Atin Mittra is the founder and Executive Director of MADE, a social enterprise that provides peer-to-peer financial education to college students. Although Atin studied engineering, he spent most of his time engaging in community service endeavors during his time at the University of Maryland, College Park. He spent two years galvanizing college students to engage in meaningful service in Prince George’s County through the Service-Learning model. As he was preparing for graduation, he realized despite all his education, he lacked a basic understanding of personal finance. He began to notice through the behavior of most of his friends and peers that they were in the same boat. This terrified him. College is meant to be a tool for social mobility and greater economic opportunity, and yet students are graduating without the necessary tools to responsibly make financial decisions to create opportunity. Although there were some financial literacy resources on the Internet, they were mostly general and impersonal. Atin decided to engage college students in financial education in a way that is applicable and relatable to their lives. Thus, in the Fall of 2013 he started MADE to not only provide resources to students about financial literacy, but to allow students to mentally access the topic of financial literacy itself.
Through pop-culture themed “playshops”, one-on-one financial coaching, and a widespread social campaign on campus, MADE seeks to spark a conversation around the importance of financial literacy and provides a way to do it in a fun and engaging manner.
Atin is also passionate about changing higher education. Throughout his undergraduate career, he spent an enormous amount of time thinking about education. His hands-on experiences working with local non-profits and leading service trips abroad proved to be an invaluable resource for learning how to analyze and solve problems. He wholeheartedly believes working through hands-on projects to solve a real world problem is the best way to learn. Atin currently works at the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland where he focuses on creating real world projects for students to implement the Design Thinking process in their field of study. By teaching classes, creating extracurricular design challenges, and engaging university departments he is working to connect the larger university community to make innovation and entrepreneurship more accessible for all types of students. He has worked to push the “bias towards action” mindset into higher education nationally through the University Innovation Fellowship. Atin was chosen as one of two fellows from the University of Maryland to represent it on a national stage of students changing their university from within. He now works to help scaffold the program to empower collegiate leaders across the country through mentorship and curriculum development, and works with program leadership to determine a strategy for the future of the organization.
Atin graduated the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2014 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship. He is most passionate about design for social change, impact investing, and community development.