Natalie Knuth took the creative path to a career in production management

November 6, 2019 - 14:35

"The Lean Six Sigma program provided me just what I needed to get where I wanted to go professionally." -Natalie Knuth, General Manager

Natalie Knuth recently completed both UNLV’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt programs. Did she enroll in the courses in hopes of bettering her future at a Fortune 500 company? Was she striving to become a successful CEO or vice president? Did her past showcase a traditional business management career path? Not exactly. Natalie came to the Lean Six Sigma program at UNLV by way of her theater background. 

Her theater career, focused on wardrobe, began with a successful stint in high school. She moved from Southern California to Las Vegas and continued her education with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theater Design at UNLV. Simultaneously, she worked full time with record-breaking musical Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay. After graduating she continued to improve her resume with positions at MGM Resorts International, Cirque du Soleil, and The Wynn, working on shows that included Showstoppers, Donny & Marie, Paula Abdul, The Backstreet Boys, Lady Gaga, Halsey, Hugh Jackman, and many more. 

During her time in the theater, Natalie noticed her brain did not exactly work like all the other artists around her. Her empirical mind was not always in tune with her creative world. Instead of raging against such a difference, she chose to embrace her special skills and bring order to chaos. After years of training specifically for the art world, though, she needed new tools to help translate her ideas into reality. 

Enter UNLV Continuing Education’s Lean Six Sigma program. The program allowed her to transition from a career in wardrobe and costume design into her current role as general manager for Piff The Magic Dragon. Natalie enjoyed returning to her alma mater for the program because it was familiar and allowed her to take advantage of her company’s tuition reimbursement plan.