Natasha Walker, '06
I am currently a Process Design Project Manager on the Strategy and Integration Team supporting Google’s People Operations. Prior to Google I worked at Disney, managing a project to centralize HR Operations and supported theme park operations and efficiency in an internal consulting capacity. I also have experience in operations consulting at McKinsey & Company and in manufacturing and distribution at Pepperidge Farm and General Motors.
My motivation for joining BANC was simple: I was looking for an opportunity to give back and do work that differed from my day-to-day job. I am a single mom of three and am acutely aware of the importance of modeling how they can engage in service to others. I was actively engaged in community service as a student. Seeing the impact that BANC made was very gratifying. Given the magnitude of issues facing the world in 2020, BANC allowed me to exemplify that small actions can add up to big impact. I am so proud of that.
Loaves & Fishes offers fresh food and meals for needy families, and our BANC team was asked to estimate the need so that we could better understand how much of it was being satisfied by the non-profit. The project was a great fit as I have extensive experience in food manufacturing and warehousing. I learned a ton about market sizing from other team members, and throughout the project I was impressed with the expertise and broad experience of my fellow alumni. It was a great reminder of the resources that we have within the Booth community. Our project team brought back the team meeting feel of my B-school experience, when we were able to debate big problems with intelligent and engaged people invested in finding the best answer.
Since my BANC project wrapped, I have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Alumni Task Force at Booth to boost alumni engagement among underrepresented groups. I’ve also served as a speaker at several women-focused events for current students.
My advice to Booth alumni considering applying for a project is simple: Don’t wait! I wish I had done it sooner. It is easy to come up with reasons why it won’t work. You don’t have time, you aren’t experienced enough, you’re too experienced, you don’t remember the fundamentals of microeconomics. What I can tell you is that the important reasons for being part of BANC go deeper than the immediate impact on the organization you are partnered with. It may be the satisfaction of seeing your expertise applied somewhere new, or in working through the discomfort of the lack of expectation that you are an expert. The lasting impact on you is what will bring you back for the second project.