May 25th, 2021

Edith Fellow Spotlight - Michael Hammer

Let's start off by having you introduce yourself:

Hi everyone, I'm Michael. I'm about to graduate from John Hopkins University with a Bachelors in Economics and Applied Mathematics & Statistics. After graduation, I'll be moving to Australia to be a trader at Akuna Capital.

How did you find Edith and why did you decide to join?

To be honest, I've been interested in the income share agreement (ISA) space for a while through my role as the managing partner for A-Level Capital (JHU's student-run VC firm).

College students have a lot of potential with very little immediate earning power - you're theoretically going to be earning a lot later or get a good job, but you don't necessarily make money today and you're surrounded by peers in a similar situation.

To get from where you are to where you want to be, a lot of times it takes the help of people with much more experience than you or your friends. To me, Edith bridged that gap because you can pay later, and the amount you pay is tied to your level of success, not how much money you have in your bank account today.

In a funny way, I thought connecting with mentors through Edith was a way to network with my future self. They're where I want to be in a few years, and I was able to soak up their experiences.

Let's talk a little more about your mentors, how did they help you and how did your relationship evolve over time?

When I started the Edith Fellowship, I was pretty set on working in Venture Capital after graduation. Thomas is a VC at Clearvision Ventures, and he was able to get me the experience and exposure to realize that it wasn't where I wanted to start my career, although I might want to revisit it later.

As I explored different potential options, Leo was able to give me similar exposure in the Sales and Trading space. You can try reaching out to LinkedIn on your own, but getting these introductions from my mentors was really helpful for having deep and honest conversations from experts in different industries.

In the past few months my destination changed, but my mentors were there to make sure I still got there.

Both Thomas and Leo also increased my confidence with behavioral interviews. I wasn't that good at the start, but just going over the questions over and over with them helped me iron out how to best present my story in a confident way.

Presenting yourself to your peers is totally different than presenting yourself to people in the workforce, and getting the reps in really helped out when it came to the real thing.

Any final words about joining Edith or the community?

For the students out there considering Edith, the cost is totally worth it. What's 1, 2, or 3% of your salary for a year when compared to the potential positive of saving years of your life in the wrong career, or not ending up where you want to be?

Having a mentor is a super unique relationship that sets you up for success. And it's not just your personal mentor - the community is there for you as well. I was in an interview process that Thomas and Leo weren't as familiar with, and there was an Edith mentor that was able to pitch in with exactly what I needed to succeed.

We want to thank Michael for chatting with us and sharing his experiences. If you have any questions you can reach us at If you'd like to become a Fellow you can join us here!

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