Princeton Alumni are a Great Resource

Last Friday, Danny Steiner ’10 spoke about Careers in Hollywood. It is great to meet alumni who can provide insight into the opportunities available to students. Career Services offers several options for connecting with alumni in your field. Here are your choices:

  1. Networking events. Career Services hosts several events specifically designed for students to network with alumni. Last Friday’s Careers in Social Entrepreneurship, for example, was part panel and part networking. Every fall they host an “Alumni Connections” event and networking receptions are held at regional alumni clubs every summer. Students have the opportunity to interact with several alumni at all of these events–not just one given speaker. These events are great ways to meet many people in your chosen field.
  2. Solo speakers. I’ve yet to go to a Career Services “Careers-in” event where the speaker didn’t spend a few extra minutes afterwards to talk to individual attendees. While it’s not the specific purpose of an event like Careers in Hollywood, asking questions of the speaker is a way to show interest in his field. Worst-case scenario, you learn more about a career that interests you; best case–you get a business card with an email address.
  3. Finding alumni on your own. The Alumni Careers Network is a great place to start. It’s a searchable database of nearly 5000 Princeton alumni who have volunteered to help students that’s run by TigerNet, another great resource. With the ACN, you can search by degree, employer, or job title. Some alumni make themselves available just to give general information, but others offer assistance on finding jobs or internships. All you have to do is send that first email.

While Career Services provides many ways to get to know alumni, all of them have one thing in common–the student has to take the initiative. For more tips on exactly what to say and where to look, visit the Career Services’ page on developing contacts here.