"My formal study through the History department helped lay the groundwork for how I approach my own analysis of systems and structural inequality. I'm grateful that I couldn't stop using this muscle if I tried."
Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy, NoVo Foundation
How did you end up pursuing your career? Do you have any advice for students contemplating similar career paths? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were an undergraduate?
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were an undergraduate?
I interned and volunteered for several international human rights, governmental, and community-based organizations during my time at Stanford, but my experiences did not illuminate a clear career path that I wanted to pursue following graduation. Still passionate about service, I applied for my Haas fellowship to learn about “the other side” of the non-profit funding relationship that was mystified in my past experiences. With the right guidance and mentorship, a fellowship provides you with the spaciousness to find what piques your interests professionally and personally. Equally important, it also exposes what does not suit you moving forward. Working for NoVo, a feminist, social justice foundation that shares many of my values, has served as an amazing place for me to start my nascent career and grow professionally.
I find that Stanford’s culture can pressure students into believing that landing the ‘perfect’ position at a renowned organization or company is the key to success. Don’t be deceived!!! I now know that post-grad life is full of growing pains for every person regardless of their field or job description. You do not have to fit anyone else’s mold or even the past expectations you’ve placed on yourself as you set out to pursue your career.
Learning to trust this process during my time at NoVo has deepened my interest in survivor-centered legal advocacy and, more broadly, criminal justice reform. After my fellowship ends, I will apply to law school and intern for a pro-bono legal organization that represents survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Has your History training helped you along the way - and if so, how?
Of course! Research skills, the ability to parse through copious amounts of information for salient arguments and ideas, and strong writing/editing skills are useful with many of my projects and relationships with grantee partners
Do you have any particularly fond memories of the History Department?
Taking courses taught by Professors Crews, Freedman, Hobbs, and Minian allowed me to stretch and challenge my thinking (and biases) around social identities such as gender, sexuality, class, race, nationality, and religion in historical and modern contexts. My formal study through the History department helped lay the groundwork for how I presently approach my own analysis of systems and structural inequality. I'm grateful that I couldn't stop using this muscle if I tried.