Alumni Stories

My Major is Not My Career

Greg Beale, '69
My goal was law.  I was a Political Science major at Stanford, while playing football at the same time.  That was not an easy thing to do then, fifty years ago, and is not an easy thing to do now.  I know that the demands of football at Stanford now  are more than what we had to do then, with year round training, summer workouts, etc., etc.  We had the same demands, but weren’t kept on campus during the summer.  I don’t know how they do it.
And to carry a 3.5 GPA with all that was not easy either.  

Embrace the Uncertainty, Follow your Curiosity

Linda Nguyen, '16
There was a time when some students were briefly able to glimpse their admission documents. As some of my fellow classmates, I was curious. The most remarkable thing was that even though I wrote on my application that I was pre-med and had worked on Asian-Pacific Islander Health advocacy, one of the admission officers wrote that she enjoyed my personal statement so much that she wished I would major in English! I walked out of there, shaking my head in disbelief.

My Major is Not My Career

Dontae Rayford, '07
15 years ago, I walked into PoliSci 101 as a bright-eyed freshman.  I'd major in Political Science and then take a year off to work in politics while studying for the LSAT. Then I'd go to some awesome law school before beginning a high-powered career as a litigator before transitioning into civil rights work after making my mark. 

What I Wish I Had Known as a First-Year Student

Karen Lum, '11

I grew up in Oakland, CA, where I was a good student, but never planned on applying for Stanford. Why? Because the application fee was $60. "No point in wasting money when I'm not even going to get in," I told my father. The funny thing was at that time, I had already won an Emmy Award and had my short film screen in 40+ film festivals around the world. I couldn't internalize my success. I felt I was a fluke. "It's only a youth Emmy award." "The competition was weak."

If you can't find your niche at Stanford, go and build it

An Luong, '15

Looking back at my four years on the Farm, there are many things I remember fondly - lazy afternoons fountain hopping, late night PSET brainstorms, sunset bike rides back from the lab. With the sheer amount of experiences that Stanford allows you to have, your undergraduate years fly by with enough memories/memorabilia that you alone could probably fill all of the time capsules in Memorial Church. I felt that way on graduation day, and I still do today. Of all my experiences though, the one I appreciate most doesn't involve a course or even an event.

Stories Courts Tell: Human rights minor reflects on pathway to honors thesis

Alina Utrata, '17

Human Rights Minor Alina Utrata, '17, recently completed her honors thesis through the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law entitled "Stories Courts Tell: The Problematic History of the Yugoslav Tribunal in Bosnia and Herzegovina." Utrata's thesis examines the impact that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had on Bosnia. She argues that international courts, like the Yugoslav Tribunal, craft a collective narrative about the past in order to shape a transition from conflict to peace.

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