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Thrills & chills on engineering at Atom Finance with Ellie

Meet Ellie. When she isn't reimagining how to visualize financial data, she's doing improv. She's afraid of flying, but her fear will never ground her ambition.

APRIL 13, 2022   |   4 MIN READ

Headshot of Atom Finance employee Ellie Frymire

My name is Ellie, and I’m a Senior Data Visualization Engineer at Atom. If I’m describing my job to a tech-savvy classmate from college, I say, “I’m a front-end developer for stock charts.” If I’m explaining what I do to my mom, I say, “I work on charts and graphs.” If I’m explaining it to my dentist, I make a zig-zag motion with my finger, shrug, and go back to enjoying the Muzak. 

Biggest thrill: Improv

My biggest “thrill” is improv comedy. Before you stop reading—don’t worry, you don’t have to come to my show. And yes, I do know your friend who also does improv in New York! 

If you aren’t familiar with improv, here’s a crash course: Everything that happens on stage is completely unplanned and unscripted. The show is typically based off of a word, phrase, or story provided by an audience member. Walking on stage to face an audience and a completely unknown scene is exhilarating. I’ve gotten involved in some pretty interesting scenes by being curious and trusting my teammates, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Biggest chill: Flying

My biggest “chill” is flying. You’re honestly telling me this big metal thing gets into the air and will not fall?

I started my career as a consultant, and I spent several years flying all over the U.S. Surprisingly, as I neared one million miles, I developed both a fear of flying and an appreciation for therapy. Therapy taught me that my anxiety was about more than just flying and turbulence. It was rooted in feeling out of control–a sensation I experience when I’m 30,000 feet above the ground and in everyday life. And yet, my “thrill” is improv comedy, which is also completely out of my control … The human brain is amazing.

Lessons learned

These “thrills” and “chills” are variations on a theme of how I live my life and push my career. I’ve built a few (dare I say, cliché) tenets along the way. 

  1. 1. Stay curious. We won’t know what will happen unless we try.
  2. 2. Take control when you can, and let the rest go. Get off the “back wall,” get into the scene, and make the best of it.
  3. 3. Have fun. The alternative sounds awful.

Joining Atom feels like a culmination of these tenets. This year, I feel incredibly empowered by the exciting visualization projects we’re working on that push the boundaries of what an investment intelligence provider can offer. I feel supported by my team, and I’m having a lot of fun along the way. I can’t wait to see what happens and what we try next. I just need one word from the audience to get started.

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