Every Thursday, GoStanford.com will present an interview with a Stanford women’s gymnastics alumna. This week, sophomore Maggie Teets features Stephanie Gentry (‘08), who competed in the vault and floor and majored in international relations and minored in Russian.
Maggie: Can you describe what you have been doing since graduating from Stanford?
Stephanie: I’ve been trying a few different things. I was first working in the tech sector of international relations and then I worked for an international nonprofit, called the Bookstore Asia Program. Most recently, I worked at the alumni office for the Stanford Law School, which was amazing. Just like Stanford takes care of their students, they take care of their alum and employees, as well. Now I am in grad school at the University of Washington. I am working on an international relations regional focus – the region being Russia. I’m not sure what my thesis will be, but I think it will be something to do with Russian transnational crime.
Maggie: What lessons have you carried with you from your experience on the Stanford gymnastics team?
Stephanie: Mostly teamwork and being selfless. The last job that I held was the most similar atmosphere to being on SWG. We were a tight-knit team and recognized how hard everyone was working. We were working so hard because of each other and for each other. It wasn’t for the income or ourselves. So that was really neat.
Maggie: What are your favorite Stanford memories?
Stephanie: I think our senior prank is one of my favorite memories. We cut the rope down and paraded it around campus, and then we put up a paper chain-link in its place. I also loved our graduation activities like senior dinner on quad. We had a great table, and I ended up winning a raffle. Also, our five-year reunion was great. Just seeing everyone and how they’re doing brought on a lot of nostalgia. Other than that, hanging out in dorms and late at night conversation are some of my best memories. I learned more from those meaningful conversations than I did in any of my classes.
Maggie: Where is your favorite place on campus:
Stephanie: Maybe the Coho, or anywhere outside. Oh, the Dish. The Dish, by far! I used to run it everyday. It was just so nice up there.
Maggie: What was your favorite class that you took:
Stephanie: I think my favorite class was third-year Russian. I feel like that’s a copout answer – saying a language class – but I had a really fun instructor that was a Ph.D. student. It was more content oriented. I also liked Sleep and Dreams – five members of my team all took it at once. We did our final project on the effects of sleep deprivation on gymnastics. So that was cool. I also took this really neat class called Strategy, War, and Politics. We took what we learned in course and then applied it to an international crisis and formulated governmental policy. It was a very cool experience.
Maggie: Do you have any advice for the girls on the SWG team now?
Stephanie: Be uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in situations that have the opportunity for personal growth. Form those relationships, like the ones with your professors. Those are going to be so beneficial for you at the end. Also, soak up the experience of SWG. It’s really hard, as everyone knows. The levels of connection that are formed over how hard it is are so meaningful. You’ll never find those kinds of connections anywhere else. So just appreciate it and soak it in.