Job fair provides a window into science and technology careers
Upon returning to his alma mater, Jason Sanders had some career advice for students attending Princeton’s 2009 Science and Technology Job Fair.
"Look for companies that have a track record for giving people as much responsibility as they want to take on,” said Sanders, who graduated from Princeton in 2001 with a degree in electrical engineering and a certificate in dance. “Try to do as many things as you can. It might not work for everyone, but it’s worked for me.”
The annual job fair attracted representatives from more than 40 companies, non-profits and government agencies to Dillon Gym to inform students and faculty about career opportunities for people with backgrounds in the natural and applied sciences and engineering.
On hand to answer questions and pitch their organization were federal employers such as Sandia National Laboratories, the Food and Drug Administration and NASA Goddard Space Center, health-related organizations such as Athenahealth, Abbot Point of Care and Rockefeller University, and computer and software manufacturers, including Next Jump, Oracle and Microsoft.
Sanders manned the booth for NVIDIA, a manufacturer of computer graphics cards for which he now works. He joined the company as an intern after earning a graduate degree from University of California Berkeley and working for ATI Technologies, a competitor of NVIDIA.
“NVIDIA’s a great place to be an intern if you want to be on the critical path, doing something that absolutely needs to get done,” he said.
Natasha Indik, a senior computer science major, was matter-of-fact about her trip to the job fair. “I need a job,” she said. “I want to be employed."
If possible, she hopes to combine her interests in computer science and molecular biology and work in the field of computational biology, in which computers are used to aid research on how living organisms function. Of the presenters, she was most impressed by D.E. Shaw Research, an independent research lab that uses computer simulations to study the structure of proteins.
“I enjoy making tools that people can use to do what they want,” she said.
Jeff King, a senior majoring in chemistry, said he was intrigued by organizations such as Sandia National Laboratories and Environ International Corporations that focus on environmental services and research.
“I’m just checking out my options,” he said. “I’m still deciding whether I want to go into industry or teach. I’d like to work on water pollution technology, but I’d also love to teach in the inner city.”