During Admit Weekend, the Women’s Community Center hosted a Woman in STEM panel for prospective freshmen. The purpose of the panel was to share experiences of being a woman in STEM at Stanford and also give advice to the prospective freshmen interested in pursuing STEM.
On the panel were Celina Malavé (BioE, 2016), Michaela Hinks (BioE, 2017), Hannah Kay (HumBio, 2017), Pooja Varman (HumBio, 2017), Alona King (CS, 2017), Kelsey Schroeder (MCS, 2017), Irene Jeon (MCS/SymSys, 2018), and Natalie Gable (Undeclared, 2019). The event opened with each panelist giving a brief introduction of themselves, their major, and a quick story about their academic career at Stanford. The floor then opened for ProFros to ask questions, on topics ranging from research to homework to specifically being a woman in STEM at Stanford.
There were a few topics that repeatedly came up during the panel: finding supportive teams to work with, asking for help, and not comparing oneself to others.
Some advice that was shared: Everyone knows that being a Stanford student is academically challenging and overwhelming at some times. However, school can be so much easier (and more enjoyable) when you have a supportive group of people to work with. Why slog through homework alone when you can have late night pset parties? Many of the panelists agreed that finding these groups during their freshman year was not only helpful in terms of classes, but also in terms of finding communities. Another common theme was the importance of asking for help and using the many, many resources that Stanford provides. TA’s and office hours are there to help you—take advantage of them! And finally, don’t stress yourself out by comparing yourself to others. It’s best to focus on your own work without worrying about how others are doing in their classes.
The turnout for the event was successful and we hope we were able to give a few words of wisdom to the next class of badass women in STEM!