Ke (Kevin) Xu, GS, CBE

University Administrative Fellow
Facilitator: Structured Problem Solving Like Consultants

Kevin is University Administrative Fellow (UAF) in spring 2024 in the GradFUTURES team and led development of the inaugural cohort of Structured Problem Solving like Consultants learning cohort with Ian Gunady (GS, MAE) and Assistant Dean Sonali Majumdar

Originally from Beijing China, Kevin is a Ph.D. student in chemical and biological engineering. His work focuses on sustainable, scalable manufacturing of natural products using yeast. 

Kevin is passionate about supporting graduate students as they explore career options and build core competencies through hands-on experience. A Clio Hall award winner in 2023 for his work helping to co-create GradFUTURES programming, Kevin has participated in a wide range of professional development programs at Princeton. As a former Professional Development Associate serving in the engineering division, he helped launch Virtual Meet-Ups to connect graduate students and graduate alums during the pandemic. As vice-president of the Graduate Consulting Club, Xu helped co-create a Wintersession workshop that became the Structured Problem Solving like Consultants GradFUTURES Learning Cohort, which he continues to help facilitate. He actively curates experiential learning opportunities for graduate students interested in consulting, such as CASE competitions and projects.

On the importance of Professional Development:

"Being part of the Princeton Graduate Consulting Club, I had opportunities to utilize my skills in analytics, communication, and teamwork to solve all sorts of business challenges. Through these out-of-lab experiences, I put my professional skills to the test and learned how to further improve them.”

“Even if I see a clear path that I want to walk in five years – that, in reality, won’t be the path that I am walking five years later. Between now and then, lots of things will happen. The best way to prepare for the future is to go out there and explore.”

On his Social Impact Fellowship with Foundation Venture Capital Group:

“I was very interested in exploring what a career in venture capital looks like and gaining real-life working experience. Scott Alpizar was an excellent mentor. We became good friends, and continue reaching out to each other when we need each other’s advice – it is very much a constructive bi-directional relationship. When I was exploring commercializing my Ph.D. work and founding a startup, he provided lots of guidance. Going from being a researcher to an entrepreneur is really a mindset change.”

I have participated in the following GradFUTURES Programs:

  • Professional Development Associates
  • GradFUTURES Virtual Meetup
  • Accelerated Business Skills (Winter session, 2021)
  • Structured Problem Solving like Consultants Learning Cohort (Spring 2023)
  • GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship – Foundation Venture Capital Group
  • Business Skills for PhDs in Academia & Beyond Learning Cohort (Fall 2023)