Whitties past and present connect at winter break networking events

Charlotte Elliott, Campus Life Editor

Whitties have a reputation for staying connected post graduation. In addition to the legendary 30 percent marriage rate between Whitman students, the Whitman community is committed to staying involved with whatever is happening on campus.

Over winter break, Whitman once again hosted successful Whitties Helping Whitties events all across the West Coast. This round of networking events was held in Seattle, Bellevue, Portland and San Francisco. The events were open to every Whitman student (often referred to as a Whittie), whether they have just enrolled or attended when the year still started with a 19. 

Andrew Noble graduated Whitman in 1997 with a major in politics and a minor in history. Noble currently works at SRS Acquiom as the Institutional Client Relations Director. 

“I am the lead contact for institutional shareholders like venture capital, private equity and the like,” Noble said. “I am not technically practicing law, but it is law-adjacent in that it would be a tough job to do effectively without a strong legal background.”

Noble has regularly attended Whitties Helping Whitties events for many years with a desire to help current students find a career path that works while navigating a more general liberal arts background. He uses these events as an opportunity to give advice that fits the needs of each student he comes across.

“I try to bridge this gap by offering myself as a resource for Whitties thinking about life after graduation,” Noble said. “This could mean brainstorming about what jobs and career paths are potentially available, how to find opportunities, feedback about what employers look for, etc.”

Dana Reid graduated from Whitman in 1989 and attended law school after a gap year. She is now a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, a national firm with over 600 attorneys, and is licensed to practice law in both Washington and California. 

For Reid, Whitties Helping Whitties was an ideal opportunity to offer help to alumni and current students alike. 

“I’d like to help students and alums with their career paths. If any of my experiences/choices can be helpful to others, I’m happy to share,” Reid said.

This was Reid’s first experience at a Whitties Helping Whitties event, and she now looks forward to attending more in future years. Reid noted how well-attended the event was with a wide range of interests from both alumni and current students.

“I enjoyed learning about the thought process students and recent alums are engaging in regarding their post Whitman next steps and the curiosity about skill development and specific courses beneficial to practicing law or attending law school for a career outside of legal practice,” Reid said. 

Whitties Helping Whitties events cover a wide range of backgrounds, whether that be more STEM-focused careers, politics or theater. They take the diversity of a liberal arts education and show current students the many paths their future could take. For Noble, this range of backgrounds was a noteworthy aspect of the event.

“I met a number of students with interesting backgrounds and interests. Some were just starting to think about what kind of career they might like after graduation, and others were quite specific,” Noble said. “One young man had a particular interest in cartography, once a sleepy field if there ever was one, but in the age of Waze and Google Maps is red hot.”

Nidhi Munikote is a first-year student who attended both the Bellevue and Seattle events, allowing her to gain confidence in these new environments.

“This was my first networking event. I was glad I went to the Bellevue one first because it was kind of smaller; I was nervous before it, so it gave me practice,” Munikote said. 

Although Munikote still has over three years left before she graduates, she entered into these events with the intention to make the most of this opportunity.

“For all of them, I ask to hear how they got to where they were because most of them went to Whitman so they were probably on a similar path. Some of them were hiring for internships, as well, which I’m interested in,” Munikote said. “I talked to quite a few people and they all seemed friendly and helpful; I added them on LinkedIn. They were all like, ‘Let me know if you need help with anything.’”

Whitman’s networking events have been going strong for many years and, as they continue to grow with each new generation of alumni, they offer more opportunities and guidance for every new Whittie that heads in their direction.