Get to Know an Alumni Mentor
Kristina Doan Strottman ’06
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen
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!