Natasha is a soccer, basketball, and flag football mom. That’s how the 35-year-old single mom of two describes herself. “My kids take up 99% of my time between all their activities”, she says – and she loves it. The Virginia resident opted to be a stay-at-home mom when her contract with the Marine Corps ended. “I served eight honorable years as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Defense specialist”, she explains. She wanted to spend more time with her kids and find a new balance for family life and her career.
Missing the camaraderie of the Marine Corps, Natasha soon decided to start university again and complete a Masters in Cybersecurity at Utica College. “When I got out of the Marine Corps, I had an undergrad degree in Computer Information Technology. With an elementary level of experience in technology, and eight years in the Marine Corps, I was unable to land a job that I was fulfilled and satisfied with”, she states. Natasha simply hoped that another degree would help her boost her career. “Then a friend of mine introduced me to NS2 Serves, a program that helps US military veterans gain IT skills and transition into a civilian career, and the rest is history!”
Driving her career in the right direction
Natasha studied hard and passed all the exams. In the end, she was awarded several in-demand certifications, including one as SAP-certified Application Associate for SAP HANA. “The program allowed me to gain the SAP certifications and skills that I needed to start driving my career in the right direction. After the training, my life has changed drastically“, Natasha recalls.
Natasha Mulford upskilled with SAP
With her kids, Natasha moved from Colorado to Virginia after receiving a full-time position at Deloitte. “Getting my foot in the door was just the start of an interesting journey“, she recounts. “One of the things they preach is networking. Networking, networking, networking. I honestly was so sick of hearing that word. Set up meetings. Network with these people. Network in person. Looking back on it now, I understand the importance. Knowing people, understanding different skillsets, knowing who to go to for answers to certain questions. It all matters.“
"I love my job and I love the people I work with"
Natasha started using her network to find out what she wanted to do, where her journey could take her. “I took some more certification courses, dabbled in full stack development, and kept in contact with some individuals who I admired and looked up to! I interviewed with Dark Wolf Solutions based off a referral from someone in my, you guessed it, network!”, she says. Today, she happily works as a Cybersecurity Principal specializing in Risk Management. “I love my job, and I love the people I work with, and I will say that I am only where I am today because of NS2 Serves and all the great people I have met along the way!”
Well, and then there’s also Nelson Mandela. Although Natasha never met him, his words struck a resounding chord with her. “Nelson Mandela said it best: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”