Spotlight on Alumni: Dean Nathanson

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

FJL: Where did you grow up, what are you currently studying, and what hobbies did you most enjoy when you were younger?

DN: I grew up in Sydney Australia, one of the best cities in the world! I went to Moriah College my whole schooling career, a school that provided me with an optimal start in life and gave me so much. I was able to give back in my final year as School Captain. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws at the University of NSW and recently started working at a venture capital firm called Our Innovation Fund. My main hobby has always been playing soccer – I believe you can gain physically and learn deep values from sports.

FJL: You joined the FJL-Moriah Brownstone program for the first year: how did you hear about it? What did you think it was going to look like? What did it look like in the end for you?

DN: I heard about the FJL-Moriah Brownstone program through my school during its initial launch. The trip was branded as an opportunity to intern in New York for a month with leadership opportunities. The experience superseded my expectations. I was privileged to intern at Wolfson Group Inc, a Family Investment Office, within their Private Equity and Venture Capital branch. My superiors were extremely knowledgeable and giving of their time – I really felt they were investing in me. The leadership and development side of the program never failed to deliver high-quality and thought-provoking content and speakers.

FJL: What have you been up to since?

After the trip, I spent the following year consolidating the leadership training by engaging in the Sydney Jewish community through a variety of ways. I continued my efforts as a leader at my local youth movement (Bnei Akiva), where the leaders present weekly educational sessions to younger students about their heritage and general personal growth. I was also intimately involved in creating the content for, and running, an experiential startup course at my High School (see video above). The course synergized interesting startup content with on-site visits and lessons from community leaders in the field.

FJL: What university organization do you run and what have you learned the most from running it?

For the last year, I have been the President of the University of NSW’s startup society, called StartUp Link. The society aims to bridge the gap between uni (university) students and startups in order to ultimately strengthen and create awareness for the Sydney startup ecosystem. I can honestly say I’ve learnt immensely from this experience (especially from the times when things didn’t go as planned). However, the key lesson I’ve learnt is that an organisation is only as good as its team. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by motivated and impressive uni students who also give up their time to work towards the goal of driving real impact.

FJL: If you were granted an extra 2 hours a day or a spare million dollars, what would you do with them?

Out of those 2 options, I really believe the extra 2 hours a day is more valuable.. If I had them, I’d make sure to allocate the time to really develop as a person – probably reading a book. There’s never a point where one can stop learning – I’ve got a lot to learn and I’m excited for the journey!

For more updates, follow FJL on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

113 views0 comments