Princeton's Career Services celebrates 100 years

Nov. 21, 2012 noon
Career Services index

Princeton's Office of Career Services marks its 100th anniversary this year. While much has changed since it was founded as the "Self-Help Bureau" in 1912, the office's commitment to assisting students and alumni pursue their career goals has remained the same. In September, about 1,200 students attended the 15th annual General Interest Career Fair to meet with employment recruiters representing more than 120 organizations.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski


Princeton University's Office of Career Services is marking its 100th anniversary this year. While a lot has changed since the office was founded as the "Self-Help Bureau" in 1912, one thing remains the same: Career Services' commitment to assisting Princeton students and alumni as they develop and pursue their career goals.

Throughout its 100 years, the office has encouraged students to get an early start on their career planning, said Director of Career Services Beverly Hamilton-Chandler. Undergraduates, graduate students and alumni are encouraged to take advantage of the office's numerous programs and resources, from one-on-one career counseling to career fairs and networking events.

Career Services alum

Class of 1989 alumnus Neil Desnoyers (right) talks with students during the 2011 Alumni Connections Student Networking event, which brings more than 40 alumni back to campus to provide students with career advice about dozens of industries and professions. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

"Career Services has been an invaluable resource during my job search," Princeton senior Katelyn Perry said. "My interactions with the career counselors have enabled me to be more strategic and purposeful in my career search rather than just casting a wide net."

Junior April Hu said she appreciates that Career Services helps students pursue career goals "at their own time and own pace."

Career Services Galt

George McFarlane Galt, Class of 1890, was the first director of Princeton's "Self-Help Bureau" in 1912. The bureau was the forerunner of the Office of Career Services. (Photo courtesy of University Archives at Mudd Library)

Hamilton-Chandler said the primary difference between Career Services "then and now" is that technology has significantly changed the way students interact with the office, as well as with prospective employers.

"Many alumni may still remember bulletin boards and binders full of paper job and internship postings, as well as long lines to register for on-campus interviews," Hamilton-Chandler said. "Today, employment postings, applications and interview schedules are managed online. In the past two decades, the Internet and social media have fundamentally changed employer recruitment methods and the way students search and apply for opportunities.

"Our goal is to continue to provide highly personalized services while also maintaining 24/7 online accessibility," Hamilton-Chandler added, noting that Career Services plans to update its website this spring with more interactive and multimedia features.

Sophomore Gavin Cook said he has benefited from many of the office's resources.

"The best part about working with Career Services is that they help you with the tools and vocabulary to market yourself, whether on resumes, in interviews or networking situations," Cook said.

Career Services Stewart

Famed actor and Class of 1932 alumnus Jimmy Stewart (far right) participated in a 1960s alumni career panel sponsored by the Office of Career Services. (Photo courtesy of University Archives at Mudd Library)

Several celebrations and displays are scheduled for the spring semester to commemorate Career Services' centennial. Alumni and students are invited to participate in the "Alumni Connections Student Networking Event," at 6 p.m. March 4, 2013, at Prospect House. This annual event brings alumni from a wide range of fields back to campus to share their insights and advice with students. To register for the March 4 networking event, visit the Career Services website.

Career Services Reed

This photo from 1980 shows former Career Services director Minerva Reed (center) talking with Career Services staff in what was then the office's career library. (Photo courtesy of University Archives at Mudd Library)

In addition, the summer internship and nonprofit career fairs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at Dillon Gym will feature displays for students, alumni and employers. In April, a reception is planned to honor alumni who have hosted the office's "Princeternship" career exploration program, and a Career Services open house will be held for alumni during Reunions. Also, all members of the graduating Class of 2013 will receive recognition for being the 100th graduating class that Career Services' has assisted.

A look at Career Services' history is available on the office's Facebook timeline, which features photos and articles from its founding through today.