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Meet Natasha Braunwart '15, Trade Marketing Coordinator at Gerber Gear
Meet Natasha Braunwart '15, Trade Marketing Coordinator at Gerber Gear

Natasha grew up in a family of business owners and travel buffs, which eventually led her to Portland State University (PSU) because of the opportunities it offered. Before graduating with a double major in advertising management and marketing, Natasha joined the University Urban Honors College, travelled to Vietnam and Malaysia for study abroad, and participated in two internships in the athletic & outdoor inudstry (A&O). Her second internship resulted in her current position at Gerber Legendary Blades in the Marketing Department.

When and how did you know you wanted to be in the A&O industry?

A few weeks before I registered for MKTG 436 "Athletic & Outdoor Marketing," I knew it was the right direction for me. I had just seen a presentation in a PSU class from a Columbia Sportswear employee and it all of a sudden occurred to me that I could be a part of an industry that revolves around the things I love to do.

What is the most valuable thing you learned during the program and/or A&O class?

Throughout my A&O course, I learned that asking for an informational interview is one of the most valuable things you can do--that's where my job started. Not only does this offer a chance for you to make an impression, but it gives you the chance to judge if that company would be right fit for you or not.

How did PSU help you get your foot in the door?

I met the Gerber Gear's marketing manager in my Athletic & Outdoor Marketing course during winter term of my senior year. He gave an amazing presentation and at the end I asked if he ever did informational interviews. He said yes, gave me his card, and it went from there.

What is unique about the A&O industry?

It really doesn't feel like a "job." It is laid back, but people know what they are talking about. This industry gives you a unique opportunity to blend your professional interests with your personal passions.

What advice would you give to a student who is pursuing a career in the A&O industry?

I think it's difficult not to get caught up in what everyone else wants and then you end up forgetting what you really want. I was asked many times at PSU to make lists of companies I wanted to work for but always felt like I was missing the mark when mine didn't have the same big-named companies that others had. So I updated my lists to feel up-to-par and later realized what a waste of time that was. My advice is to find what you’re passionate about and make it happen. Don’t worry about the direction fellow students, professors, or programs push you into. Just do what you want, because in the end you’ll end up opening doors for yourself. Don’t be afraid to show it when you want something, even if it’s different from other people.

>>Learn more about Portland State's Athletic and Outdoor Industry certificate

>>Learn more about career services at Portland State School of Business

Do you have an update to share about your career? We would love to hear about it! Contact us at sbamarketing@pdx.edu.