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World Mag > WM Spring 2017 edition > Interview with Nathalie Notarianni

Interview with Nathalie Notarianni

AISB Alumna, Class of 2013
Nathalie Notarianni
Nathalie Notarianni

WM: Nathalie, tell us a bit about yourself.

NN: As a dependent of a Department of Defense employee, I had the unique opportunity of growing up overseas in amazing, culturally-rich countries. I consider the Marshall Islands my home, which is where I was born and spent my childhood before my family and I began travelling the world. After leaving the islands, we moved to the Netherlands for a couple of years, followed by Belgium and Italy. I nished my last two years of high school in Romania at AISB. The move from Italy to Romania was the most difficult for me because we expected that I would be able to nish high school in Rome, a place I had grown to love so much. However, Romania, and AISB in particular, welcomed my family and me with open arms, and I was lucky to spend my last two years in Europe there before moving to the United States to attend Clark University in Massachusetts. I graduated from Clark in May 2016 and found a job later that summer as a paralegal at an immigration law rm just outside of Boston, which is where I work now.

WM: What advantages as well as challenges did you nd growing up as a third culture kid?

NN: Being mixed with Marshallese, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian genes while living in various countries certainly made it di cult to identify with one place or culture, but it did so in the best way possible. As every third culture kid knows, the easy conversation starter of “where are you from?” is not nearly as simple to answer. For this reason, AISB was a great t for me, because oftentimes my peers shared similar experiences, and we shared a mutual understanding of and tolerance for each person’s unique upbringing. While it was di cult to socially adjust to each place, I am so lucky to have met such wonderful, interesting people along the way.

WM: How did you become interested in Political Science?

NN: My interest in Political Science, with a focus on International Relations, grew out of a variety of factors. While growing up in multiple countries, I found the beauty in each place and deeply appreciated what each had to o er. However, I never really developed a cohesive understanding of all of the countries, or had something to tie them together in my head, since each one had its own unique character. As I grew older and paid more attention to current events, I realized the importance of international relations for bringing countries together
to put aside their di erences and work toward common goals. Further, throughout my teenage years, I was able to work my summer jobs at the U.S. Embassy. On a daily basis, I was exposed to high levels of American diplomacy, and I witnessed rsthand the diligence, intelligence, and devotion of federal employees who strived to be the best possible representatives of the U.S. and a ect positive change in American foreign policy, which something that I quickly realized I wanted to be a part of someday. 


WM: You are a notable Alumna at Clark University, receiving a Presidential Scholarship as well as a place on the Dean’s list for your academic achievements. Congratulations! You were also acknowledged for a project you concluded on women in federal government. Can you tell us a little bit more about this project?

NN: During the summer between my second and third year of college, I applied for and received funding from Clark University’s LEEP Program to pursue a self- directed research project. The aim of the research was to develop an understanding of the demographics in U.S. federal agencies, the prospect of women and minorities’ advancement within the field, and the ways in which the federal government promotes success of these groups. My personal interest in such a career as well as my diverse background sparked inspiration for the project, and I was able to simultaneously conduct research on the topic while participating in an internship with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. The academic research combined with the hands-on internship made the project a truly comprehensive and special experience.

WM: How did your studies at AISB support your decision to follow this career path and how did AISB prepare you for your experiences at University and in the workplace?

NN: As an AISB student, I was well-prepared for University and for pursuing my career interests. As any AISB student knows, the
IB Program is intensive, time-consuming, and challenging. After high school, these academic and work commitments become even more challenging, and it is essential to not only feel prepared but to also be con dent when pursuing these endeavors. Fortunately, the intensive academic experience that I had at AISB helped pave the way for the incredible experiences that followed after high school. I felt con dent to pursue classes, projects, presentations, and even an internship that I thought I were out of my reach but I knew I would be able to handle and succeed in because I was well prepared to do so.

WM: What programs at AISB did you feel resonated with you best as a learner and contributor to your University studies?

NN: At AISB, I took IB Visual Arts Higher Level, which was my favorite course but was also by far the most challenging course for me. It resonated best with me as a learner because my  teacher and the curriculum itself pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone and put my thoughts on display which, as a natural introvert, is something I often hesitate to do. It became a welcome challenge for me during my two years at AISB, and although receiving a top nal mark was an important goal for me, it was even more important for me to overcome my resignations and develop the con dence I needed to think outside of the box and create pieces that spoke without using words.

I wish I had continued to pursue art after high school, but the course and the experience I took away from it continued to contribute to my achievements in University and employment.

WM: What advice can you offer to current AISB students who are ready to choose their University major?

NN: Be open-minded. At 18 or 19, it may seem like you already know what you are meant to do in life, but in reality there is so much more to discover and experience. Keep an open mind and welcome change. Step outside of your comfort zone and push yourself to try new things, and you may very well come across a new, unexpected hobby or passion.

WM: You graduated from Clark University in 2016. What are you doing now? Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

NN: My IB exam scores allowed me to skip a year at Clark University, so after three years I received my B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies. That summer, I landed an o er for a paralegal position at Pabian Law, an immigration law rm based outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Our clients are corporations, professional sports teams, and seasonal businesses that need visas for their employees who come from outside of the United States. I assist attorneys in acquiring the necessary evidence, information, and documentation to create and le visa petition applications with the U.S. government for our clients.

WM: What are your plans for the immediate future? What about the long-term?

NN: I have only been working at my rst full-time job for a few months at present, so I plan to stay with the firm for a couple of years before pursuing other endeavors. In the long-term, I plan to turn my focus toward federal government, especially in a eld related to the internship
I completed a couple of years ago with the U.S. Department of State. For me, an ideal long-term career would re ect the lifestyle I know and love, lled with opportunities to travel around the world.

WM: Your family is still in Bucharest – what do you miss most about living in Romania and about AISB in particular?

NN: I certainly miss the travel opportunities that come with living in Eastern Europe. The cultures, people, cuisines, and landscapes are so beautiful, and there is a new adventure in each place you visit. Romania is very di erent from the other places I lived; I have a special place in my heart for it, and I hope I can return someday. Not having homework anymore is pretty great so I do not miss that aspect of being
a student, however, I miss being surrounded by so many di erent cultures and interesting people on a daily basis, which is one of the wonderful features of AISB. 

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Spring 2017 edition here.



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