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Trust your gut to lead you


Nina Kraus '13
Nina Kraus '13

I make all big decisions with my gut.

You know the feeling… the visceral and emotional response to a situation that tells you to lean into it or to run… If you find this mildly frightening rather than inspirational, you are in good company.

Let’s dig in.

You are the quintessential Hamilton Student: driven, intelligent, curious. You have leveraged the career center resources, your professors, your peers and the alumni network to help you prepare for your next steps. You come prepared; you engage with people from all walks of life; you act with integrity and gratitude. I guarantee that this will open doors. They may not be the doors that you expect or envision for yourself, but they will be there, and you will have to choose between them.

I have come to believe that my gut knew me before I could articulate who I was and what I wanted. It told me everything I needed to know about what risks were worth taking and those that weren’t. It guided my choices, which at almost every turn, led to challenges. (Disclaimer — every single one of you will be met with challenges regardless of what you choose.) These challenges were also the ones that I chose, the known territory I knowingly confronted, and from experience, those challenges are the ones that I believe we are all wired to overcome.

If I could leave you with one thing, it’s this: people talk about passion as the key to success, drive and happiness in what you do. I would venture that this isn’t the key ingredient. Conviction is and it comes straight from your gut.


Nina Kraus graduated from Hamilton College in 2013 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Biology. She is a Vice President at Hamilton Lane (‘HLNE’) in Munich, covering fund investment opportunities across EMEA and managing a team of five. Nina previously worked for Hamilton Lane in London and Philadelphia. Nina can often be found exploring the outdoors with her Golden Retriever, skiing and reading.

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