“My Presence Speaks Louder Than My Words”: a Q&A with ATLAS Fellow Kaylee Yin
Q: Why did you join ATLAS Fellows?
A: Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a buy-side intern networking event through ATLAS. It was a fun and informative time with incredible speakers known for their work in the industry. But as I looked around the conference room full of brilliant minds and future industry leaders, I couldn’t help but notice that, out of nearly 100 people, I was one of the only women and also one of the only people of color. It was that moment I realized that this is exactly why I joined ATLAS.
Just because I am a woman and a first-generation Asian American does not mean I am less ambitious, talented, or hard-working. I grew up as the daughter of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees in an environment that did not provide me with the privilege of learning Excel in middle school or networking at conferences my entire life. But I am passionate about making a difference wherever I am. I’ve realized that it’s not always about the work you do but the value you can add through your unique insights and perspectives. As I continue to walk into rooms full of people who look nothing like me, I’ve realized that sometimes, my presence speaks louder than my words.
I joined ATLAS because I want to change the face of finance. And I will.
Q: How are you enjoying your internship with Bridge Investment Group this summer?
A: I absolutely love interning at Bridge! The culture at the firm is amazing. Everyone is so kind and willing to help. Even on the first day, Zack Tax, one of the VPs, welcomed me and sat down with me for an hour to teach me about what he covers at Bridge. And especially because the NYC office isn’t too big, I know everyone when I come in.
In addition to becoming a lot more familiar with Excel and Salesforce, I’ve been learning about different verticals in real estate (Workforce & Affordable Housing, Seniors Living, Opportunity Zones, etc.), the importance of ESG and how it is being applied to real estate, how to conduct competitor research using Preqin, and what goes on during the due diligence process.
So far, the most notable memory I’ve made was on the second day. We had a team dinner at Blue Willow in Midtown. Not only did I get to eat some super tasty Chinese food, but I also had the opportunity to bond with members of my team and meet Bridge’s executive chairman and co-CIOs.
Q: What advice do you have for students interested in ATLAS Fellows?
A: Apply, apply, apply! Do not feel afraid to apply even if you don’t have a strong finance background or if STEM isn’t your favorite subject. As I wrap up the halfway point of my second internship, the most critical area I have seen myself grow in is my confidence. But this would not be possible if not for the countless opportunities ATLAS has provided me. I’ve grown professionally and personally through my internships. With that in mind, please have confidence in yourself because you never know what can happen if you take that risk and apply.
Q: What is your advice to financial firms who will employ Fellows in the future?
A: The greatest asset of any company is truly its people, and the only way you can expect superior returns on your investments is if you invest in your people first.
Diversity is important. It really does matter. There is such a shift in outlook when you work with people who don’t look like you — people who come from different backgrounds and who may not necessarily have had the same opportunities you had growing up or throughout your career. The unique and individual perspectives that people of different genders and ethnicities can provide does nothing but add value and strengthen a firm’s culture.
I also believe it’s crucial to note that these Fellows are some of the most hardworking, intellectually curious, and passion-driven people that I have ever met. Each and every single Fellow is burning with ardor in so many different facets of life, and it really is such a tight-knit community that you cannot find anywhere else. ATLAS has become a second family to me, and I am so confident in every single Fellow’s ability to learn, lead, and above all, be a good person.
Kaylee Yin is a 2021 ATLAS Fellow. She is majoring in Applied Economics & Management at Cornell University. Having previously interned in the Quantitative Trading division at Balyasny Asset Management, this summer she is a Client Solutions Group intern at Bridge Investment Group.