KwaK Chops it up with Angelica AlamJanuary 23, 2018
Angelica Alam is a financial services professional with over six years of experience in treasury and trade services at various blue chip banking institutions on Wall Street. Prior to joining the financial sector, Angelica held strategy, operations, sales, marketing and business development roles in the media and entertainment industry with roles at major national broadcasters, including VH1 Classic and MTV Networks.
Aside from her professional accomplishments, Angelica is passionate about youth education and women’s equality. Among her many community efforts, Angelica has served as a mentor for young women, providing support and guidance on their academic and educational goals and helping them to find scholarship opportunities and gain admission to some of the country’s top colleges and universities. Angelica is also involved with Junior Achievement and The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship organizations and is a recognized motivational speaker.
Angelica’s biggest passion is the Let Me Be Great Foundation, an organization she founded in 2016 with a mission to connect youth with high quality and engaged mentors that will help them identify, plan for and achieve their short and long-term academic and professional goals. Angelica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Riverside and a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Up ahead, our very honest conversation — and proof positive that Ms. Alam is an Empowered Corporate Superwoman unlike any other.
KwaK : It is apparent to those who follow your work that you pride yourself on your Latina heritage. Trump’s Muslim ban, as well as his numerous attacks on immigration, has really set our country back on any progression towards Equal freedoms for all. Tell us a bit of your family history, their motherland and journey to the U.S. as well as your stance on immigration rights.
Trump can’t set us back. For every ignorant word that comes out of his mouth, there are countless organizations and activists working double time to keep the work of our ancestors moving forward. While it has been very difficult to watch – we cannot be discouraged by his ignorance, it should be a motivator for our people to unite and show up at those voting polls! I’m a first-generation Dominican-American daughter of two immigrant citizens from the Dominican Republic. My parents came here in their late teens and built a great life for all seven of their children. My father served in the United States Marine Corps for twenty years and my mother is a Pharmacist. Both of my parents are business owners and activists in our community. My stance on immigration is very simple, we need to redo our history books and tell the real story of America the great. Latinos have been in this country much longer than the history books give us credit for. While there needs to be a policy in place to maintain order – our current president’s solution is NOT THE ANSWER!
KwaK : How has your family and upbringing influenced your life and career choices?
I come from a large and tight-knit family. Both of my parents have been extremely supportive and encouraging throughout my entire upbringing and into adulthood. I always say the only thing stronger than a Marine is a Marines wife. So I was raised by double strength! Also, I’m very close with my brothers and sisters. We are nine in total, 6 girls, and 3 boys and we are all super close. When people ask me why I’m such a proponent of women’s equality and women empowerment, well it’s because I grew up with some pretty amazing women!
KwaK : Holding a BA and MBA in Economics is quite an accomplishment. How important do you feel a role of a strong education plays in our community…both as a person with Latin roots and a woman?
It is the most important factor in attaining success. There are many forms of education that can fall outside of the traditional degrees and universities. Education, in general, is what allows us to progress as people. I am always looking for ways to grow intellectually. In the words of Nelson Mandela ‘Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”
KwaK : 2017 has been a revolutionary year for women’s stance on sexual harassment due to powerful movements such as the “Me too” project and allegations against powerful industry men like Harvey Weinstein. How do you project things will change due to this, if at all?
I find those women who have been speaking up to be so brave and admirable! It takes a lot of courage to stand up and admit that you have been the victim of anything, let alone sexual harassment. I think this is the beginning of a meaningful shift of power where women are owning their power and exercising it fearlessly. You will definitely see a lot of change – I can see corporates tightening their internal policies. I am confident there will be a positive impact across all industries because of the brave decision of women that have said #timesup.
KwaK : You’ve participated in several forums to help develop the empowerment of our youth. What characteristics would an Empowered Woman portray and why has it been such an important issue for you to involve yourself in the growth of this movement?
The simple understanding that it is never about “ME”. Our youth need us now more than ever. Especially when they have to listen to a commander-in-chief who rarely has anything encouraging to say. Especially when our history classes and history books are biased. It is time we take our youth – make them our responsibility as a community – and ensure that they are getting the empowerment and encouragement that they need and deserve. I have worked with inner-city youth all of my life. Even as an 11-year-old – I volunteered at the boys and girls club and with my father on all of his community events. this is something that is engrained in my DNA. It takes compassion, patience, tenacity, and commitment – all of which are characteristics we all have!
KwaK : Can you tell us the importance of Organizations like Prospanica (formally known as NSHMBA, National Society of Hispanic MBAs) that help empower our young Hispanic professionals?
I love NSHMBA – I served on the board for 2 years as VP of Corporate Relations a few years back. It really was a game changer for me. I met some very important mentors that have had an instrumental influence on my development. These organizations are incredibly important and will always have my gratitude and support.
KwaK : With such an extensive resume, what are you manifesting these days? What can you see Angelica taking part of within the next few years?
God has truly blessed me when he gave me the passion and purpose of wanting to change the lives of others. I am working on a few things I am very excited about. My first priority is continuing to add value to my current employer. I love my job and look forward to progressing to show others that look like me that it is possible. Secondly, I am doing more speaking engagement in the empowerment space – which I truly love. Thirdly, I am releasing a series of books and journals to help people learn how to turn their goals into actions. Lastly, I have tried to fight it but can no longer – I am getting more involved in the political arena and working closely with some political initiatives to strengthen our Latino community and the equality and progress of women and children.
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