Natalie Bentz

When Natalie Bentz enrolled at Dominican as a business administration major her freshman year, she brought quite a business sense with her.

The daughter of an entrepreneurial beef cattle ranching family in Oregon, Natalie purchased one cow a year from her father, Ken, in order to build her own herd. She sold steer calves and kept heifers and, with the profit earned and her dad’s advice, invested in a house she rents out.

“Both of these enterprises have taught me how rewarding and difficult the business world can be. Plus, the extra income from both has definitely assisted me with purchasing a car and establishing a life here,” Natalie says. “My Dominican business education has been quite beneficial in making my own ventures more successful. The San Francisco Bay Area is so full of opportunities.”

The “small-town girl” achieved big dreams at Dominican. The co-winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in Oregon for excellence in academics, athletics and school and community leadership, Natalie was the recipient of the Coach’s Award her freshman year as a member of the Penguins’ NCAA Division II women’s cross country team. The next year she walked-on and became a starter on the Penguins’ women’s basketball team.

“That’s when I realized how valuable a Dominican education will be and the opportunities and connections that were available to me,” Natalie says. “Dominican is full of fabulous and influential people.”

Natalie focused exclusively on academics and her future as her sophomore year came to an end. She was guided by Dr. Denise Lucy and Dr. Francoise Lepage from the Andrew P. Barowsky School of Business, Dr. Henry Shreibman, director of Academic Development, and Giulia Welch, director of Global Ambassadors in the Global Education Office (GEO) who encouraged Natalie to join its Study Abroad Program.  A member of the National Alpha Lambda Society and recipient of an Edward Nagel Foundation scholarship, Natalie studied Industrial Engineering in Sweden in the spring semester of 2013.

 “Our world is quickly becoming more and more globalized, so the valuable experiences I gained abroad have and will continue to impact my life after Dominican,” says Natalie, who returned to Sweden in July.

After graduation, she is continuing to work as an executive assistant for Stanton Chase, a San Francisco-based international recruiting firm.

“I value how small Dominican is and how close I was to the students and faculty within my major,” Natalie says. It was definitely a unique and beneficial experience that I will take with me into the world.”