Alumnus Sparks Connections in Career

Nathan Christopher resizedIt has only been five years since Nathan Christopher, ’08, graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in political science-prelaw. He has climbed the career ladder quickly, working in roles such as the media relations assistant for the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the U.S. Senate and as the director of consumer marketing for XOS Digital, Inc. Christopher currently works as the director of strategic partnerships at Lightmaker, an independent digital agency that helps its clients engage and entertain their users in the social-digital age. He credits his political science degree for his ability to write and edit legal contracts and agreements. Christopher also acknowledges his courses, such as Constitutional Law, in helping him analyze contracts and summarize important pieces of information. These skills have allowed his team to bring together ideas, creative and technological, to deliver award winning results for clients through their offices in the United States, UK, Netherlands and Canada.

While Christopher has gone far in his career, he has never lost his “Knight” spirit or admiration for his alma mater.

How have you stayed connected with UCF since graduation?

I moved to Washington, D.C. right after graduation and joined the UCF Alumni Washington D.C. Chapter there. I was surprised to see how many people were already part of the D.C. Area chapter and how involved they were. After moving back to Orlando, I got back in touch with some of the friends I had graduated with. I also started going to UCF events like football and basketball games and Relay for Life, which I have always been a big supporter of. One of my goals for the next year or two is to become more involved in academics, either through speaking at events or volunteering as a mentor.

How were you involved as a student?

I tried to be as involved as possible with extracurricular groups and activities because I knew that was the best way to meet people and start building a network. My first year at UCF I joined several professional groups like “Quotes” the Ad/PR club and Ad2 Orlando, the local association for young professionals in marketing and advertising. I started to branch out into civic groups as well, becoming a founding board member of Habitat for Humanity UCF, Volunteer UCF and the College Democrats. One of the things I learned is that you can’t join enough clubs and organizations while in college—they are just as important as classes and education.

What is your best UCF memory?

My best UCF memory is easily being at the first football game in the new Bright House Networks Stadium. The Knights came oh-so-close to beating the Texas Longhorns. Even though we lost, the day was still one that will always be remembered. I worked in sports marketing for several years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an excited fan base as I did that day.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

If there is one thing I would tell current and future students (as well as alumni), it’s that your network is your most valuable asset. Constantly go out and meet new people and try not to lose touch with those you have met, because you never know if that relationship could be beneficial down the road. It doesn’t matter if you’re in business or a more technical field, the old adage is usually true in every situation—it doesn’t matter what you know, it’s all about who you know.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best advice I ever received was from a UCF professor who told me not to sweat the small stuff, and helped me realize it’s the bigger picture that counts both in your career and your life.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I have always wanted to try my hand at urban planning. It seems like a great job for people who enjoy complex puzzles, making sure everything fits perfectly, but still keeping a flexible approach to account for future changes in population size, demographics, and all the other variables that can change the makeup of a municipality.

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