Access to Top Leaders

April 30, 2024
Thomas Danz

Access to the top can mean a variety of things; in this case, it means being able to speak with industry leaders. 


Princeton is home to a wide variety of opportunities, from study abroad and internships to performances and art shows. It is truly hard, if not impossible, to find a resource or opportunity that Princeton does not support. There are always super cool opportunities taking place each week. My favorite way to stay updated is via Princeton University’s instagram account where they make a story post at the start of the week informing everyone about campus events. Outside of these, I have found student organized events to be my favorite. 


This past semester I was granted the opportunity to become the Vice President of Professional Development for the club Scholars of Finance. The club focuses on promoting education and ethical practices within the finance industry. My role is to plan, promote, and execute events for the ‘Speaker Series.’ The focus of these events is to bring leaders in the finance industry to give talks available to the club and Princeton community. Just this year, we have hosted CEO’s and other C-suite executives from firms like Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs, among others. These opportunities are hosted in a small to medium group setting and allow for direct access to these speakers. Being able to talk with successful individuals about your career aspirations and what advice they may have is truly invaluable. 


When I first came to Princeton, I could never have imagined the opportunity to connect with these types of leaders. Something I found out very quickly was that this is a regular thing here. The ability to network and connect with these individuals is truly unparalleled. Their overall willingness to help you out is also something that was unexpected. My original perspective was that a CEO would not respond to me or make the time to meet. Boy was I wrong. While certain people may be hard to reach out to/ get in touch with, generally speaking, people will make an effort to connect with you if you approach them. My advice is to not be afraid and be respectful. You never know how far a simple conversation can take you! 


In addition to clubs, the Center for Career Development hosts numerous networking/ information events with leading companies across many industries. I have personally gone to a lot of the finance/consulting ones, which have been super helpful in my career aspirations. While this happens at other schools, I wholeheartedly believe that Princeton does it best. Between club speaker events and the Center for Career Development, Princeton builds connections for students of all interests.