Jennifer Etkin, AB '97

Former Student-Athlete Pays It Forward

​From the moment she stepped on campus, Jennifer Etkin, AB '97, knew Washington University was the perfect fit for her. “There really was not much question after I visited the university that I would attend,” says Etkin. “I just looked around, and I could see myself thriving here.”

And thrive she did. During her four years in the College of Arts & Sciences, Etkin played on the women’s soccer team. “I am very proud of the fact that I was a member of the soccer team that won its first UAA championship for the university,” smiles Etkin. “Also, being a student-athlete helped me succeed. It taught me time management. I learned to take responsibility and to be a leader—not only from an athletic standpoint but also in an academic setting.”

Etkin earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Washington University and went on to law school at Villanova University. She now works as an attorney in the Philadelphia area.

“Every day that I come into my office and do a good job for my clients, I take a lesson I learned from Washington U. and use it in my own life,” Etkin says. “The great education I received really had an effect on everything I do. I truly believe that. It forced me to be a critical thinker. I discovered how to create goals in incremental levels so I constantly feel like I’m moving in the right direction. And I do those things on a regular basis. Being a student-athlete led me to create a work environment where everyone feels a part of the team.”

As a Fellow of the Century Club, Etkin supports the Department of Athletics. She says she does it to help ensure that current student-athletes have the resources they need for uniforms, travel and outstanding coaches. “I think it’s important to give back because I can see from my own experience how gifts from alumni and friends benefited me personally and professionally. It’s my way of saying 'Thank You'.”

“I don’t think anyone who graduated from Washington University can honestly look at where they are today— whatever it is they are doing—and say their education did not have something do with it,” affirms Etkin. “Whether it’s a hobby you have because you were exposed to it as a student or whether it is a friendship you still have, we have all been influenced by our university experience. I strongly encourage my fellow alumni to really think about what Washington University has done for them and to pass it on to today’s students.”