Career Dinners (EA Cambridge)

Date Updated: @29 May 2020

EA Cambridge Overview

  • Organisers: 1.5 FTE + 17 volunteers
  • We are primarily a university group (though approximately one-third of our most engaged members are recent graduates), running ~8 events per week during university term time for EA outreach and community-building.

Career Profile Discussions


  • Connect individuals who are interested in pursuing a particular career with EA community members who are already working in that area
  • Facilitate the interested individuals’ learning about a particular career path

Target Audience & Application Process

  • Primarily targeted at group members who have developed or are in the process of developing career plans in alignment with EA ideas
  • No application process

Description of Event

  • Cohort Size/How many events/what you discussed
  • We ran 12 of these events in the 2018-19 academic year, with attendance ranging from 1-13 (usually being 4 and 6).
  • We talked about typical entry points into various careers, important skills, different roles within the area etc.
  • We usually provided catering to make the event feel somewhat fancy.

Important features/things to know about this event

  • If you run the event as we did, it was very expensive.
  • It’s probably only worthwhile if you have at least four community members who are interested in a particular career area and likely to be available for an event on the same day.

Any improvements you would like to make?

  • These events were not very cost-effective and providing basic snacks seems to work as well as fancier food.
  • We found that these events were most often attended by individuals with less prior familiarity with the career area than we intended, though it was often very successful in encouraging those individuals to attend further events.
  • For the original target audience, it seems to work better to connect them directly with people with relevant career experience, so that they can arrange a call at a time that suits them.
  • When we run events like this now, we only buy simple snacks, and only invite guests to talk about careers that are likely to be of interest to a reasonably large number of attendees, including those less familiar with EA.

Any links or written resources?

Example email:

Subject: Invitation to speak at Effective Altruism Cambridge Career Profile

Dear ,

I hope this email finds you well! My name is Eve - I currently run Effective Altruism Cambridge full-time. I was wondering whether you might be interested in coming to one of our 'Career Profile Discussion' events in the upcoming academic year?

During these events, guests from the wider EA community chat about their career informally with around four to fifteen attendees who are interested in following a similar career path. (Personalise with details of their career experience)

Please let me know if you'd be interested in coming. We're planning to run these events during two out of the three academic terms; the first runs from 8th October to 6th December, and the second from 14th January to 13th March. The events usually take place in the evening, but running them earlier in the day may also be possible. We are currently fairly flexible in terms of dates, but it would be great if you could give us an indication of when would suit you best.

We’re more than happy to cover any travel expenses and to organise overnight stay if needed.

Please let me know if you would like any more information about this.

Thank you for your time, and I keenly look forward to your reply.

All the best,


Co-Director of Effective Altruism: Cambridge

Career Dinners


  • Create a space for community members to provide feedback on each others’ career plans
  • Build a sense of community among the attendees

Target Audience & Application Process (if any)

  • Group members who have developed career plans in alignment with EA ideas

Description of Event

  • Cohort Size/How many events/what you discussed
  • When these worked best, they occurred weekly with 5-6 attendees.
  • They were organised in an informal way, with one community member inviting others over to dinner.
  • Each week, a different attendee presented their career plan for others to offer feedback.
  • The gathering usually lasted for around two to three hours.

Important features/things to know about this event

  • Attendees should either already be comfortable with each other or be likely to become comfortable with each other quickly. This is so feedback can be delivered and received well.
  • The dinners are not vital, and the event could be run in less time (e.g. 1 hour)
  • Focusing on one individual per event seems important for ensuring that everyone’s focus stays on them

Any improvements you would like to make?

  • In this academic year, we tried to split community members into groups according to their existing friendships and appointed one member in each group to be responsible for organising the dinners.
  • However, not very many dinners took place when organised in this way, and in future, we will probably revert to the original plan of having one dedicated person invite a small number of people to an initial set of gatherings. Further groups could hopefully spin-off from that.

Any links or written resources?