A West Lawn and Solorio Academy alumnus, Amado Candelario is in his junior year at Harvard University studying Government and Computer Science through a joint concentration.
Going into college, Amado says that he was set on the pre-law track, and that there’s still a chance that he might apply to law school in the future. However, right now he’s interested in growth strategy work which has turned his attention to tech companies. In the summer of 2022 Amado landed an internship at the Cambridge Group where he worked as a business analyst. In this role he analyzed big quantities of data and made it into digestible strategies as well as provided recommendations based on data analytics for the client. Through this experience he grew a love for data analytics which has led him to where he is today. This summer he’ll be working as a Technical Product Manager at Microsoft which means as part of a product management team he will work on an individual product seeing it’s full development through, and learn the ropes of being a product manager at a major tech company. His department in particular will be the data platform plus growth experience team in Seattle.
While Amado has found success so far, he notes that he has faced challenges in his undergraduate career. As a First Generation low income student at Harvard, Amado notes that there’s always new realizations about how his socioeconomic class distinguishes him from most of his classmates and affects his experience at an Ivy League university. However, in spite of these he is doing well academically. Amado tells us that computer science wasn’t something he had access to in high school, in fact, he didn’t know he wanted to actually be in tech until sophomore year. As a latecomer of sorts, Amado worked hard to be able to enter the tech field, and it has certainly paid off both. He tells us that being able to see himself flourishing in a tech space has been rewarding. Through his internship and other professional and learning experiences he has met a lot of new smart people that he can network with. Amado tells us that he enjoys his government classes that focus mostly on race, class, and gender.
Outside of being busy getting his career off the ground, Amado is very active on campus. He is a member of the Harvard College Consulting on Business and Environment, which is quite a unique club. Through this consulting group members of this club work with real clients and firms as consultants on sustainability oriented cases and growth strategy work. This has helped give Amado more experience outside of his professional experiences. Additionally, Amado makes sure to build community with people who share similar identities as him at Harvard. As someone who proudly identifies as queer Amado spends a lot of time focused on queer initiatives on campus. He is the President of Shades which leads a lot of student programming for queer POC communities on Campus through hosting discussion and events.
Amado also has a lot of diverse interests outside of school. He enjoys watching Anime, with Naruto being his favorite show in that genre. He also enjoys listening to music. Recently, he’s been learning how to produce music beats, sample existing records, and overall understand the development of a song. Lastly, he’s been tapping more into his creative side through drawing and design utilizing new design softwares. Interestingly enough, Amado says that he would probably be pursuing the arts more intensely if he didn’t feel the pressure of being a low-income first gen student to be successful and help out his family.
We asked Amado if he had any general advice for those looking to get into the tech industry and he had a lot to say! First, he notes that it’s important to do your research on what you’re getting into so that you have a good sense of what the field entails. He suggests looking at what people in the field have to say about the work they do as a good first place to start. Next, Amado says to just dive in! The best way to know if this is for you is to take a class to see if you’re actually interested in computer science. Lastly, Amado says that you should know that computer science is broader than you think. “Just because you do CS doesn’t mean you have to code. However, having an understanding of coding is very beneficial. For example, product makers at Microsoft are very business oriented.”
We at the Wentcher Foundation are very proud of Amado’s accomplishments so far, and we can’t wait to see where his undergraduate career takes him!