Get to Know an Alumni Mentor

Kristina Doan Strottman ’06

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen

Kristina Doan Stottman '06

What was the primary reason you chose your career path?

I always thought being a lawyer was the best way to use my writing, advocacy, and organizational skills to help other people.

What was the most meaningful takeaway from your UCLA education?

Navigating a larger university with endless opportunities taught me just as much as any class, and was good preparation for life after college. You learn the importance of taking initiative, following-up and advocating for yourself.

What is your favorite memory from your time at UCLA?

Running and serving on USAC. Although I realized that politics was not for me, I met the most remarkable people, many of whom I am still friends with today.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to students pursuing a career in your industry?

A lot of UCLA students, and people who want to go into law in particular, are type-A “planners.” However, I am frequently reminded by my own mentors that it is important to take things one step at a time, keep an open mind and focus on finding opportunities where you can learn and gain skills, rather than fixating on a “forever dream job.” I love being a civil litigator and it seems like such a natural fit now, but I would have never imagined that I would end up in this area of law or take the career path I took.

How can students best utilize their mentor as a resource?

Don’t be afraid to ask if your mentor is willing to connect you to people in his or her network. The more perspectives and experiences you can learn from, the better!

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