NEW YORK—Columbia student-athletes from 15 varsity sports programs had the opportunity to network with nearly 40 athletics alumni during the annual Columbia Athletics Social Networking and Career Event held at Sotheby’s on Tuesday, February 27.

Attending the event were Columbia alumni representing a variety of industries including architecture/engineering, consulting, education, environmental policy/research, finance, government affairs, healthcare, law, marketing, media/entertainment, non-profit, sports management/professional athletes, and technology.

Participating sports programs included archery, women's basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s fencing, heavyweight and lightweight rowing, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer and wrestling teams.

Former Columbia lightweight rower Sam Barnett ‘08CC served as host and lead organizer of the two-hour event.

"We are incredibly grateful for our alumni participation in this event,” said Associate Athletics Director for Enrichment Services Jessica De Palo. “It could not have happened without them! The evening provided the opportunity for connection that has and will continue to impact the lives of our student-athletes."

Columbia student-athletes and alumni alike had positive words to share about the event:

Maryam Hassan ’20CC (Women’s Track & Field)

“I had a great time at the networking event. I met a lot of great people both from track and other sports who understand what it means to be a student-athlete in the Ivy League. Not only was I able to get different perspectives on different careers, but I gained a better understanding of the job market today. The most important part of the night, for me in particular, was learning that there are so many paths I can take thanks to my background in athletics as well as my Columbia degree. I look forward to meeting more alumni during my time at Columbia and hope to broaden my network further with events like these.” 

Francisco Agrest ’19CC (Soccer)

“Columbia Enrichment Services always does a great job connecting us with alumni at awesome venues in a productive and personal manner to help us develop meaningful connections. After attending a few networking events now, I've had the chance to develop relationships with former athletes not just within the soccer program. These alumni are all eager to help and share a connection with us that makes it easy to feel comfortable reaching out to them and seeking help - whether it's in an industry we are profoundly interested in or only starting to learn about. Definitely the best event so far and looking forward to others in the future!” 

Sydney Groom ‘21CC (Women’s Track & Field)

“I thought the event was very well put together, there were a ton of people in different fields, and they were all willing to share their stories. I also thought the fact that they were all student-athletes was helpful, there was a sense of camaraderie amongst the sports teams, and at the very least it worked as a conversation starter.” 

Amanda Wiss ’06BC (Archery): “The Social Networking and Career Event was a fantastic opportunity for students to find their path after graduation. The alumni represented an impressive range of industries, beyond the ‘traditional’ New York institutions, and really worked with students to understand their backgrounds and how they could propel their careers forward. The students, for their part, truly demonstrated the skills we all know they will bring to the careers they eventually settle on – they showed up well-prepared, asked great questions, and actively listened to make the most of the opportunity.”

Lauren Dwyer ’11CC (Women’s Basketball): “Giving back to Columbia is always a no-brainer, and the opportunity to meet directly with driven, smart students was not only gratifying but also useful in helping to identify key candidates for interns and employees down the road. The Columbia network is strong and getting stronger!”

Jarrod Perry ’07CC (Men’s Fencing): "Our recent Networking Event at Sotheby’s allowed Columbia University students and alumni the opportunity to network and make connections. These strong networks of support are an invaluable resource for students as they begin to transition from the academic to the professional world. Activities such as this continue to show the benefit of a Columbia education and the strength of Columbia networks."

Colleen Leth ’08CC (Lightweight Rowing): "If there's one thing I learned from my time at Columbia, and rowing in particular, it is that shared wins and collective progress are joys without equal. At the end of the day - whether in the classroom, on the water, or in the boardroom - there is no such thing as individual success. It always comes down to people: the people we learn from, the people we collaborate with, the people we give back to. I look forward to remaining a part of this team for many years to come."

Ashley Mistele ’10CC (Women’s Soccer): "It was another fantastic Social Networking and Career Event. Both current students and alumni showed up to the event open to dialogue and new opportunities. The venue at Sotheby's created a unique environment for attendees to converse in and explore. I personally had a number of great conversations and I look forward to helping as many students as possible in their career paths."

Stephen Foster ’05CC (Men’s Soccer): “This event is a highlight on our very busy and action-packed Men’s Soccer calendar and it keeps getting better and better every year. Thanks to Colleen Leth, Sotheby’s was a spectacular venue and provided the perfect environment for our students and alumni to network and make long lasting connections that in most cases will end up changing lives.”

Evan Bass Zeisel ’02CC (Cross Country/Track & Field): "As always, the annual Social Networking and Career Event is a place where students find themselves in an environment where they can ask questions that have been on their minds and get honest and genuine responses from alumni. The shared college sport background makes every conversation easy to start and creates an instant bond between student and alum that makes for a networking event unlike any other. And, each year I participate in this event, I connect with another alum that I have not spoken to in far too long, and am reminded of the bonds created in our undergraduate time and how no amount of time or distance ever breaks that connection."