Alumni Career Panel

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on

Thank you to everyone who made our virtual alumni career panel a success. Especially our alumni panelists:

  • Zane Gustafson, Philosophy and Political Science (BA ’15), Research Consultant at Sightline Institute
  • Jess Lockhart, Philosophy and Political Science (BA ’11), Attorney at General Services Administration in Tacoma
  • Lizzie Tao, Philosophy and English (BA ’15), Product Marketing Manager at Google
  • Charles Tilander, Philosophy and Biochemistry (BA ’13), Research Scientist/Quality Control Manager at University of Washington School of Medicine

The panelists shared their wide range of post-graduation experiences, from finding their first job, to considering graduate/professional school, to networking their way into their desired careers. They encouraged students to reach out to every connection, to network as much as possible, and to find an internship. They stressed how internships will provide students with valuable work experience and help students discover what they enjoy doing, as well as lead them to potential networking opportunities.

They spoke of their successes as well as their challenges in navigating their careers. While the panelists have varied career paths, they all stressed the numerous ways in which a background in philosophy helped prepare them for their careers. They emphasized how the skills gained in their philosophy classes—especially writing clearly, concisely and persuasively—have been essential to their career accomplishments. Several reported being luckily enough to have encountered supervisors and co-workers who have also studied philosophy and recognized the skill-set they brought to the job.

Students and alumni interested in internships, networking, and exploring careers will find a wealth of online resources available at the UW Career & Internship Center including: virtual career fairs, resume and cover letter review, internship opportunities, mock interviews, career coaching, and resources to help figure out how to tell your story (via cover letters, LinkedIn, and interviews) of why philosophy is relevant to your future career.

We look forward to holding more virtual career panels in 2021. Any alumni interested in participating please contact Kate Goldyn.

We encourage all alumni and students to follow the Department of Philosophy on LinkedIn and join the LinkedIn UW Philosophy Group, and to join the University of Washington’s new networking platformHusky Landing.