Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Spotlight

Javier Stober

PhD candidate, Aeronautics and Astronautics
My one piece of advice for new students? Know this: Most students I’ve talked to go through imposter syndrome when they get to Stanford.

 It’s this feeling that you don’t belong or you were somehow admitted by mistake. It’s very common. Folks should know that the university doesn’t make mistakes in admitting people. They’ve been doing this for a very long time. You belong here. When I got here, I failed my first two exams. I was certain that I wasn’t going to succeed. I wish I would have recognized earlier that there are just bumps along the way and that’s normal.

I’m trying to share wisdom like this with younger students through a mentoring group called EDGE – Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education.

Related spotlights

Portrait of Iro Armeni on a balcony in the Science and Engineering Quad.

Iro Armeni

Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering
As a kid I would go to construction sites with my dad, a civil engineer, and he’d show me plans for putting reinforcement inside concrete columns. Together, we would count that the right amount of steel was there to protect a structure.
Read Iro Armeni's story
Portrait of Edward Apraku in the SEQ.

Edward Apraku

PhD candidate
Civil & Environmental Engineering
I was born in Kumasi, Ghana, and moved to the U.S. with my parents and older sister when I was 2 years old.
Read Edward Apraku's story
Portrait of Emma Kaeli standing outside in the Science and Engineering Quad

Emma Kaeli

PhD candidate
Materials Science and Engineering
When I first started college, someone asked if I wanted to join the Society of Women Engineers, but I didn’t understand the importance of getting involved at the time. I’d been raised in the small suburb of Medway, Massachusetts, and had always felt well-supported by family and friends in my STEM studies. It didn’t feel like I was experiencing any type of bias.
Read Emma Kaeli's story