As a student-run venture capital firm, our leadership typically goes through annual cycles. We view this as an opportunity to practice adapting quickly and give Atland fresh perspectives. You’ll learn from these quotes what our Fall 2022 Atland leaders are most looking forward to this semester and how they plan on stepping into their roles.
Kiley Giebel, one of our Managing Partners this fall, is most looking forward to meeting our new analysts. “Our last round of graduates were the last of the students that were involved in the beginning of Atland, so this semester will be a crucial recruitment year,” she says. Kiley shares appreciation for all of Atland’s impressive analysts, and adds that she can’t wait to see what new talent gets added to the mix.
When asked about her leadership style, Kiley notes that her personality naturally encourages an inclusive culture that fosters strong work ethics.
“I like to consider myself a leader that pushes for each individual to be their very best while supporting them along the way. I will always be your biggest supporter and your hardest critic,” she explains.
Ava Najafi’s role as Director of Platform requires her to be in-tune with the overall culture of Atland and work to promote strong connections between analysts, alumni, and network members. She emphasized her goal of solidifying the welcoming, hard-working, and unified culture so that it can be maintained well beyond her time in Atland. Ava has many objectives she would like to accomplish this semester, including “building on existing methods of new analyst onboarding” and “embedding additional methods of ensuring that information, connections, and knowledge gets passed down efficiently from senior members to current members of Atland.”
Ava’s favorite part of Atland is our weekly Friday meetings. She enjoys learning from everyone in the fund, and participating in investment discussions.
“Every time a company is presented, I find it fascinating how we are able to communicate our opinions and ideologies in a respectful, productive, and meaningful way,” Ava says. “Also, you gotta love those bagels!”
Sunwoo Lee, Atland’s other Managing Partner, is enthusiastic about having many first-time Directors on our team this year. “We have a good mix of people from different backgrounds, so it will be interesting to see what kind of deal flow comes in and where everyone’s interests lie,” she adds.
As a co-MP with Kiley, Sunwoo has already thought about how their individual strengths coordinate. She appreciates that they are able to be on the same page about a lot of topics, but can also be different in terms of skills and interests. “We’re always having good conversations but at the end of the day we’re always putting the fund first,” she says. “For me, I’m very much a people-person, so I continue to build strong relationships not only with our fund members but with founders and others in the VC space. I’m looking forward to facilitating open discussions and events that bring the fund closer together this year.”
Regarding her personal goal for Atland’s future growth, Sunwoo says she would like to continue the work that Atland does with finding innovative companies.
“With our diverse perspectives, my hope for the future of Atland is to push the narrative that pursuing entrepreneurship is the best option one can take to move the world and humanity forward,” she stated.
In just a few weeks, Atland will have a new group of first-time analysts join the fund. Director of Recruitment, Sophia Youngdahl, is currently hard at work during the application season. She is especially proud of our three-step holistic application process, which looks at certain key factors, such as willingness to learn and problem-solving skills.
When reviewing applicants, Sophia says she seeks out diversity of thought.
“We look for applicants who embody the unofficial Atland motto of ‘Strong Opinions Held Loosely,’ meaning that you come into the room with your own ideas, but are open to listening to others and changing their opinions,” she explained. “We also want people who are willing to bring their all to Atland by using their own gifts and talents to grow and foster the fund.”