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Meet Allison Barr Allen: The Fast Interview

Allison Barr Allen, Co-Founder and COO at Fast

Allison Barr Allen

Role: Co-Founder and COO

Team: Fast

What were you like as a child?

I was pretty competitive, especially in school, and I always wanted to do well. I think school was pretty easy for me from an early age, so I just kept with that and took all the honors and AP (Advanced Placement) classes available. And I went to a pretty good public school in Ohio, so the goal was to go to a good college.

I initially wanted to become a doctor. I thought I was going to go to medical school all the way through college. I wanted to become an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor. I also started playing the viola in fourth grade and did a lot of classical music growing up.

When you look back, did you see a C-level executive in the making?

Not at all. My family was very middle class. Even in my parents and friends group, there weren't people that were executives at companies or even lawyers or doctors. It was more like teachers and nurses. My goal was to do as well as I could at the things that were in front of me, which at the time was mostly school and music.

And later you started a personal finance blog. What inspired that?

I paid off my student loans within a year of graduating, because I didn’t spend a lot of money. Then I had extra money for the first time ever, and I had no idea what to do with it. My parents knew nothing about personal finance or investing. So first I went to the bank, and they set me up with a brokerage account. I had a mutual fund for the first time. And then I started getting curious about how it worked and how the stock market worked. It was magical because my family worked so hard. It was amazing that you could bet on companies and invest your money, and it just makes more money while you're not doing anything.

What public figure do you admire the most and why?

Sarah Friar. She’s the CEO of Nextdoor and was at Square for a long time. She's really incredible. Stephanie Cohen, she’s an executive at Goldman Sachs. She's also very inspiring and very incredible. I think it's so great to see women in positions of leadership, especially at the highest level. There needs to be way more of them.

What app on your phone do you use the most?

I love Twitter, and I spent a lot of time on it. When I was at Uber, it was a thing I did on the side, and it didn't help my career there at all, but I just liked it and got value out of it. I have met the most incredible people through Twitter.

What food do you uncontrollably eat?

I don't know if there's anything I eat uncontrollably. I really like ice cream, especially Mochi ice cream from Trader Joe's.

What’s the last show you binge-watched?

The chess show on Netflix. “The Queen's Gambit.” It’s very good.

What personal goal would you like to achieve in the next five years?

I really want to take Fast public. That's sort of a personal and professional goal. I think that will be incredible. It's hard because there's so much I had wanted to do. I wanted to invest in startups. And I have my dream job now. It’s the culmination of so much that I worked for. And now I get to build this company, which is just amazing. So it's hard to beat that. It's the culmination of just so many things and life experiences and investment of time and networking and learning and building and everything.

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