Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Natalie Panto

PA to the Director of Development: The National Theatre

Alumni Advisory Board member Natalie graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Drama with English. Now working at the National Theatre, she relishes the chance to work in a career she is passionate about, whilst still contributing to the University.

Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?

The initial appeal of Loughborough to me was that it offered the opportunity to study Drama with a Minor in English rather than having to do a 50/50 split course like most other Universities offered. I also liked the atmosphere of the campus and the halls that were on offer. 

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

I owe so much to my time at Loughborough. My studies provided me with the required knowledge to be able to work at the National Theatre but the other opportunities that Loughborough gave me reached far beyond this, I wouldn’t be who I am today or have met half of the people I know if it wasn’t for Loughborough.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?

The advice that I would give anyone starting out at Loughborough is to take the plunge and say yes to all of the opportunities available - you won’t regret it, I promise!

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

I took part in so many of the opportunities that Loughborough offered, but there are still more that I wish I had got involved with! I was the Hall Chair for my hall of residence, Telford, Secretary for the Hall Students’ Federation, sat on the Union Affairs Committee, co-directed a show as part of Stage Society and was an Action Project Leader.

As well as this, I worked in the Students’ Union in the evenings. I met so many amazing people and made friends for life taking part in these activities. As well as being so much fun, these experiences have provided good grounding for life in the working world and were an all-round enriching experience! I wish that I could go back and do it all again, but do more. 

Can you tell us more about your role at the National Theatre?

The National Theatre makes world-class theatre that is challenging, entertaining and inspiring and we make it for everyone. We work with some of the world’s greatest actors, writers, theatre artists and technicians to make at least 20 productions each year, aspiring always to the levels of excellence that make the NT a world leader.

My role is to provide adminsitrative support for the Director of Development, including organising meetings, diary maangement, overseas travel and document preparation, as well as working on donor relationships, which includes research, correspondence and stewardship.

I also manage a team of Development Co-ordinators and the HR team to make sure the office runs smoothly for occasions such as Press nights, shows and development events. 

What do you love the most about your job?

Prior to getting my first job at the National Theatre I worked in an industry that was not for me and I was miserable every day. I am so fortunate to be working now in an industry that I love with like-minded and intelligent individuals - my previous experience means I know not to take this for granted!

I believe in the mission of the National Theatre to make world-class theatre that is challenging, entertaining and inspiring and make it for everyone so even the small (less exciting) parts of the job are enjoyable because I feel like I am a part of the amazing work that we put on our stages.


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