Alumni Profiles

Since Graduating from the Department of French and Italian (FIT)…

Jillian Quigley

Jillian Quigley

Jillian is currently an Editorial Assistant at Harvard University Press.

After graduating from Princeton in 2021, Quigley began a job at Bloomberg, where she uses the French language skills she developed through FIT every single day. Having sought out a bilingual workplace, Quigley now works on helping Bloomberg Terminal subscribers in an office where she’s surrounded by people speaking a variety of languages, including Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

“As someone who made it a point to major in a foreign language in college, it is so just genuinely exciting for me to have so many world languages be a part of what I hear every day,” Quigley said. “I am going to get to speak French basically every day, and I think that is something that I wanted all along.”

FIT’s Influence

Quigley recognizes the foundation that her studies in FIT gave her. From “picking up something quickly and piecing it together based on close analysis” to “reading well and wisely [...] in the most thorough way possible” and taking on larger, new projects that require learning on the go, her FIT experiences have given Quigley a basic toolkit that she can return to again and again.

“Everything that I did challenge a different part of me,” said Quigley before describing the resiliency that FIT fostered. “Whatever task you put in front of me, you give me enough time and I’ll figure it out,” said Quigley, reflecting on skills strengthened by the FIT courses and independent work.

Quigley also highlighted the communication and social aspect of FIT, emphasizing that the amount of time one spends interacting with and relating to other people in an office job has really drawn on her experience navigating FIT.

Lastly, Quigley is very happy that her “job isn’t the spitting image of what [she] did as an undergrad.” While her job has let her use so many of the skills nurtured by FIT, she has been able to maintain the literary and translation work she did at FIT as a more private, personal practice that’s separate from her work at Bloomberg.

Since Graduating from FIT…

Avanthika Srinivasan

Avanthika Srinivasan

After graduating from Princeton in 2016, Srinivasan completed an MFA in acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, performing in countless productions during her three years there. After obtaining her MFA, she was signed by managers and did two plays in San Francisco, including Testmatch directed by Tony Award-winning director Pam MacKinnon.

Srinivasan moved to New York in early 2020 in anticipation of performing in Yale Repertory Theater’s own production of Testmatch. Set to open in late April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the production, however.

Now that auditions have been restarting in the pandemic’s aftermath, Srinivasan has continued pursuing new theater opportunities. Meanwhile, she has also worked as an executive coach, training corporate officers in public speaking and communication.

FIT’s Influence

During her first two years at Princeton, Srinivasan pursued a concentration in chemistry and had only considered a certificate in French. However, with some soul-searching, she “realized chemistry really wasn’t the path that [she] wanted to be on.”

At the time, she was taking a French theater course with Florent Masse and “absolutely loved it.” This experience initiated her love for acting, leading Srinivasan to participate actively in French theater on campus, including L’Avant-Scène, Princeton’s French theater troupe. She credits Masse and the department as a whole for helping her find the community she had been missing. 

“[It] really was like my home within Princeton when I didn’t know where my journey was going,” Srinivasan said. “I would say the French department, French theater particularly, really started my acting journey.”

While the performance skills she learned through theater classes at Princeton are crucial to  Srinivasan’s work today, she acknowledges that more intangible skills learned in FIT, such as a strong work ethic and perseverance, have helped her career as well. She also stressed the importance of friendships made during her Princeton years, saying that the relationships fostered in FIT are the ones she cherishes most to this day.

Since Graduating from FIT… 

Madeleine Planeix-Crocker

Madeleine Planeix-Crocker

After graduating from Princeton in 2015, Planeix-Crocker moved to Paris and began pursuing further graduate studies, having appreciated the research aspect of her work at Princeton. Enrolling at L’École des Hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris), she pursued a specialized Master’s program in arts management that allowed her to acquire practical management, legal, accounting, and communication skills.

This led to an internship in communications at Lafayette Anticipations, a foundation dedicated to supporting contemporary creation by artists and other creators. Planeix-Crocker then stayed on as the organization’s interim head of communications and then transitioned to an associate curator role. At the same time, Planeix-Crocker pursued a second Master’s in performance art and gender studies at L’École des Hautes études en sciences Sociales (EHESS), where she completed an action-based arts research project in a safe space for women survivors of assault.

In Fall 2021, Planeix-Crocker began as an instructor at L’École Nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, where she teaches “critical approaches to art history and art theory, with a focus on queer feminist intersectional practices.”

FIT’s Influence

“I was really grateful for all the research opportunities at Princeton, starting with the junior papers, which really sparked my senior thesis research. I see great coherence between what I studied back then and what I study now,” Planeix-Crocker said. 

Planeix-Crocker’s first junior paper included a focus on women’s involvement in social mobilization, while her second one allowed for a first foray into sociology and ethnography during a semester spent studying at Sciences Po. This second project also led Planeix-Crocker toward urban studies and housing politics and helped her understand the importance of cultivating art practices in marginal spaces. All these questions and fields of study culminated in her senior thesis through which Planeix-Crocker studied the institutionalization of graffiti. This independent research process presented new topics but also challenges, which Planeix-Crocker described:

“I remember many a conversation in East Pyne as I tried to figure out how to articulate my ideas in these fields that were new to me. You have to learn how to read and then analyze in the new disciplines and then how to articulate something original about them. You have to place yourself in that conversation. That’s a lot in such a little amount of time.”

In addition to the development of pragmatic skills like time management, dealing with source materials, and finding compelling ways to present her research, Planeix-Crocker also mentioned the extent to which FIT’s interdisciplinary model allowed her to delve into new fields and familiarize herself with discourses beyond literary studies.

Overall, Planeix-Crocker found it to be “an immense privilege to be in such a small department and to have immediate access to professors of such immense quality who want to help you grow as a thinker.”

Since Graduating from FIT… 

Ethan Glattfelder

Ethan Glattfelder

Since graduating from Princeton in 2021, Glattfelder has been pursuing a Master’s in information science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Having worked for a healthcare company for a few summers during his undergraduate years, Glattfelder is interested in the intersection of information science and healthcare — or using data science to answer health questions.

Glattfelder is particularly interested in questions of health equity, focusing on the relationship between social and economic factors on one hand and health outcomes on the other. In pursuing this work, Glattfelder has discovered many connections between his French studies, information studies, and the medical field than he had expected.

“A lot of work in information science is very philosophical: thinking about what information is, what documentation is, how knowledge is produced — within and by information systems,” Glattfelder said. “I actually read a lot of work in translation for my classes, written by French thinkers.”

Overall, as he’s moved to a more technical but still philosophical discipline, Glattfelder has found the more humanistic foundation fostered by FIT very helpful.

FIT’s Influence

In making the transition from Princeton to graduate school, Glattfelder has regularly relied on his FIT training and experiences. 

“A lot of the philosophical training and learning to read dense material helps me keep up with graduate school coursework in general, but also in terms of that overlap between the impact of French thinkers, for instance, or Francophone thinkers, on theories of information,” Glattfelder said. “Having a familiarity with those concepts has been really helpful. It’s something that definitely not many of my classmates do a lot of.”

Glattfelder further explained that his time in FIT has “been a huge advantage because technical skills can be taught to anyone really, but I think that the French department taught me how to think more panoramically.”

Glattfelder also spoke to how FIT helped set him up for success in preparing for and applying to graduate school, especially focusing on the benefits of the department’s small size.

“When I decided to apply to information science Master’s programs [...], some of my recommenders were in the department. [Christy Wampole] wrote my letters for a program that had nothing to do with French, but the fact that we’d work together so closely meant that she could talk in detail about who I was and what I was interested in, and how that would be relevant to a degree that was unrelated to her field of expertise and to mine at the time,” Glattfelder said.

Lastly, Glattfelder highlighted confidence, a greater ability to connect with people, an invigorated curiosity about the world, and simply the French language skills as benefits from his time in FIT.

- All FIT Alumni Profiles were written by José Pablo Fernández García