Student Success Story


Brian, '15 Communication Studies

Position obtained: Development Coordinator at Stanford University

" School is your top priority, but should not be your only commitment. - It is important to gain experience outside of the traditional academic setting. "

Tell us about the organization and position.

Organization: Stanford University is located in Palo Alto, CA and is often referred to as the heart of the Silicon Valley. It is one of the world's leading organization in teaching and research. The University contains seven schools that work together across disciplines. With a commitment to excellence, innovation, culture, and creativity, Stanford faculty and alumni have founded some of the most impactful companies across the globe such as: Netflix, Nvidia, Cisco Systems, Instragram, Logitech, Yahoo!, Google, and more. My

Position: Development Coordinator (School of Engineering, External Relations - Major Gifts & Stewardship)

The School of Engineering is responsible for the creation of more than 12,000 companies throughout the world that contribute to innovation, economics, jobs, and improving the lives of everyone. However, the teaching and research that us conducted here does not come free. We rely on the contribution of gifts from philanthropic individuals and corporations.

As a Development Coordinator, I am responsible for content creation, stewardship communication, report generation, prospect research, and database management, which all work in relation to those philanthropic individuals and corporations.

I love what I do and love the organization that I work for.

How did you find your position?

Found Stanford University as a potential employer through, then dug deeper through their career website.

What tips would you give your fellow Spartans?

1. School is your top priority, but should not be your only commitment. - It is important to gain experience outside of the traditional academic setting. This can come from internships, part-time/full-time work, clubs, organizations, volunteering, etc. You will gain skills in these settings that you would not be able to in your classes. Employers do not just look at GPA and your degree, they look into your experience, and even your personality. Take the initiative to go out and look for opportunities to build your resume, but more importantly, opportunities to learn and meet new people. Neglecting to do so may lead a struggle with finding work, or transitioning to the "real world". With careful time management, you will be successful in doing so.

2. Explore, but do so quickly. - Some of us have chosen a field of study that is a bit ambiguous, such as myself (Communication Studies). It is important for you to decide what you want to do early on, and this can be achieved through internships, or just looking through internships and possible careers. Take a look into a career database such as or and review a couple job descriptions. You'll start to weed out the ones you have no interest in and really start to unravel what you're drawn to.

3. Know your value, but be realistic. - When you graduate, you're going to feel like you're ready to take on the world. But it is important to remember, that most of the time you need the employer, more than the employer needs you. Do not settle for a job/career position that does not compensate you enough for the work that you do, or that undervalues your potential. However, do not expect to start at the top of the company hierarchy or go to work for your dream company right away.

4. Enjoy the journey - If it's worth it, it probably won't come easy. The chase is better than the catch. It is imperative that you take a minute to recollect your thoughts and bring yourself back to the present. When you're in college, it's so easy to get lost in thoughts of life in the future. You're constantly monitoring what you have due next week, what papers to write, what deadlines are approaching, how much time you have to study for a final, etc. This mentality travels outside of your college life as well. Futuristic thinking is imperative to success, but it is just as important to be mindful of what's going on right now. Just continue to work hard, be good at what you do, be nice to people (genuinely), and good things will happen.