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Career Trekking


Alumni illuminate career opportunities in government, media and business

Julia Watson ’15 already knew she was interested in government. She had spent the summer interning at the U.S. Department of State and this year will serve as president of Northwestern’s student body. 

But a “career trek” in September — during which Watson met with two former members of Congress, toured the White House and learned about career paths — opened her eyes to the vast variety of oppor-tunities in the field. 

Now Watson is considering working on a campaign at some point, in addition to pursuing a fellowship and working in the foreign service.

“The trek really helped me think about what I want to do post-graduation, and it made me excited to realize that there’s a big Northwestern alumni community in Washington,” Watson said. 

Watson was one of about 55 students who took advantage of two separate Northwestern-sponsored trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City this fall. The trips were jointly organized by Weinberg College’s Office of Student/Alumni Engagement and Northwestern Career Advancement. A grant from Dennis Kaltman ’87 helped to defray the cost of the students’ travel. 

In Washington, the students visited alumni at think tanks and government offices and met with presidential speechwriter Cody Keenan ’02. In New York, the students were divided into two groups — one focusing on media and marketing, and the other on banking and private equity. The first group met with alumni at companies like Bloomberg, Google and NBC Universal; the latter group visited with graduates at firms such as Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. 

Amy Mynaugh, Weinberg’s director of student/alumni engagement, said the treks were “the perfect way” for students to begin to explore their career options. 

“The alumni were very generous about sharing their stories and giving students a sense of what they need to do and study now to get their foot in the door,” Mynaugh said. “They really helped our students to understand the value of the alumni network and begin to build their connections.” 

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