“Do Not Let the Notion of Fear Hold You Back”: a Q&A with ATLAS Fellow Omar Allende
Q: Why did you join ATLAS Fellows?
A: I was originally attracted to ATLAS Fellows because of the scholarship component. As a first-generation college student coming from a low-income background, I didn’t want my mother to take on the extra responsibility of paying for my college education. I also was intrigued by the career opportunities: I’m interested in the finance profession and I knew the internships and professional networking would benefit me. This support will create better opportunities for me, and I will be able to set an example for my mother and my siblings to accomplish whatever goals they set for themselves in the future.
Q: How are you enjoying your internship with BAM this summer? What are you learning? What is one notable memory you’ve made so far?
A: My summer was challenging and rigorous—and ultimately, I experienced many things that others my age will not have the opportunity to do until three or four years from now. To be able to experience workplace culture firsthand at such a young age is tremendously beneficial. Most importantly, I know that my work project will be actually be implemented at BAM and used to create a better environment by reducing trade errors and increasing efficiency. To know that traders who are 20 years my senior will have improved work flow because of my work is a great feeling.
Q: What advice do you have for students interested in ATLAS Fellows?
A: Always thrown your hat in the ring. Do not let the notion of fear hold you back; don’t worry that you’re not qualified enough, or don’t have enough experience. At ATLAS, those things don’t matter. We are looking for young people with strong character who are open and willing to learn, and the whole point of the program is to create those first work experiences and build strong professionals.
Q: What is your advice to financial firms who will employ Fellows in the future?
We may seem young, but we are hungry and committed to ensuring our own success. We will work hard to figure out the problems that you throw our way. When you employ an ATLAS Fellow, you are employing someone with passion, knowledge, and grit. It is these characteristics that fuel us and make us ready and hungry for opportunities.