Rosalie Nathans '16

Rosalie Nathans ’16 lives in a roomy single at the top of Mather Tower, with an incredible bird’s eye view of Cambridge.

Adorning her walls are a poster of painted beetles from Black Ink, a number of fabrics from South America, and a collection of Polaroids taken over her four years at Harvard. As I admire the tiny potted succulents decorating her windowsill, she brews me aromatic rose tea in a cozy mug and shares stories about her memorabilia.

“This is from Tanzania,” she tells me, gesturing to a beautiful hand-woven tapestry hanging from her wall. “I went there with one of my roommates—we were there for 8 weeks my freshman summer teaching about HIV/AIDS awareness, and picked that up as a souvenir from the person who made it.”

Her roommate, Ashley Notzon, has fond memories of that trip. Having lived and travelled with Rosalie since freshman year, she describes her best friend as open-minded and driven. “I like that she’s so down to do anything…any time you talk to her, she’s planning her next adventure, whether that’s next week or next summer, and she’s organized enough to do that successfully.” Another blockmate, Martina Salander, echoes Ashley’s sentiment: “She just has it all together.”

Rosalie carries her organization, artistic touch, and attention to detail everywhere she goes, from decorating her room to running student organizations. As the former co-president of Women in Business, the largest undergraduate collegiate business club on campus, Nathans had an almost prescient vision of her goals as a freshman. “I actually knew I was going to join WIB at Visitas, because the girls I met were just so put together and professional and mature,” she explains.

After completing the comp process and rising through the ranks in WIB, Rosalie chaired the Intercollegiate Business Convention her sophomore year. The year she planned it, over 1,000 women attended from around the world, making IBC one of the largest student-run business conventions internationally. “I was sending emails to the direct email addresses of The CEO of Chanel, Jill Abramson, supermodels,” recounts Nathans. “To be able to do that as a sophomore in college was an incredible opportunity.”

In addition to her business acumen, friends describe Rosalie as having an avid interest in fashion. As a freshman, she was the creative director of Identities Fashion Show, where she managed 25 models and was in charge of the creative vision of the show. Her interest in pursuing a career on the business side of fashion eventually landed her a junior summer internship at Saks 5th Avenue, where she helped purchase clothes from designers for merchandisers to resell.

“I think she’s driven by doing things that make her happy,” explains Ashley, who describes Rosalie as being motivated by internal factors, rather than external validation. According to Martina, “people can find her intimidating, but once you get to know her, she really values your friendship. She will be there for you in terms of academic and personal challenges.”

Rosalie has been described by many as a very caring friend. “She is always, always there for you no matter what stress she has,” said blockmate Elizabeth Jiang. From bringing cookies to the common room for everyone to share to crafting good luck notes before her roommates’ exams, her actions have always spoken louder than words.

“If something is up, or if you’re having any problems whatsoever…she will take the time to talk and check in on how you’re doing and follow up,” explains Martina. “Harvard can be a toxic place at times, and just being able to put in that time and see how your roommates are doing is something that I really value.”

In terms of Rosalie’s next adventure, she’s since pivoted from fashion into tech.

On her desk was a card that read, “You’re In!” with the LinkedIn logo. “It’s my official welcome letter from LinkedIn,” she explains. “Starting in October, I’ll be in a class of 15 new hires working in their business rotation program. It’ll be a little like summer camp meets boot camp in the tech space.” She smiles as she describes her future in San Francisco, a city whose creativity, innovation, and ambition undoubtedly seemed like a perfect fit.