Interview Panel Highlights with Natalie Jordan, MTM Class of 2019

Natalie is originally from New Jersey and has an undergraduate degree from UCSB in political science and history of public policy. Natalie currently works at Motive, an integrated fleet operations platform. 

The following comments are excerpted from an alumni panel event that took place in April 2024.

Q: What have been your employment experiences since graduating from the MTM program?

A: Right after graduating from MTM, I joined Walmart. My mentality was that I should learn from the Fortune 1 and then bring some of those principles to a smaller company. At Walmart I was a category manager, so I learned about the e-commerce space and formed a close relationship with the company 3M, and I was the largest global manager of the 3M relationship worldwide. From there, I moved to Motive, which is based out of San Francisco. I am a senior manager of strategic partnerships at Motive, and I lead two primary teams within the organization, including the OEM partnership team and the financial partnerships team for the credit card-based product. I report up to our chief product officer within the company, and we have around 3,000 employees total.

I've had an array of experiences since I graduated from the program, but the tools I learned from MTM helped get me into the right spot. I love building relationships and being able to really grow something from the ground up, and that's where I landed in product partnerships. There are so many other roles within the product umbrella in addition to being a product manager, and they’re incredibly exciting and utilize a totally different skill set if you're not as technical or want to be able to interact more externally. 

Q: How did MTM prepare you for your career? 

A: I entered the MTM program straight out of undergrad with no previous career experience, and I didn’t find that inhibiting whatsoever. It's all about the toolbox. In MTM you're given the right tools to be able to go into any scenario and start to have a process of how to think through problems, communicate with leadership, and have those executive communication skills and basic business acumen, in order for you to be a decision maker and really have a seat at the table. I think that was the difference the program had for me. I needed that confidence boost to be able to feel secure in my ability to make decisions and make them quickly. I think that was really a game changer for a lot of my previous employers. There's an inherent trust coming out with a master's degree into the workplace that I don't think I would have had coming straight out of undergrad, and MTM served as a springboard heading into the rest of my career.

Also, as I was finishing the MTM program I received two job offers from two of the companies my cohort was doing field projects with that year. While I didn’t take the offers at the time, the field projects provided me a great start to getting my foot in the door. 

Q: What was your experience of the MTM curriculum as someone without a technical background? 

A: MTM is a well-rounded program. It doesn't hyperfocus on any specific area, and you’re able to take your learnings and pivot. Being housed in the College of Engineering plays incredibly well coming out of the program and being able to move forward from a career progression perspective. In terms of the curriculum itself, you're able to get bite-sized pieces, and a lot of people choose to dig deeper where it makes sense for them. For example, we had a project management course. Some people took that and had the hours to get their PMP certification. You’re able to take each of the courses and say this is where I really want to go deeper, learn more, and translate that into where you want to go next.

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