Alumni Spotlight: Natalie Kindler ’17


While at Denison, I majored in Communication and had a minor in Theatre. On campus, I was a part of the Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company and the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. I also worked as in Office of Admissions and as a Peer Advisor in the Knowlton Center.

Current Role:

I currently serve as the Assistant Director of the Shucker Center for Leadership Development at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. At Furman, I serve as a leadership educator, mentor, and facilitator for leadership programming efforts on campus. I also serve as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, facilitating group workshops and individualized one-on-one sessions, assisting students, faculty, staff, and community partners tap into what makes them uniquely powerful.

What did your career exploration look like at Denison and how did you decide upon your
chosen industry or current role?

When I was a student at Denison, I embraced the liberal arts mindset and sought experiences that would help me broaden my horizons and what might be possible with a Denison degree. I participated in two summer internship experiences – one with a non-profit organization and the other in the field of marketing and events. These experiences were instrumental in my career journey. While I ultimately did not pursue a career in either of those industries – the skills, experience, and connections that I gained through those experiences I still carry with me to this day. It was through those experiences that I started to really determine what I needed out of a future career path for me to thrive and be successful.

In my junior year at Denison, I got connected with the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, and that’s where things really got exciting! I met with a Career Coach and began taking my future planning seriously. As a senior, I applied for what was at the time called a Peer Advisor role in the Knowlton Center. I spent my senior year serving as a resource for my fellow Denisonians, helping them build not only their resumes, but also their confidence! It was one of the most rewarding components of my college experience. I still remember the day that I sat down with a Career Coach in my senior year and had the epiphany that higher education is a field that I could pursue! I was drawn to the field of higher education for the opportunity to build leaders and change makers and to hopefully make a difference in someone’s life – the way that I was impacted when I was a student. I will be forever grateful for that conversation as it significantly shaped my career trajectory.

How did Denison, or your liberal arts education, prepare you for your career?

I have Denison to thank for so much, but primarily for the ways in which it prepared for my career. At Denison, we were given a space to learn as well as practice what it means to be an autonomous thinker and an active citizen. Entering my graduate program after working for a few years, I felt extremely prepared due to Denison’s academic rigor. But more than that, my experiences at Denison taught me so much about myself and the world we live in. I gained confidence in my ability to think critically, to make sound, thoughtful decisions, and to treat people with compassion all skills that have made me the professional I am today.

Advice you have for students when it comes to career exploration?

To all of you Denisonians who are in the midst of career exploration, here is my advice:

  • Do the internship! Sometimes you never know how you’ll feel about a potential career path or industry until you try it. I was convinced that marketing was going to be my thing and my internship helped me see that it wasn’t for me. Experience can be the best teacher!
  • Meet with someone in the Knowlton Center! The hands-on, intentionality that you’ll receive with the Knowlton Center staff is a huge perk of being a Denison student, so take advantage of it.
  • Go to that networking reception! You never know who you might meet, plus there’s often good food!
  • Discover what you’re good at and find ways to get paid to do it! As a CliftonStrengths coach, I help people identify and claim what comes most naturally to them. If you can discover what fuels you, what makes you come alive, what energizes you and find a path that allows you to do that on a regular basis – you will be happier, less stressed, and more energized in your future role.
  • Be curious! There is something to be learned from every experience, every interaction, every project, etc. Approach each situation with curiosity and ask yourself “How could this be helpful? What did this reveal about me and how I work on a team? What felt good about this/what felt clunky?” These types of questions can be incredibly helpful as you build a purposeful career.
By Jakob Lucas
Jakob Lucas Peer Career Coach