Hey guys, we present another edition of #InfoTuesdays. This week we want to introduce an Influencer not quite like the ones we know. You might think influencers only do the fun stuff, but some also do the ‘serious’ stuff.
INfleur catches up with Max Rotondo, a successful Investment Manager and a Philantropist. He loves to give back and describes the feeling as “very good, very rewarding”. Through this interview, we’d learn about Max’s life and the secret to philanthropy in the world of influencers.
Max Rotondo is known as maxjrotondo on Instagram and has over 60K followers. Now let’s get inspired!
INfleur: Tell us a bit about yourself, your childhood, family, school etc. What were your aspirations as a child? Did you achieve them?
Max: I grew up in an affluent town called Lower Merion, which is about 15 minutes from downtown Philadelphia, USA. Lived in a loving and close-knit household with my mom, dad, and brother. My career aspirations were to become a real estate developer. Yet, my personal aspirations as a child were to always help others in a multitude of situations (i.e. animals, children, homelessness, life-threatening illnesses, and poverty). I would say I am in the beginning stages of achieving my career goals. When I was younger, I felt that my aspirations were too big or would take too much time, time I did not have or felt like I had. Now, I say to myself, I am going to work as hard as I possibly can and see what happens.
INfleur: Anything you do for fun? Hobbies? Favorite music genre, movie/TV show?
Max: In my free time, I enjoy dining out, going to the mall, fitness, and visiting art and historical museums. I love watching Fixer Upper, House Hunters, Love it or List it, Tiny Home, etc., on HGTV. I also enjoy watching This Is Us, weather channel, and the food network.
INfleur: So to the main question: Briefly describe your career and how it started for you? Who/what inspires you?
Max: I currently work at SEI Investments. My major in college was Finance up until I studied abroad. I had to change it to Business Administration if I wished to graduate on time. Thus, I did. I was told about SEI sometime ago, and even applied for a summer internship, which I did not get accepted. However, I liked many elements of SEI, including that it’s a big company with lot’s of room for opportunity and growth. I believe this is a good building block to my ultimate goal of real estate development. I became interested in real estate from my dad’s residential construction company business, always browsing on realtor.com, and looking at the local real estate magazines, Christie’s Great Estates, Unique Homes, etc.
INfleur: How expensive is it to be a philanthropist? Is it worth it?
Being a philanthropist can be expensive or you can work out a budget, like I do. I believe anyone working with an income can be a philanthropist. I do believe any little or big amount helps. Whether your volunteering for an hour or an entire day or whether your donating $15 or $500. Of course the more you give the “better off” it seems, but being in the business for a number of years, I have found that charities and people alike are extremely appreciative for any donation or time that people give. Although, to us, a small donation of a gift or time may not seem like a huge thing, it is a big impact to society and to the receiver.
I believe anyone working with an income can be a philanthropist
INfleur: We see the response to your work is very positive. How is the feeling? What is your biggest achievement so far?
Max: The feeling is very good, very rewarding, especially when I see I am helping others in need. But, I do know there is always something more…something that tells me ‘those needs can never be fully fulfilled’.
My biggest achievement so far is that I was gifted the experience to study and live abroad for 4 months. I studied in Rome, Italy and I had the privilege to visit 3 continents, 16 countries, and many, many cities all while living among the people, the cultures, the cuisines, the daily activities, etc.
Living abroad opened my eyes to how big and beautiful this world is, even though there are many negatives to this world, the positives are simply amazing- they just need to be recognized. What I realized living abroad was the diversity of people, that there is always something new to learn, to be, to try, and to experience. It allowed me to realize that everything will be okay and to just let life happen.
INfleur: Let’s get a bit personal. Are you seeing anyone? Married? Kids? How do you balance your love/family life with travelling around?
Max: I am single right now. No kids. But, I do hope to have a family soon, and I plan to raise my kids the same way I was raised but with a little more lift. Meaning allowing them to travel younger than I did, make their own choices (as long as they’re in reason of course). Life is too short. I have regrets, and I don’t want my kids to have any or too many regrets. I want them to enjoy life to the absolute fullest.
INfleur: Okay so back to the fun stuff, if you were stuck on earth alone, name three things you must have with you.
A poster board filled with pictures of family members, friends, and even strangers so I am not “technically” alone, water, and a Newfoundland and if I could not have a dog, I would want a furry blanket.
INfleur: So what is the goal for 2018? Anything big coming up? Any place would you love to visit again?
Max: I hope 2018 is my best year yet, as everyone says. I do have some things currently under the radar. I really would like to travel abroad to somewhere I have yet to visit. And oh, I would love to visit Switzerland again, because when I went I only went for 36 hours. I would love to experience the Swiss life both in the heart of the city of Zurich, and in all the little villages.
Whatever your definition of enjoyment is, do it while you can, because no one knows the exact moment we will stop breathing. Enjoy your life while you are living right now!
INfleur: Finally, If you could change something about the world, what would you change?
Max: If I could change one thing about the world, I would make it a hate-free society. Meaning, people would never have to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. In a hate-free society, people would be able to embrace society, their lives, their experiences, their loved ones and not have to worry whether someone will die in a violent or criminal way. One element to make this world a hate-free society, I believe, is to be more generous. Buy coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks, read to the children’s group at your local library, volunteer at the senior citizens home, buy a meal for a person experiencing homelessness, or simply just listen. Listen to what your friend is saying, stop and say hi to a stranger and learn something new. Chances are that being more generous will energize you, that energy will enable you to make this place a better world in one way or another.
If I could change one thing about the world, I would make it a hate-free society.