Natalie Mariduena’s story is one for the movies. Through hard work and dedication, she worked her way from assistant to president of a company in just a few years.
The SI Swimsuit model moved to Los Angeles five years ago and began working with YouTuber David Dobrik as an assistant, doing mundane tasks like getting coffee, answering the phone and running errands. She watched upper management figures carefully, stuck around for the important meetings and put in extra hours, and eventually landed the role of chief of staff.
Two months ago, it was announced that Mariduena had been elevated to the position as president of David Dobrik LLC.
“I’m really the go-to girl for all of the brand partnerships,” Mariduena explained to Grazia. “Any sort of collaboration or business or investment that he wants to make, it all runs through me.”
The 24-year-old was honored as a “game changer” in the magazine’s most recent issue. She recalled her time working with SI Swimsuit the last two years.
“I got into Sports Illustrated through Instagram,” she revealed. “They ran a poll along the lines of, ‘What Insta-baddie do you want to see in our next issue?’ My audience voted for me, and I ended up winning that poll.”
SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day was the one who shared the exciting news with Mariduena, who says Day didn’t “beat around the bush.“ Mariduena packed her bags and was soon on a flight to shoot with James Macari near Miami.
“It was the most surreal experience,” Mariduena continued. “I had never done any sort of editorial photo shoot, let alone with 20-plus people. But it was extremely empowering, and it made me feel like the coolest, baddest girl on the block. It was an awesome experience.”
Someday, the Illinois native would like to run her own business, and she knows her self-described type A personality would allow her to thrive in such an entrepreneurial role. For now, she’s focused on her current one and is trying to appreciate every one of life’s moments as they come.
“I would like to become a powerful force in Hollywood who helps guide this younger digital generation of creators and celebrities with their careers,” she added. “I feel like often with our generation, we just get sucked into technology so quickly that people don’t really have this understanding or appreciation for the world around them and how things operate because the world feels so small sometimes.”