Students, alumni and employers gather for first D.C. Meetup

More than 100 students, alumni and employers gathered in the Senate Hart Building in Washington, D.C. on a recent Monday evening in July for the first-ever Princeton in Washington Careers Meetup. Part of the Princeton in Washington program sponsored by the Office of Career Services, the Meetup provided an opportunity for students interning and spending the summer in the nation's capital to build relationships with employers and alumni through networking and career conversations.  

"Many nonprofits and government agencies are unable to come to campus during the academic year, so this Meetup provides a chance for organizations, students and alumni to connect here in D.C.," said Juli-anne Jensen, associate director, arts, nonprofit and public sector in Career Services. "This is a great opportunity for students and young alumni to explore a variety of fields including government, public affairs, law, nonprofits and more."

Less formal than traditional career events, Career Services' Meetups are designed to help students make meaningful connections with employers and alumni and learn about possible occupations and career paths. Employers who attend are encouraged to bring alumni currently working in their organization to share their insight, advice and reflect on how their Princeton experience played a part in their career choices.

Matthew Edelstein, a rising junior, said that the Meetup was a great opportunity to meet alumni and employers and to start to think about possible career paths before the academic year begins.

"It was also helpful because it's a smaller group in terms of students and not as hectic as it is during the school year," said Edelstein, who is spending his summer interning at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

One of Career Services' longest running initiatives, the Princeton in Washington (PIW) program is co-sponsored by the Office of Government Affairs and the Woodrow Wilson School. It brings alumni together with current students interning and working in Washington, D.C. for social activities, service and events including a series led by alumni who speak about topics in their areas of expertise from politics to law to the arts.

"I wish I attended events like this as a student," said Michael Constantinides, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the Class of 2007. "I think [Meetups] are really beneficial for students. They ask a lot of really insightful questions, they're asking for advice on what direction to go as what different opportunities to take advantage of. As an alum it's also beneficial for me because I can see what the current interest is in terms of the student body."