Thirty Seven. / Contributor Thirty Two: Allison Schneider, E*TRADE
On Managing Our Adaptability Quotient, Mini Crosswords, and Justice for Breonna.
Hey, everybody. Thank you to everyone who responded about our Inclusion Index for Le Cinq. We will continue to do better and highlight incredible people and their stories. I also hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer through all of these crazy times; NYC has really come into its own, energy-wise, and it feels nice to have a bit of European flair here.
Also, here’s another weekly reminder to come join our Slack group, Le Slack, if you’re itching for more Le Cinq content!
I keep mixing between startup friends as authors here, and it’s always fun to showcase their journeys and stories. Today’s author is a really fun one as she’s a tinkerer, and her “fun fact” also speaks to my love of boxing.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Allison Schneider.
Allison Schneider has spent her career working in and around technology startups in New York City. She currently leads startup partnerships and investments for E*TRADE Ventures and Labs. Prior to E*TRADE, she spent time in sales and GTM at x.ai, a venture backed AI startup, and IBM Watson where she worked with early stage enterprise and consumer startups building off of IBM's artificial intelligence technology. Ally takes pride and defines success for herself in how she is able to advocate for and support founders that are solving important problems. She has Marketing and Spanish degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
A fun fact: I was on the boxing team in college and have boxed competitively in NYC. These days, I do a lot of shadow boxing in my kitchen!
What are you currently working on?
Professional: I had never worked in financial services prior to joining E*TRADE a couple of years ago and I find the industry absolutely fascinating. Our sector has gone through so much over the past year alone - the shift to zero commissions, major industry consolidation, the continued explosion of fintech. There is so much opportunity for us to leverage and partner with the external ecosystem to evolve as a firm which is why I genuinely enjoy what I do. I’m constantly looking for interesting startups for us to partner with from both a fintech and enterprise tech perspective.
Personal: I’m using my extra time in quarantine to catch up and read all of the books in my apartment that I haven’t gotten to yet. I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I’ve read everything in these four walls! A couple of my favorites over the past few months include The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
What are you currently excited about?
I’m really excited about the increase in virtual fitness options over these last few months. Pre-pandemic, I was obsessed with my boxing gyms and doing multiple in-person classes every week. Even though I miss working out with a group in a gym and I was skeptical at first, I’ve gotten really into online workout classes. I’ve been doing instructor-led workouts on both Zoom and Instagram Live as well as through the Peloton App and I have been surprised by how effective (and fun!) they are.
It feels like there is a fundamental shift happening here -- virtual workout classes are more convenient, affordable, and accessible than in-person classes in gyms and studios. I’ve been having a lot of conversations with friends lately about what happens when the gyms and boutique fitness studios open back up. I think it will be fascinating to see how many people that have acclimated to leveraging apps and online workouts during this strange time choose not to go back to their full time in-person workout routines.
What’s a story or article that you're currently thinking about?
My friend Natalie Fratto gave an amazing TED Talk last year on how to measure and improve your Adaptability Quotient (AQ). If you haven’t already done so, please watch it HERE; it's only 7 minutes and I promise you won’t regret it!
In her talk, Natalie discusses how AQ is equally as important as one’s IQ and EQ and measures how well a person reacts to the inevitability of change.
Natalie’s message has always resonated with me but over the last few months I’ve been thinking about the importance of adaptability more than ever. Change has always been a constant but I don’t think that any of us could have predicted what 2020 would have in store for us. Our society has had to battle severe illness and tragic loss. We’ve gone through layoffs, furloughs, and for the lucky ones, adjusted to working from home. We’ve had to adapt to social distancing from our loved ones, wearing masks, and combating anxiety. The pandemic has been the true test of our AQ-- how do we react and adapt when challenges and curveballs are thrown our way?
Even though we’re not completely out of the storm yet, it really is amazing to reflect and think about how much we’ve adapted as individuals, families, corporations, and cities over the past few months. I would argue that we’ve all been forced to develop very high AQ.
What’s a product you’re currently obsessed with?
I am absolutely obsessed with the NYT Daily Crossword App and I do the “Daily Mini” puzzle every day. I can’t remember the last time that I forgot to do it! I consistently come in last place on my friends leaderboard which is unfortunate but doing the puzzle genuinely brings me so much joy.
Wild Card: What’s an item you can’t shake your mind off of?
I can’t stop thinking about how Breonna Taylor deserves justice. Breonna should be alive and the officers that killed her should be held accountable and convicted for the horrific crime that they committed.
Please visit justiceforbreonna.org for ways that we can take action and please continue to say her name.
(Editor’s Note: It boggles my mind how poorly this case has gone. A fellow public servant, an Emergency Medical Technician, was murdered and barely any action has been taken. Justice must be served and we must keep the pressure on to get accountability.)
~ C O L O P H O N ~
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