Alumni Spotlight: Natalie Zaravella ’20


My name is Natalie and I am a ’20 Denison University graduate. During my four years on the hill, I double majored in Economics and Global Commerce (focus: European Studies), competed on the varsity swim team, and took on various academic roles such as teaching assistant and tutor. Since graduating, I have relocated to Columbus, Ohio to work in the corporate offices of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

What did your career exploration look like at Denison?

Like many Denison students, I was drawn to the liberal arts education because I had a lot of interests that I wanted to explore. Global Commerce was a new major that I was curious about and throughout those studies, I found a passion for economics as well. Both degrees were pointing me in the direction of a job in the business space but still, the opportunities within business felt endless. 

I utilized the resources at the Knowlton Center all four years on campus. I often sought out the perspective and guidance of advisors to help me decide anything as simple as what classes to take one semester to what internships I should apply for. I was encouraged by the Global Commerce department to participate in the Ohio Export Internship Program (OEIP) through the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University during spring of my sophomore year. This experience gave me the opportunity to develop a niche skillset of global market-entry knowledge and strategies and apply it directly in a summer internship. The skills I learned in OEIP led into my next internship the following summer at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Again, I trusted the input of the advisors who knew me best and applied to the Corporate Analyst Development Program (CADP) summer internship. I became aware of this program, and similar ones in other large banks, by my Knowlton Center advisor. While I had very minimal knowledge of the corporate side of the financial services industry, I trusted the relationship that my advisor and I had formed and I felt that he knew me well enough to steer me in a good direction.

How did you decide upon your chosen industry or current role?

I was fortunate to be accepted into CADP as an intern, which directly led to a full-time offer to complete the CADP rotational experience upon graduating. For two years, I completed various rotations in different sectors of the bank focusing on project management, process improvement, and analytics. I was able to continue to explore, grow my network, and learn skills prior to selecting my “permanent” position. After I wrapped up my final rotation, I came back to a space I had been exposed to previously in the Private Bank. Someone I had done a project for in the past was moving to a project management team in credit operations and asked if I would come work for her (networking matters!!). Since then, I have been building my skills as a project manager, specializing in banking operations for high and ultra high net worth clients and I have LOVED my experiences so far. I am so grateful for the support and guidance I received from professors and advisors at Denison. Each experience I was able to participate in built off the last and ultimately led to the start of a meaningful career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 

Overall Advice:

  1. Build meaningful connections
  2. Trust those who know you best
  3. Never stop being curious
By Ashley Strausser
Ashley Strausser