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Darla Moore School of Business

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Blazing a trail

Moore School alumna’s mentoring role guides next generation of Black students

For Moore School alumna Natalie Wright (’03 finance), inspiration from her first real estate class took her on a path she’d never considered.

As the real estate broker in charge and CEO of her company, The Real Estate House International Inc., Wright calls her focus on real estate as a Moore School undergraduate “one of the best decisions I made for my career and investment portfolio.”

A successful business owner now living in Huger, South Carolina, Wright wants to give back to the Moore School that ignited her career journey and help guide today’s students to find their inspiration.

One of her newest volunteer roles with the Moore School is serving on the Black Alumni Alliance, launched in fall 2021 to provide mentoring, financial support and assistance with the internship- and job-search process, among other things.

“I am involved in the Black Alumni Alliance because I know how vital it is to the African American students and their success,” Wright said. “Having an organization or group where the students can ask questions they may feel too embarrassed to ask in other settings is great. To have a network of examples of what you can become or go beyond is wonderful.”

Wright said that having a mentor invested in a student’s future and success, especially someone who looks like them, is critical.

“Culturally, there are differences that we all have, and sometimes those are not understood or even said aloud,” Wright explained. “Having the Black Alumni Alliance to provide support and insight into university nuances can yield a great return on cultivating and increasing the Moore School’s overall culture.”

Wright serves as the co-chair of the Black Alumni Alliance’s mentoring committee. She said she also sees the vital need to provide financial support through scholarship and fellowship opportunities. The alliance also hopes to connect students to networks for internship and job possibilities and be a sounding board for their triumphs and challenges.

Along with sharing her time and talents with the alliance, Wright serves on the Moore School’s Charleston alumni and Shuck and Shag committees.

Wright is also eager to share her story with students about how one class shifted the entire focus of her career.

“When I sat in one of my finance classes and learned about real estate, my ears began to pay closer and closer attention. I became intrigued,” she said. “I knew nothing about real estate until I came to the Moore School. It took me a while to enter the industry, but I knew I never wanted to let go of the spark that began in that class.”

She attributes the skills she uses daily in managing her real estate firm to her time at the Moore School, including critical thinking, management, sales, presentations, communications and leadership. She said those skills have been necessary to excel, grow and sustain a successful brokerage firm.

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