14 Computer Science, Engineering Experts with PDS Ties Share Pro Tips with Students

Over two virtual sessions in April, Princeton Day School hosted "A Day in the Life of a Person in Tech," in which 14 PDS-affiliated technology professionals visited online with dozens of PDS Upper School students to discuss a broad spectrum of careers in the exciting world of high tech.

Middle and Upper School computer science teacher Toni Dunlap, who organized and hosted the event, explained, "The goal was to introduce students to different computer science career pathways while also offering an opportunity to network with individuals who either attended PDS or have ties to the School. Through direct conversation with the guests, students were able to inquire about how what they are learning in class translates to the professional world."

"Another goal was to present students with a number of people who experienced different journeys into the professional world and their present careers. We wanted to show students that there are many ways one can take particular passions and fine-tune them into a career direction," she continued.

Ms. Dunlap initially reached out to a number of PDS parents who work in technology, then also partnered with Director of Alumni Programs & Giving Kaylie Keesling to contact alumni in computer science professions. The 14 guest professionals included: Adam Bromwich '92, Daniel Fowler, Dr. Marco Gruteser P'23, Thomas Kilkenny '13, Jeremy Kuris '91, Badi Malik P'24, Dr. Youngja Park P'23, Madhura Sane (aunt of Maya Sethuraman '24), Melody Shan P'23, Jason Sigal '03, Michael Tucker '14, Julio Villafañe, Bobby Wei '10 and Karen Zhang (sister of Kayla Zhang '24)

The guests shared their expertise in their respective computer science fields, which include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
  • App and Web Development
  • Computing Research
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science 
  • Software Engineering
  • Engineering and Robotics
  • Media and Entertainment

Students visited with the participants in Zoom breakout rooms to learn about the journeys to their current professions, hear examples of their work projects and responsibilities, and participate in field-specific activities. While students asked many questions, the guests also frequently asked students to share about their interests in computer science.

"We have a lot of people in the extended PDS community who are doing amazing things and who are willing to share about their journeys with our students while encouraging them to pursue their passions," Ms. Dunlap shared. "I hope that my students take away that there are people who have been in their shoes who have gone on to do amazing things and that the possibilities are endless for them if they choose to pursue them," she concluded. 

Photo grid: (from top, l to r) Adam Bromwich '92, Daniel Fowler, Dr. Marco Gruteser P'23, Thomas Kilkenny '13, Jeremy Kuris '91, Badi Malik P'24, Dr. Youngja Park P'23, Madhura Sane, Melody Shan P'23, Jason Sigal '03, Michael Tucker '14, Julio Villafañe, Bobby Wei '10 and Karen Zhang

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