach even greater heights.



Shivum Berry

Shivum Berry is a first year business administration major at Irvine Valley College. He plans to work with startups in helping them scale and one day aims to have his own microSAAS or PAAS based business centered around helping small businesses. His interest in yoyoing and other niche hobbies lead him to create his own yoyo business and focus on using his influence to have a positive impact on the community around him. What excites him about the Citi CUPID program is the opportunity it provides for community college students to gain hands-on experience in a business environment. He looks forward to seeing more businesses take the initiative to work with community college students and allow them to put their efforts into impactful projects.





Mya Thanegi Soe

Mya Thanegi Soe is currently attending Irvine Valley College, majoring in computer science. She lived in Myanmar for 18 years before moving to the U.S. to pursue higher education and better career opportunities. She is very excited about being part of the Citi CUPID Program for the second time as she had an amazing time during the spring cohort of the Citi CUPID Program. It was a great learning experience for everyone on the team. In regards to her career, Mya enjoys exploring different career opportunities in finance, consulting, and product management. Outside academics, she loves to actively seek side projects, challenges, and internships that will further develop her professionally. When she’s not working on something, you can find her at a cafe trying out new desserts and immersing in a book!



Nathaniel Stephen

Nathaniel Stephen is a current first-year student at College of the Canyons studying Business
Administration. He believes the CUPID program offers a unique opportunity, one that is not
typically offered to Community College students, to receive first in class mentorship. As someone who grew up in an entrepreneurial household, he is thrilled to partake in an internal project where he has creative freedom. He is excited to utilize his analytical background and experience in venture labs to develop a product that can create social good. Nathaniel is still deciding between a career in finance and consulting as he has a deep interest for both. In his free time Nathaniel is an avid fan of the UFC, but also enjoys traveling, reading and cooking.





Elisa Marconell Tejedor

Elisa Marconell Tejedor is a second-year student at Irvine Valley College studying economics and statistics. She is incredibly excited to take part in the CUPID Program for the second cycle and is highly looking forward to collaborating with her team and creating innovative strategies. From the beginning, Elisa has been amazed that the CUPID program allowed students to partake in internal Citi projects not only to give input with the goal of improving current models, but to receive mentorship from talented professionals. After graduating, she hopes to work in either Sales and Trading or Investment Banking. Apart from being an avid Formula 1 fan, Elisa enjoys spending time travelling, learning languages and visiting her family!