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Hanover Organization of Women (HOW) Employee Spotlight: Natasha Kolar – Manager, Learning and Development

Tasha demonstrating her love for travel in Yosemite National Park, California
Tasha demonstrating her love for travel in Yosemite National Park, California

What brought you to Hanover? 

“Hanover was the only job I applied for after I graduated with an M.A. in International Education. My friend Rebecca Horton was a Content Director at Hanover, and she would always tell me about these fascinating research studies she was working on for School District X or University Y. I could not believe she was able to be exposed to such a broad range of topics in the field of P-20 education – some of them directly related to my interest in international education. I had dabbled in a broad range of educational settings, and was interested in developing a similar breadth of knowledge on theoretical and policy issues within the field. I was thrilled to be offered a position at Hanover, and I have not been disappointed by the diversity of topics on which I have been able to gain expertise.”

What advice do you have for women just starting their careers?

“I would encourage newbies to play an active role in their career development within (and beyond) Hanover. Make every colleague you admire your unofficial mentor and learn from them. Define the ways you need to improve to get to that next promotion, and work hard to achieve it. This type of proactive focus, drive, and work ethic does not go unnoticed.”

In what career-related area have you grown most during your tenure at Hanover?

“I think I have grown professionally in many areas during my three years at Hanover, but the most substantial improvement has been in my writing. The daily grind of notetaking, outlining, drafting, editing, re-writing, etc. has really strengthened my technical and creative writing muscles. I read an author explain once that writing never gets much easier, it just gets better. I think that has been the case for me with report writing. It’s not that I never get writers block now, but I don’t let it bother me as much, and the end result is better now than it would have been three years ago.”

What characteristics do you have that make you an effective manager?

“I am passionate about learning what others do well (or have the potential to do well) and empowering them. This focus has me constantly on the lookout for potential growth opportunities for myself and others, and I love to connect people who might be able to help or support each other professionally. Hanover is the type of place where there are SO many smart, talented, and friendly people to learn from. I see my role as helping to facilitate all the wonderful things that can grow from our unique ecosystem.”

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

“I love to host dinner parties, facilitate creative and entrepreneurial collaborations, write poetry, salsa dance, travel, and make new friends.”

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