NATASHA DOLMON (BA ’14) spent much of high school engaged in politics, so naturally she selected Political Science as her declared major. However, she initially found the job market to be overwhelming and competitive. By networking through the University of Illinois and developing a quantitative skillset, she has found success in her career.
Dolmon discovered that her Illinois network has been vital for initiating and sustaining her career. After graduation, she spent her first year teaching abroad in Ashdod, Israel because of the support afforded by the Hillel at Illinois. She secured her first major job in Washington D.C. at a management consulting firm due to the connections offered by Professor Konstantinos Kourtikakis. She shifted her career path towards community resiliency and Continuity of Operations over the past four years, inspired by her mentors at the University YMCA. She is grateful for project manager role at the law consulting firm Ankura and is now seeking a graduate degree program in emergency management. At every major turn in her professional career, she credits the staff, students, and other affiliated members of the University of Illinois. Dolmon suggests leaning into your connections; if you don’t have them, find them!
While Dolmon did not directly study data analytics at Illinois, she states that building quantitative skills in college is important. Even in federal consulting, her knowledge of Microsoft applications, statistical analysis, and database management has been well-received by employers. Her company Ankura is the claims administrator to the Volkswagen settlement, where she serves as an auditor. To ensure claimants are fairly represented in the process, she and her fellow auditors must review and maintain their database of claimants’ personal information. Any time spent automating processes or producing reports to parties provides a check on accuracy and ensures claimants will receive their just restitution. Her fellow political science majors should consider developing their quantitative skillsets to better stand out in their job applications.
Not that soft skills aren’t important! Dolmon also suggests studying abroad; Her experience with the Vienna Diplomatic Program “taught [her] a lot culturally, as well as how to be a good listener.” Dolmon has fond memories of her time at Illinois. She notes, “the experience and the people I met at [Illinois] shaped me as a person and help shaped my perspective as I’ve entered the working world.”
Ms. Dolmon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.