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Sam Kleiner ’09 on Law and History

Sam Kleiner ’09 went to law school after graduating from Northwestern. He has held a number of roles in the legal industry, but his story doesn’t end there. He spent countless hours researching and writing a book after discovering a trove of love letters from a WWII pilot. His book, The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan, was released in May 2018. Kleiner talks to the NAA about the stories behind his book and how this history impacts...


Linda Gartz ’70, ’72 MS on Discovering a New Career Through Hidden Family Letters

Linda Gartz ’70, ’72 MS didn’t start her career thinking she would become an author. Through the skills she learned through her years teaching and then producing documentaries, she gained the necessary skills to eventually write her book after she discovered hidden letters in her parent’s former home. “Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago” is a story about both the personal, in terms of Gartz’s family history, and the political, in terms of racist...


Dino Gane-Palmer ’11 MBA on Starting a Company at Northwestern

Dino Gane-Palmer ’11 MBA is a British entrepreneur based in Chicago. Gane-Palmer moved from the UK to earn his business degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern with the goal of leveraging an MBA to launch a company. He tells the story of starting his company PreScouter, a platform that enables innovation professionals to get things done through utilizing a global network of scholars at top universities, all while in school and then growing it to a 100+ person company....


Carol Ross ’83, ’87 MS on the Emotions of Career Change

Carol Ross ’83, ’87 MS worked as an engineer for years before making a transition. Ross started working with her HR department to get experience working with and training colleagues as an engineer a few years before she was let go from her long-standing position. Through that experience, dabbling in training and facilitating, she was able to get an idea of what she would be good at, and even more importantly what she would enjoy, in a second career. Ross discusses the emotions of a career...


Greg Schwem ’84 on his Longevity in Comedy

Greg Schwem ’84 started his career in print journalism after graduating from the Medill School of Journalism. He worked his way into the broadcast side of reporting through his ability to learn quickly what the story was. He transferred this skill again later in his career during his transition into corporate entertaining through comedy. He has been in the world of comedy for almost 30 years, finding his niche in performing stand-up comedy and humorous motivational speeches at corporate...


Dorothy Tucker ‘78 on her Lasting Career in Reporting

Dorothy Tucker ’78 knew that she wanted to be a reporter since she was 16 years old so she came to Northwestern for the program in radio and television. Tucker has been a reporter ever since she graduated from Northwestern, working her way back to the community she grew up with, in Chicago. She has been at CBS 2 Chicago since 1984. Tucker talks about having three children throughout her time as a reporter, along with the sacrifices she had to make on both ends. Now she is an empty nester,...


Emily Farr ’03 on Launching Her Own Firm and Nonprofit

Emily Farr ’03 went to law school after graduating from Northwestern not knowing exactly what she would do with that degree. Farr has since launched her own firm focused on corporate, employment, and health law. As she became a successful attorney she went looking for a women’s speakers bureau to get involved with. She couldn’t find what she was looking for so she started her own. Myra is Chicago’s all-female speakers bureau working to connect talented women to speaking opportunities and...


Conversations with the NAA Board President: 2018 Northwestern Alumni Medalists Edition

Tune into a conversation with the Northwestern Alumni Association Board President, Samir Mayekar, as we discuss pivotal career concepts from the 2018 Northwestern Alumni Medalists. The Northwestern Alumni Medal is the highest honor given by the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA). It will be bestowed this fall on two Fortune 500 CEOs, a movie studio executive, and a Smithsonian museum director. Louis A. Simpson ’58, (’96 P), Trustee Johnnetta B. Cole ’59 MA, ’67 PhD, ’92 HDouglas R....


Ben Parr ’08 on Networking to Make Career Transitions

Ben Parr ’08 may not have found the perfect fit in his career right after graduating from Northwestern but he quickly transitioned to an organization where he thrived. Parr stayed at Mashable for over 3 years as it grew into one of the largest tech publications in the world. In the ten years since leaving Northwestern, Parr has been a journalist, investor, entrepreneur, and even an author of Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention. Don’t miss his insights on taking advantage...


Heather Foster ’03 on Growing Through the Obama Campaign and Administration

Heather Foster ’03 joined the Obama Campaign early on in her career and she stayed with the Obama Administration for over ten years, growing her career throughout that time. She held a number of different philanthropic and political roles, where she both learned valuable skills and also left a lasting impact on this nation. Foster shares her perspective on the learning curve of making career changes and the importance of having your own board of directors to support your career decisions....


Sarah Powers ’02 on her Nontraditional Path to Podcasting

Sarah Powers ’02 worked in restaurants after graduating from Northwestern so that she could pursue her passion in dancing. Although this may not be a stereotypically traditional career path, she became a successful dancer before moving into the corporate space where she was able to hone a different set of skills. She didn’t know it then but Powers’ combination of experience in a creative space as well as on the business side played into her successes as the co-host of The Mom Hour and the...


Thaddeus Tukes ’16 on Creating a Major and a Lifestyle

Thaddeus Tukes ’16 came to Northwestern knowing that there wasn’t a program for what he wanted to do but he had the faith he could work with Northwestern to create one. Although it wasn’t always easy, Tukes worked with leaders at the Bienen School of Music to create a major that worked for him, just as he is now working with community leaders in Chicago to create a lifestyle that works for him. He has accomplished a lot in his two year career path, like performing the vibraphone and being...


Alexis Alexanian ’85 on Mentoring the Next Generation of Women

Alexis Alexanian ’85 started her career in advertising before quickly moving into the entertainment space where her career took off. She is currently an independent feature film and television producer, production executive and consultant. She has accomplished a lot in her career from working on major feature films to becoming the Board Chair of New York Women in Film & Television, where she has enjoyed her work in mentoring the next generation of women in her industry. Alexis is excited to...


Peter Schoenke ’92, ’93 MS on Becoming a Fantasy Sports Entrepreneur

Peter Schoenke started his career in financial journalism in New York and has long since moved back to the Midwest after making a career shift. He launched a website in 1997 in the tech boom that later became a successful business,, in an industry he didn’t originally know much about. is the largest independently-owned fantasy sports website that syndicates content to, Sports Illustrated, and so on. In this episode, Peter shares advice for not only fantasy...


Amanda Litman ’12 on her Passion for Progressive Politics

Amanda Litman went into politics right after graduating from Northwestern, starting out her career in the Obama Campaign. She may not be working in campaigns now, but her passion for politics has grown even stronger. After working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 as the Email Director (the other emails, as she would say) she went on to start her own organization ( Her mission is to help young people run for office and she even wrote a book about it, “Run for...


Dr. Don Martin ’94 PhD on Insights for Applicants

Dr. Don Martin ’94 PhD cherished his six years earning his doctorate at Northwestern, which played into him pursuing his passion for helping others find their personal fit in a grad school. But, before Martin discovered his passion for helping people through the grad school process, he became an expert in the fields of enrollment management, student affairs, and higher education administration at some of the top Universities in the United States. Whether you’re applying for a new job or to...


Natasha Lindor '09 MS on Finding Happiness through Coaching

Natasha Lindor '09 MS, the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States from Haiti for a better life, grew up believing that a world class education and her unrelenting work ethic would be the keys to her success. Lindor climbed the corporate ladder for years before coming to campus for her Masters in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She wanted to be a global brand manager but realized a few years after finishing her program that she was passionate about helping others...


Jonathan Eig '86 on his Career Path in Journalism

For the award-winning journalist and author, Jonathan Eig '86, his first job delivering newspapers on his bike throughout his neighborhood was only the beginning of his long career in journalism. From his junior high and high school newspapers to his most recent book, Ali: A Life, Eig has been writing for his entire career, including three New York Time's bestsellers. He spoke with us about moving from reporting to writing autobiographical books and the skills that are transferable from one...


Apryl Schlueter '02 on a Career Change to Find Balance

Apryl Schlueter started her career in IT consulting but later learned that her calling was in a completely different industry. Schlueter is now the Chief Energy! Officer of The Cheerful Mind, Inc. -- a happiness and productivity coach, speaker, and the author of Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind. After years of working in various industries, Schlueter realized her true passion for helping people streamline their lives to make more time for more joy, balance, and...


Carlos Paret '13 MBA on Integrating His Personal Life into a Successful Career

Carlos Paret came to Northwestern for his MBA and soon moved from Chicago to Southern California. He quickly got involved in Northwestern Alumni Association activities; Paret is the current president for both the Kellogg Alumni Club of Orange County and the NU Club of Orange County. He has been successful in a variety of leadership roles from early on in his career. Paret is fortunate enough to be working for a company that is transforming something that is very personal to him. Not only...