Erica Portnoy ’15, Juniper Networks

It’s nine o’clock on a Friday, Guillaume and I shuffled in…
…to the Starbucks in New York City where we met with Hal Stern, our Princeternship host. (My apologies to Billy Joel.) There, we spent some time introducing ourselves and discussing the technical challenges involved in network operations.

We then walked over to the Juniper Networks offices in NYC to meet with one of Mr. Stern’s coworkers. Our discussion at Juniper was less technical, ranging from stock dilution to evaluating the benefits of working for a company that allows you to travel before you are tied down by family obligations. I gained valuable insight into the world of tech startups, and how regularly the process of mergers and acquisitions occurs.

Hal Stern, Erica, and fellow Princetern Guillaume


Down in SoHo, we met with another acquaintance of Mr. Stern’s, the founder of the “figure out what to do” website, hotlist. He explained, based on his experience, what it takes to found and maintain a successful startup, including how to choose a business partner, the merits of failing, and how to respond to user interests. Overall, I gained valuable insight into the world of technology businesses that I might never have had the chance to encounter otherwise before being plunged directly in during a full-blown internship or full-time position. This gave me the chance to experience it for myself, in order to help me evaluate better where I would like to eventually fit in. My Princeternship was a wonderful experience, and I strongly recommend the experience.