Faces on Campus – Natalie Robles
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Natalie Robles and I’m an administrative project coordinator here at Northeastern University–Seattle! I’ve been here for about seven months and this is my first job in Seattle. I grew up in Santa Rosa, California, then relocated to North Carolina when I was 9. It was a culture shock! Though I did fall in love with the South. I studied at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where I earned a Certificate in Documentary Studies, outside of my major in Cultural Anthropology and my minor in Music. I have worked in Higher Ed for the past three years and it all started at Duke. I worked at two different departments: one, as a multimedia producer for the Duke Office of Civic Engagement and another as a digital projects specialist at the Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics. I worked on a lot of the digital media projects as well as event programming, so I got to meld two of my passions, which are administrative work, as well as video production work. Thanks to a partnership with Duke Performances, I had the opportunity to produce 17 short documentaries, four of which gained quite a lot of attention. Duke Performances brought in artists every week, ranging from world-renowned artists to up-and-coming artists and they would host the artist for a short residency while they were at Duke. The artists would give a public conversation and speak in a class, and our partnership allowed us to host the public conversation at our forum space. I was able to film the public conversation, the class conversation, and their public performance. That’s probably been my proudest work so far. During the summer months, I interned as a production assistant for a couple of documentary production companies. Ultimately, my goal is to eventually end up back in that scene again, but I haven’t really delved into it too much here in Seattle. I’m not in a rush though, as I really enjoy being here at Northeastern. It is such a great place to start a life in Seattle. It’s exciting to work in the heart of the vibrant tech industry here and you can see that within the students enrolled here. Our students are extremely smart, competent people who are just extending their knowledge here and it’s been really fascinating to be here. In my downtime, I really enjoy going to musical performances. I am also getting involved with a great organization, the Lambert House, an LGBTQ homeless youth center in Capitol Hill. I’ve been there now, only twice, so I can’t say that I’m a legitimate volunteer yet, but I will officially be there in the summertime! I also really love watching movies, as well as going hiking.
What is your role at Northeastern-Seattle?
I am an administrative project coordinator who manages the schedules and projects of the Dean, the Associate Dean, and the Business and Outreach Director. I play a small hand in some of the marketing efforts at Northeastern, specifically for big events, as well as smaller event programming.
What do you like most about your role?
I like that I’ve been testing my marketing skills so far. I’ve been focused on integrating the digital marketing aspect of things, which I think have really overtaken everything in universities nowadays. Since we’re such a small campus, I think it’s really vital to our marketing that we show-off our image here. I have also been able to do a little bit of photography and videography, so I really appreciate that my supervisors have allowed me to delve into whatever passions I need to. For example, Peter has this project called DocumentAmerica. Simply put, students have the opportunity to take whatever video-recording devices they have, and give the audience insight into their life stories. Six to eight students from local high schools in different areas get involved and their work is then featured on the website DailyGiant.org. We’re continuing to develop that particular project by working with Google, and creating a new website. I was called a “Jack of all trades” at my last job and I’m proud that I can uphold that same title here. It never gets boring! Learning to remain flexible in life is the key and when you can do that in your job, you feel pretty awesome. You can take on anything and be able to deliver the results, so that is really rewarding!
I also appreciate the cross-interaction between every team at the Seattle campus, whether that is marketing and enrollment, the higher-up administration and campus operations. We all interact very equally, we all stand on the same level, and there are no weird power dynamics. Everyone gives each other the respect that they deserve and it allows everyone to be able to help each other out whenever we need to, which means we can get a lot of stuff done really fast. It’s a really great environment to work in! Everyone is a mixture of people from different backgrounds and places, so that definitely makes it a fun and insightful environment!
You have been involved with the planning and operating of the Community Courses. Tell us a little bit more about that.
I am the coordinator for the community courses for the Dean, Peter Temes. Peter’s approach was that he wanted to break the mold very fast, particularly when he first started, so he decided to teach and host a number of community courses. These seminars touched upon a variety of topics. Of those topics, I think that Digital Ethics was most intriguing to the people that came. It was really cool to see it all come together at the final Digital Ethic panel, where everyone sort of reflected on not only the ethics of where the tech industry is going, but the ethics of technology in general. I definitely think it was really interesting to a lot of the students here.
It was my first real challenge here, as I developed some of the marketing. I also traveled to a couple of the local community colleges, such as Seattle U., Seattle Central College, and Cornish to post flyers. I met with a number of people, and showed them what was going on over at NU-Seattle. It was interesting to see where Northeastern finds itself among all the other university around here. People are curious to see what’s going on here, which is very encouraging! We’re going to continue to hold the community courses in future, so stay tuned!
What do you like most about Seattle?
The broad answer is that no matter where you are or what time of day it is, there’s just this calmness to Seattle that goes unsaid, but everyone kind of senses. This tranquility has started to seep into my own life. I’ve spent time in other large cities, which had a kind of nervous energy, but there’s just this impenetrable spirit that is unique to Seattle, that keeps everyone completely calm here. It’s both eerie and nice, and probably explains why there are so many serial killers here! Also, I’ve been living in Ballard and I love being by the water. My favorite place in Seattle is the beach at Golden Gardens. I went there a lot over the summer and I’m excited to visit it again when it gets a little warmer.