Student Spotlight – Omar S.
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Student Spotlight – Omar S.

Name: Omar S.
Hometown: New York City, New York
Areas of Global Interest: Global economics

Favorite Five
Class at School: A.P. Seminar
Book: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Food: Tostones
Color: Black
Quote: “If you ever wish to forget something on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered” – Edgar Allan Poe

You founded the debate team at your school, congratulations! Can you tell us a little about that?
Debating has always been a passion of mine. It’s a verbal game of chess and it allows for the communication of ideas from opposing viewpoints which is incredibly important. I founded the club at the end of my sophomore year and have since acted as President, writing the curriculum and program for the club. We’re roughly 15-20 members strong and debate various topics ranging from gun control to police brutality. The club fosters the research and inquiry of national and global affairs, resulting in a more educated study body. Proper debate forces you to be truly aware of the world around you and the events that occur in it.

In addition to your studies, you have an internship in finance. Can you tell us about that?
I am currently an intern at Frasca and Associates, a financial advisory firm in municipalities. My responsibilities consist of financial modeling, data analysis, data aggregation, and assisting business development efforts by preparing pitchbooks or updating our market databases. Prior to my current internship I was interning at Morgan Stanley in their investment management department. Finance has always truly fascinated me and is the career I plan on pursuing. I’m incredibly grateful for my internship opportunities; both firms have taught me so much and have prepared me well for my future.

How are you able to balance your studies, an internship, and other extracurricular activities?
I get this question a lot, and honestly, it boils down to tenacity. I could say time management and delegation, which are definitely factors, but that only gets you so far. Today, with the workload of the average teenager, you need to want “it”; whether ”it” be an internship or excellent grades. Once you have that desire, the rest will follow. Balancing is difficult and most times you’re carrying more than you can handle, but that’s the point.

What advice do you have for other students who may be interested in gaining hands-on learning experience at their school?
The best advice I can give is to be active and seek out opportunities like Model G20, clubs, or other extracurricular programs. Most of these opportunities will not come to you, you must look out for them and then capitalize.

You attended the Model G20 Summit in Beijing and were awarded Most Outstanding Delegate. What were some key takeaways from that experience?
Just thinking about Beijing makes me miss it. I learned so much and made so many dear friends. Perhaps the most significant thing I learned was that win-win situations are the most viable for global progress. I’m incredibly competitive, yet, I realized during the summit it’s always better for many nations to succeed, rather than a few. Working with members of my generation opened my eyes and refreshed me; there’s nothing we can’t achieve when we work together.

What is one thing that people may be surprised to find out about you?
I founded a startup during my freshman year of high school and have been working on it since.

About Knovva Academy:

Knovva’s signature offerings connect top students from around the world with visionary educators, experts, and innovators to gain the skills critical to 21st century leadership. From world class online courses to five-day intensive simulations to two-week immersion programs, Knovva students break down cultural barriers so they can rebuild a world without them.

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