Choosing to pursue a career in math was as natural as 1-2-3 for Natalie Goddard ’11. The daughter of Community School’s former Business Manager of 22 years, Janell Goddard, Natalie may have inherited an affinity for numbers. As an Elementary School student at Community School, her interest in math was fueled by then second-grade teacher, Kathy Gibson. But it was Upper School math teacher Mike Wade and former Upper School math teacher Willy Felton who sealed the deal and set her on her professional path.
“Both Mike and Willy solidified the foundation for me going into math,” said Natalie, who today works as an actuarial analyst for Premera Blue Cross in Washington. “I never specifically loved math when I was younger, but it did always make a lot of sense to me. While I am more of an algebra person than a calculus one, I learned a lot of very valuable lessons from calculus with Mike, specifically not being afraid to go into office hours and ask for help and working together in study groups to help solidify topics.”
After graduating from the University of Idaho in 2015 with a BS in math, with a focus in actuarial science and applied finance, and a minor in Spanish, Natalie moved to Seattle. She landed a job working in finance and retirement services at ADP, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management solutions. In 2017, she started her new role at Premera Blue Cross. Natalie now spends her days as part of a team that works directly with provider groups to help lower costs and better manage the healthcare of their members. Her job entails analyzing data and creating reports to help identify low and high-cost patterns. On any given day, this might include anything from looking at a specific doctor’s referral patterns to identifying members who are over utilizing the ER so that they can be redirected to urgent care or other specialists accordingly. According to Natalie, this creates a more complete picture for the providers and a better experience for the members.
In addition to working full time, Natalie is also in the process of becoming a certified actuary, which entails a series of exams. She believes her Community School education has played a significant role in her current professional path and the success she has found.
“Community School empowered me to take control of my education,” she said. “I learned very early on what I needed to do to succeed and have applied that to my college experience, my employment search, and now through the certification process. I am also forever grateful for the skills I learned in the Outdoor Program and the relationships that were fostered beyond my comfort zone. Not being afraid to seek out resources and being able to ask intelligent questions to my superiors has really helped me stand out in the workplace.”