Alumni Spotlight: Natasha Thompkins MBA '10

Alison D'Addieco - February 28, 2014

"Carlow is like a family. I felt very welcomed, and I've been able to rise professionally from what I've learned."

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" she says.

Natasha Thompkins '13 studying abroad in Ireland
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 job market.

Natasha Thompkins '13 studying abroad (Ireland)

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 college experience.

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.

Natasha Thompkins '13 and her mother Loretta Thompkins current Carlow 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 driven."