Good Business

Katie Natoli poses in front of Old West on a temperate February day.

Katie Natoli ’16

As a community advisor and resident advisor, Katie Natoli ’16 is a leader and resource for fellow students. She discusses her love of mentoring, her experiences studying in China and why she chose to study international business & management.


International business & management (IB&M), minors in economics and Chinese.

Clubs and organizations:

Residence Life & Housing (community advisor).


Dean’s List.

Favorite book:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Favorite movie:

Spirited Away.

On choosing a major:

IB&M is a very versatile program, addressing every aspect of the business world, while allowing for the concentration of my choice. This major encourages a deep understanding of the broader context, which has enabled me to continue my studies in Chinese while developing a heightened awareness of the interconnected nature of the complex global economy.

Favorite place on campus:

The Kline Fitness Center.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Anything at brunch (the possibilities are endless!).

On studying abroad:

I studied abroad at Peking University, in Beijing, China. Taking a break from business, I focused solely on language and culture-intensive courses. The highlight of my experience was when my mother and older sister came all the way to see me. This was the first time outside of the country for both of them, so I definitely wanted to make sure they were comfortable in such a different cultural setting. One night we had dinner with my host family, and I had to continuously translate back and forth. Honestly, at numerous moments I was unaware which language was coming from my mouth. I never thought I would be proficient enough to have that ability! That is when I knew studying abroad had paid off.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Emma Stone, coolest star out there.

Biggest influence:

My parents have built the foundation for who I have become. Growing up, my mom always pushed me to become a well-rounded person, dividing my passions between sports, music, volunteering and school. Little did I know, she essentially gave me a kid’s version of the liberal-arts education. Through his unwavering dedication, my dad inspired me to follow in his footsteps, working in the financial industry. They both also volunteer as basketball or volleyball coaches at our parish’s middle school—a task that undoubtedly requires patience.

Little-known hobby:

I played the piano and sang in choirs for 10 years.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Being uncomfortable leads to some of the most valuable experiences, reveals your true self and defines what you stand for. For me, these experiences ranged from meeting new people to studying abroad in China to taking a class in a subject I knew nothing about. I was certain I knew who I was before coming to Dickinson. This was challenged rather quickly. To achieve what I wanted, I had to push myself to reach my goals.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

a comedienne on Saturday Night Live.

Post-Dickinson plans:

After graduation, I will begin my professional career at PNC Financial Services, risk management department, in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Not only am I beyond excited to work for one of the most influential corporations in my hometown, but even more so for a bank whose values align with my own. Professionally, I hope to grow within PNC and perhaps work within various lines of businesses. Beyond the workplace, my hope is to use my free time to volunteer alongside my older sister at our local Humane Society animal shelter as well as increase my involvement within my parish, St. Mary’s of the Assumption. I come from a close-knit family and am excited to return home to Pittsburgh after graduation to spend time with everyone.

In a perfect world …

… women would be treated equally to men in all respects.

About my internship:

After sophomore year I interned with Federated Investors’ International Fixed Income Group in Pittsburgh. Working at my first mutual fund opened my eyes to complexity investing abroad, the trading room environment, corporate culture and what it’s like to manage a portfolio. I learned to use advanced technology and researched potential emerging markets for the group to invest in. My main project focused on running and analyzing multi-variable regressions, a topic emphasized in [Associate] Professor [of International Business & Management] Steve Erfle’s Managerial Decision Making class.

After junior year I interned with PNC’s risk management department. The Data Quality Enterprise Risk Group introduced me to database software, and I learned about the significance that risk mitigation has on the entire corporations and the average customer. PNC’s connection to the larger community, especially in Pittsburgh, was an important choice when deciding the direction of my career. I believe business should contribute positively wherever possible, and PNC gave me the outlet to pursue a career that would allow me to do “good business” in every sense of the phrase.

About my work on campus:

Working in Residence Life and Housing—in my past role as resident advisor and current role as community advisor—has been the most impactful experience of my college career. Both the CA and RA job never sleeps, and both play an integral part of each and every day on campus. I love having the opportunity to be a support system to my residents. My first-year residents saw me as a sort of big sister; I was their trusted confidante and number-one resource. As a CA, I have managerial responsibility to motivate my staff to create an interconnected community of nearly 400 residents. Being a part of Residence Life and Housing has allowed me to develop not only life skills but professional skills as well. Becoming a CA my senior year was my ultimate goal, and the work has been deeply rewarding.

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Published March 18, 2016