Fellowship Spotlight: Mentor-Inspired Leadership

April 19, 2022

Jonathan Aguirre, Spanish & Portuguese

Graduate professional development at its best is rigorously graduate student-centric: created for graduate students in concert with graduate students — like Jonathan Aguirre,  PhD candidate in Spanish & Portuguese.

Jonathan’s trajectory through GradFUTURES programming shows how partnering with graduate students has rippling benefits. Midway through graduate school, Jonathan began attending GradFUTURES programs, including American Higher Ed, Ethics of AI, and Tell Me More: Humanizing Your Research, motivating him to pursue research topics he would never have otherwise considered.

Jonathan took from these programs a better understanding of the complex challenges faced in higher education and tech industries, and he leveraged this understanding while serving as a member of the Professional Development Working Group, co-founding a comprehensive research agency (Logische Phantasi), and as a Social Impact Fellow at Choose New Jersey, where he analyzed foreign direct investments and other factors to draft a white paper on strategic office locations in South America.

Jonathan continues to derive connections and confidence from GradFUTURES ties. His strong relationship with his mentor, Amar Ghandi *96 (Applied and Computational Mathematics), Senior Director of Product Management at Google, inspired Jonathan to pursue a career in tech.

"Participating in the GradFUTURES Mentorship Program is one of the highlights of my Princeton education. The conversations I had with my mentor changed my perspectives on my research and career prospects. I really appreciated the thought and effort my mentor invested to help me develop my professional aptitudes.” 

Jonathan Aguirre, GS, SPO

Read more about Jonathan’s experience in our Fellowship Spotlight Series.

Jonathan Aguirre quote: The GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program allows students to put their research and pedagogical skills to the test in “real world” scenarios. I highly suggest graduate students take advantage of this opportunity and focus on building strong relationships with their mentors." Images of logos and headshot


Our Fellowship Partner

logo for Choose: New Jersey


Choose New Jersey is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit economic development organization. Our mission is to stimulate job creation and attract capital investment to New Jersey. We market New Jersey both domestically and internationally as the best place to grow your business in the United States. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff, supported by a network of State agencies and private partners, provide free, confidential assistance to guide companies in establishing operations here. By harnessing the power of business, labor, academic and government leaders, we enable growth across all sectors of our State’s economy. We aspire to build a stronger and more prosperous New Jersey for all.

Learn More About GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowships


GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowships are bespoke opportunities for Princeton graduate students with nonprofit organizations that have partnered with the Graduate School. Host organizations work closely with the Graduate School to determine the learning outcomes and professional development goals for these immersive experiences. Each fellowship is custom-designed for you to apply discipline-specific skills, gain interdisciplinary project team experience, and receive one-on-one mentoring while contributing to the social impact mission of the organization.