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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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NU alumni apply student org experiences in post-grad careers

Dillo+Day+2023.+Mayfest%2C+which+organizes+Dillo+Day%2C+manages+a+budget+of+over+%24400%2C000.
Daily file photo by Seeger Gray
Dillo Day 2023. Mayfest, which organizes Dillo Day, manages a budget of over $400,000.

When Annie Epstein (Medill ’23) started at Northwestern in the fall of 2019, she said she never imagined that her journalism major and love for her synagogue could have overlapped in her future career. Now, she is a grants and foundation management associate at Hillel International in Washington, D.C. 

Outside of the classroom, many NU students engage with clubs that organize large-scale events, offering opportunities to develop skills in talent coordination and event logistics. 

Like Epstein, some alumni continue down the paths established by their student organizations post-graduation. 

Epstein got involved with Northwestern Hillel during her first quarter on campus. The summer after her sophomore year, she applied for an internship at Hillel International. 

“That’s when I realized that I could actually combine my interests in media and writing with the Judaism aspect,” she said. 

Two years later, she’s employed at the same organization. 

Epstein said her transition from campus Hillel to the company’s headquarters was straightforward and the interview process felt like a natural fit for her. 

“In some interviews it’s hard to think of answers, but in this one, they were asking questions that I felt I had genuine answers and genuine experience to talk about,” she said. 

Like Epstein, Matthew Norambuena (Weinberg ’23) said his extracurricular experience at NU prepared him for his current job as a communications assistant in the office of U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). Norambuena served as president of Northwestern College Democrats from 2022 to 2023.

During his time at NU, Norambuena helped bring speakers like Andrew Yang, Stacey Abrams, Julián Castro and David Hogg to campus. 

Norambuena said his first political experiences came as a result of opportunities presented by NU College Democrats. 

“It was really helpful to have alumni who are really willing to give advice, tell you about job opportunities or speak on their experiences, and also just to be with other people who are looking for the same jobs and to be able to help each other collaborate,” he said.

Aside from his involvement in planning speaker events, Norambuena also oversaw all of the club’s programs, managed its budget and coordinated campaigns during elections. He said these experiences helped him to not only get his current job, but land two congressional internships during his summers at NU. 

Involvement in large-scale event-planning on campus is not restricted to social activism or affinity groups, though. 

Alumni who were involved in production groups like Mayfest Productions, Northwestern University Dance Marathon and A&O Productions have also benefited professionally from their extracurriculars.

Mayfest and A&O manage budgets of more than $100,000 and organize events for thousands of students, and NUDM is one of the country’s largest entirely student-run philanthropies.

Chloe Lim (SESP ’23) studied psychology and learning and organizational change at NU. She also served as executive co-chair of NUDM 2023. 

After graduating, Lim got a job with The Christkindlmarket Chicago where she had the opportunity to apply her experience from NUDM in a more festive context. 

“The reason why I chose to do work at the Christkindlmarket was because I liked what I do with NUDM, so much I wanted to see if I wanted to do it as a career,” she said. 

As a member of Christkindlmarket’s special projects team, Lim undertakes logistical tasks year-round that culminate in the execution of one major event — similar to the processes she experienced with NUDM. 

“I did NUDM as an organization on campus and not as my academic major,” she said. “So there’s definitely that connection there where I enjoyed my time and wanted to see how it panned out in the ‘real world.’”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @AudreyPachuta

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