Isaac Amado ’11
For many people, recalling the details of their summer as a fifth grader is an impossible task. For Isaac Amado ’11, however, that was his first summer with Steppingstone—a memory he’ll never forget.
Isaac recently graduated from Regis College (Class of 2022), where he majored in Global Business Management and minored in Economics and Data Analytics. Although his interest in finance would ultimately lead him to a summer internship at Leeward Investments, LLC, he attributes part of his journey into the field to the support given by his college and Steppingstone Advisors during his freshman year.
Isaac’s Educational Journey
“You know, I’ve never really been afraid of trying new things, especially in an academic setting.”
Isaac shares this as he reflects on his decision to pursue a degree in economics, despite initially beginning his college career in the biology department.
“‘See what you like, feel it out, and go from there’ was what my Steppingstone Advisor told me…and my college advisor encouraged me to be open-minded. If I didn’t have that encouragement, I don’t think I would have become nearly as successful as I am today.”
Isaac shares that the first time he experienced a sense of genuine mentorship was during his time as a fifth-grade Steppingstone Scholar—an experience that would solidify the importance of surrounding yourself with mentors that not only support you, but also encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone.
“Actually, the first time my family heard about Steppingstone, I was three years old. My mom was set on enrolling me in Steppingstone. I remember going to Milton Academy as a Summer I [Scholar], making friends, meeting staff members, and I thought,
‘This is a community. The people here genuinely care about me.’”
Many Steppingstone Alumni are able to remember the long summer days of academic preparatory courses and bus rides back into the city just as equally as the long-lasting bonds with peers and Advisors. For Isaac, these bonds would become integral to his willingness to try new experiences and welcome opportunities for exploration.
From College to Career: Launching at Leeward
The importance of mentorship, whether it be during or after his time as a student, is something that Isaac recognizes as critical to his journey as a Scholar and now as a young professional. Fast forward to this summer, Isaac began his internship at Leeward Investments, through a new opportunity offered especially to Steppingstone Scholars. As a recent college graduate hoping to break into the world of finance, his journey as an intern at the investment company was nothing short of an exploratory experience.
Throughout the summer, Isaac was tasked with managing multiple projects while simultaneously learning more about the fundamentals of investing. As he reflects on his time at Leeward, he affirms that the support he received from the company’s team—and encouragement to step outside of his comfort zone—played a major role in the success of his breakthrough into the field.
“On my first day, the COO of Leeward Investments greeted me and helped me settle in, which was really great to have as someone new at the company…and on my second day at the office an analyst had signed me up for a conference. While there, I was talking to clients. I said to myself,
‘You’re here now, this is what you studied for in school, let’s see if you can apply this in real time.’”
The team at Leeward Investments welcomed Isaac as an intern this summer with the hopes of supporting his exploration—and possible transition—into the world of investing. Just as Isaac had been able to learn more about the day-to-day of project management in an investment company, the Leeward team valued the support that Isaac was able to provide on the various projects he was assigned throughout the summer.
“It was a real pleasure having Isaac as part of the team this summer,” Jenna Oliver, Managing Director of Relationship Management at Leeward shared. “We hope to continue our work with Steppingstone in welcoming Scholars to explore their interests through a summer internship at Leeward.”
To sum up the summer experience, Isaac says, “It was great. It definitely was an eye-opener, seeing how businesses functioned in real time. It’s one thing to learn about it in a college classroom versus being in an actual office.”
In reminiscing on his journey to becoming a young professional, Isaac thinks back to his time in the Academy program at Steppingstone and remembers one of the most important bonds he was able to make while a Scholar: the bonds with his peers. “I remember the bond I had with my friends at the time,” he says. “Unfortunately we haven’t talked in years, but if they’re somehow going to read this article, ‘Thanks, guys, you know all of you. I wouldn’t have gotten through without all of y’all.’”
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