"Carlow is like a family. I felt very welcomed, and
I've been able to rise professionally from what I've
Natasha Thompkins is often picked as a team leader. A technical
support coordinator for Verizon Wireless in Atlanta, she says her
Carlow MBA boosted her up the proverbial ladder of success.
"The group projects I participated in with Carlow's MBA program
helped me to be a lot more confident in taking on leadership roles"
Natasha Thompkins '13 (with arm outstretched) in Ireland as part of her Global Business course
Photo: Mark Vehec
A native of Pittsburgh's Penn Hills neighborhood, Thompkins says
one of the MBA program highlights was the opportunity to travel to
Ireland as part of the Global Business course.
"I was that student who couldn't afford to study abroad as an
undergraduate," she says. "I couldn't believe that I'd stumbled
across such an amazing opportunity. I had a second chance, and I
jumped on it."
Thompkins says the Ireland program exposed her to careers she
had never thought of and gave her a competitive advantage in the
After graduation, Thompkins became the director for the National Black MBA Association - Pittsburgh Chapter's Leaders of Tomorrow(LOT) program, a network of distinguished professionals focused
on empowering African American high school students.
Working with Jessica Friedrichs, coordinator of Carlow's Service-Learning
and an instructor in the Department of SocialWork, Thompkins helped developed a
course linking service-learning and technology with the Leaders of
Tomorrow program. Carlow students developed grant research, print
marketing, social media, and fundraising for LOT. In turn, LOT
students and mentors attended course presentations, submitted
feedback, and toured Carlow's campus—a good introduction to the
Thompkins enthusiastically describes her own Carlow experience
as "awesome," and she is thrilled that her mother, Loretta
Thompkins, is now enrolled at Carlow as an undergraduate human resources management and technology student.
A strategic sourcing provider contract specialist for Highmark
in Pittsburgh. Loretta Thompkins graduated from high school in 1983
and worked her way from entry-level positions into account
management and leadership roles. Today, she feels she needs a
college degree in order to continue her career advancement.
"I always knew I was going back to school," she says. "Natasha's
success at Carlow allowed me to see that it is possible to attend
school part-time, work full-time, and achieve success."
She is pleased with the focus and support Carlow gives to
its Adult Accelerated Program.
"The class I am taking now is very
diverse," says Loretta Thompkins. "My teacher is very knowledgeable
and engaging, I like my classmates, and everyone is focused and