Kelly Gajdzisz, '14, was inducted into Sellinger Scholars her sophomore year at Loyola. She immediately took advantage of one of the Scholars' networking resources, the Sellinger Mentoring Program which paired her with Jeffrey Nattans, ’89, head of M&A and business development at Legg Mason Inc.
Nattans joined Legg Mason in 2006 and his work focuses on corporate strategy and acquisitions, among other initiatives. Nattans holds an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Loyola. Nattans and Gajdzisz first connected at a networking reception in the fall of Gajdzisz’s junior year.
"As a mentor, I get to know my mentees first. We focus on exploring different industry areas based on their skillsets," said Nattans. "Then, we do practice interviews and discuss effective networking."
Soon after their initial meeting, she visited the Legg Mason offices in downtown Baltimore and was introduced to Nattans' colleagues. Once Gajdzisz was introduced first-hand to the corporate environment, it was time to start finding her own place in it.
“When I started as an economics major I really didn’t know what direction I wanted to take," said Gajdzisz. "He opened my eyes to the risk management, finance, and marketing side of my major that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise."
Through this new focus Gajdzisz secured an internship as a promotions coordinator at J&L Marketing Inc., where she worked with local clients in the automotive industry on direct marketing campaigns. Gajdzisz is currently working with Nattans on her resume and building her networking resources.
"I like to bounce ideas off him about internships and job prospects," Gajdzisz said of Nattans. "It definitely feels like I have an edge while applying for jobs."
Nattans has enjoyed the renewed connection with his alma mater.
"The program has really helped me stayed connected with the school. It's rewarding for me to get to know the students and stay updated with what’s going on at Loyola—through a lunch or a Loyola game,” said Nattans. "It reminds me that Loyola’s core values of leadership, ethics, and character continue to guide me."