Welcome to the Princeton Club of Washington - WELCOME to our PCW New Graduate Spotlight

 
  Caitlin Sullivan '07  

WELCOME to our PCW New Graduate Spotlight

AMONG our HIGHLY ACTIVE MEMBERS

Caitlin Sullivan '07 - A Princeton Project 55 Fellow

I grew up in Medfield, MA in a family with two younger siblings, so my big sister 
role inflects many decisions--from becoming a residential college advisor to
tutoring low-income DC kids and championing CityBridge's philosophy of investing
in education.

I loved my Winsor School (Boston) years. Commuting to it turned out fine (2 hr.
round trip) because I loved commuter conversations with my dad. I so thoroughly
enjoyed Winsor that I was apprehensive about moving on. Friends kept reporting
that college was better than high school, but little did I know.

I ventured to New Jersey in a surge of independence from Boston and
family. Once I stepped onto Princeton's campus (junior year spring
break), I had an unshakable feeling that Frist Center camaraderie, the
vibrancy of stand-out lectures, and the intensity of independent work
– all of it created a great fit.  I remember being struck by the palpable
Princeton spirit.Students unabashedly wore orange and black, carried
PU binders, and spoke adoringly of residential colleges. This wasn’t
true elsewhere.  The reciprocity of Princeton's commitment to its
undergraduates resonated immediately. 

On campus, asking Professor Keohane to be thesis advisor was a turning point.
After one seminar with her, and after seeing the highs and lows of others’ thesis
work, I knew what I wanted: A process maximally demanding and fantastically
memorable. Seeing Professor Keohane regularly was invaluable, and these
discussions created a timeline for my senior year. She pushed my theoretical
assumptions, research paths, writing, and provided unconditional guidance on
leadership, career plans and graduate school. From our first meeting, I saw that
our connection transcended the thesis, and I'm continually grateful for her generosity.

I now see that philanthropy, educational reform and the relationships made in DC
will inflect my future path. I already had high expectations, and devoted countless
hours to senior year self-reflection and due diligence to prepare for my first job,
but I could never imagine how fantastic my CityBridge work would be. I learned a
valuable lesson: Exceptional colleagues make all the difference.

My enthusiasm in being a Tiger endures, and the Princeton relationships I cultivate
here will leave a more lasting imprint than any course.  It was extremely gratifying
to lead a Project 55 seminar on education reform this fall. I’ve always enjoyed leading
groups, and found it exhilarating to focus on my new research. Princeton colleagues
attended the seminar and were quietly supportive. Fortunately, the afternoon went
smoothly and helped affirm (two months into my fellowship) how strongly I identify
with our CityBridge mission.

CityBridge offers more than a job. One of the great surprises of the "real world" is
that I often have minimal  homework, so I’ve had a blast exploring DC in my free
time. Having Princeton friends here has added to these first months immeasurably.
We’ve introduced each other to new friends, and see this young professionals’
network here as almost limitless!

After four years on the Princeton golf team, I also see that it’s hard to maintain any
golf game with occasional playing and weekend practice. But the game remains
(and will remain for a long time) as much fun as ever.

One Plug: Know any non-profits that wil host Project 55 Fellows? Please contact me
(caitsull.07@gmail.com) or our Exec. Director Kim Hendler (khendler@project55.org).

If you have ideas about host organizations, see http://www.pcw-dc.org/article.html?aid=199.


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