Up for a Challenge

Published on November 4, 2015

NFL Consumer Products VP Shares How She Defines Success with Bauer Students

Natara Holloway

Natara Holloway (BBA ’98) speaks to Bauer College students about her professional experience. See more photos at whereawesomehappens.com.

Bauer College students had the opportunity this week to meet with Natara Holloway (BBA ’98), vice president of consumer products for the National Football League (NFL), who shared her story of using a Bauer degree to pursue her passion and find a leadership position.

“Define your success. Don’t let others define it for you,” Holloway told the small group of students, which included Bauer Excellence Scholars and members of the Bauer Honors student advisory board.

In her role, Holloway is responsible for establishing the NFL’s retail growth strategy that focuses on elevating the brand, enhancing the fan experience and building retail partnerships.

“Bauer prepared me to deal with presidents and CEOs of companies. As a student somewhere else, you might get intimidated, but because we were introduced to that at Bauer, I was able to do it early on in my career,” Holloway added. “What makes Houston so unique is you’re around those Fortune 500 companies that come to speak and recruit, so Bauer tremendously prepares their students to interact comfortably.”

Even though she earned her undergraduate degree from Bauer in accounting, her love of business and working with people started early.

“I knew I wanted to be in business at a young age. I used to sell everything. If you gave me a gift, I’d sell it back to you. I played with boxes, but I turned mine into an ATM,” Holloway said. “I would go into the kitchen and pour water in my mom’s wine glasses and pretend I was at a business meeting. It was real for me.”

Born in Germany, Holloway moved often as a child, due to her father’s military career. She is now based in New York City for her work with the NFL, but she says she will always consider Houston home.

“There was no one happier than I was that Houston got the Super Bowl,” Holloway said. “I am the official, and unofficial, Houston ambassador at the NFL. The growth in this city and the opportunity to showcase it is amazing. I’m excited people will see what I see.”

Her love for Houston and the city’s university also started early — she first experienced the University of Houston campus at age 13 and instantly wanted to be a Cougar.

“I came to UH on a college visit with my older sister, who was trying to choose a college. I absolutely fell in love. I got here and saw these big buildings, and I was like, ‘This is the place for me,’” Holloway said. “The campus was gorgeous, and everyone was friendly, and I knew that if I wanted job selection, I had to come to UH.”

During the hour-long session, Holloway shared her story and also answered questions from students, ranging from career advice to how she defines success.

“Hearing from Natara and her perception of life and success motivated me to really search for what it means to be a leader and how to be a leader and apply it to my life,” finance senior Miriam Haddad said. “She inspired me to be true to myself and always follow my own mission statement — to be successful is to truly be yourself and humbly work toward it.”

Holloway closed the chat by encouraging the students to follow their passions and to constantly push themselves.

“Don’t ever box yourself in. I don’t say in five years I want to be in a certain place,” Holloway said. “I want to continue to be challenged, and I will never stop being challenged.”

By Amanda Sebesta