Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2021

Natalie Ashbridge

New York University, Stern School of Business

Philadelphia native, firstborn, former Marine, fitness enthusiast, reading fanatic, fond of elephants, future Stern grad.”

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I grew up in the city of Philadelphia so I didn’t get my drivers’ license until I was almost 19.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Pennsylvania c/o 2011. European History and Spanish

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Analyst, Business Process Effectiveness for Comcast Business. I developed, vetted, and aligned on processes for new Ethernet product launches.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Earning the privilege of leading Marines. I joined the Marine Corps immediately after college and was an active duty logistics officer for four years. Training is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced; Officer Candidate School is 70 days of physical and mental exhaustion (you’re hungry, sleep-deprived, and must operate in stressful situations). It was hands-down the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the experience transformed me, both personally and professionally.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Genuine. Everyone I’ve met just seems like a real person and someone who I could be friends with. I’ve also been impressed with how interesting their backgrounds are and I am very excited to get to know everyone once school starts

What is the best part of coming to New York City to earn your MBA? New York City is the only place where you have this level of proximity and access to industries and companies. Everything is just a subway ride away

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Stern was always my favorite. As I was looking at schools, I intentionally targeted ones that were veteran-friendly. Stern is the cream of the crop when it comes to vets. No other school that I know of has anything remotely similar to the Fertitta program, and I just really think that Stern goes above and beyond for veterans.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Military Veterans Club and Stern Women in Business

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? How would your brother and sister describe you? That one stumped me; I’m the oldest of three in my family and growing up I may or may not have displayed some sassy qualities towards my siblings.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I love school and I’ve always known that I would return. I thought that I would go to business school immediately after the military, but I chose to work instead. It’s certainly made me more targeted in terms of what I want to pursue post-MBA, but I would say that everything I’ve done professionally has been with an eye towards going back to school.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? In addition to Stern, I applied to Wharton, UT, and UCLA

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I took class size into account. With a couple of exceptions, a lot of the schools I looked at were around 400-ish students. That’s a good size for me. I also have a good sense for what I am not interested in, so that also helped to narrow the playing field. Finally, I visited a bunch in person. That was probably most helpful because it gave me a sense of both the current student body and prospective students.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Joining the Marine Corps. As a service member, you’re given an incredible amount of responsibility at a very young age and you’re also working towards something greater than yourself. Having that as my reality for four years certainly gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In a career that I like and at a point where I can tangibly and significantly give back.

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