STANFORD, Calif. - GoStanford.com sat down with fifth-year senior linebacker Joe Hemschoot for a Q&A.
Q: What is your nickname?
A: In high school, guys called me Hemi because the pronunciation of my last name is confusing. Here at Stanford, it has just been Joe.
Q: What is your major and why did you select it?
A: This fall, I will complete a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society, with a focus in Innovation, Technology, and Organizations. Majoring in STS has allowed me to take a broad range of classes that require different modes of thinking. Every quarter, I have been able to academically “switch gears” frequently, which I believe has equipped me with the tools I will need to be successful once my Stanford experience has come to an end.
Q: What has been your favorite class at Stanford?
A: Last fall, I took MS&E 180 – Organizations: Theory & Management. Professor Kathleen Eisenhardt, an expert on strategy and organization within high-velocity markets, has been my favorite professor at Stanford. Lecture was spent in either focused discussion or small group activities, and the readings were always enjoyable and relevant to modern day issues.
Q: Stanford is known for innovation. Give an example of something you have experienced that is innovative either in the classroom or on the field.
A: This past spring, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, set up a camera from the quarterback’s point of view during a practice. It will be interesting to see what he creates with the footage. Last fall, in ME115A: Human Values in Design, the class formed teams of four and developed ideas for Revolution Foods, a food supplier for the San Francisco Unified School District. The challenge was to create a product, service, or experience that extended good food practices and principles from school to home while creating a concrete new revenue stream for SFUSD and Revolution Foods.
Q: How did you spend your summer?
A: I returned to an internship at T3 Advisors, a commercial real estate firm, for the third consecutive year. David Bergeron and Bo McNally (both defensive leaders on past Stanford teams) have been amazing to work with. The company is dedicated to helping companies find office space that suits their needs and fits their culture. I’ve worked hard to contribute however I can through my engagement on various projects, assisting with office tours, and gathering information on potential clients. Outside the office, I could be found with my teammates on the field or in the weight room.
Q: What is your favorite part about playing linebacker?
A: Defense is all about stopping the opposing offense and getting off the field. I love working together with my teammates to hunt down the ball carrier and get the ball back into the hands of our offense.
Q: Talk about your violin skills.
A: They’re currently on the backburner. I started in second grade (after my mom bribed me with Pokémon cards), and continued through my freshman year of high school. I picked it up last summer and shook off the rust to perform at a friend’s wedding reception, but I plan on playing it more consistently in the future.
Q: What is it like coming to Stanford from Denver?
A: It’s impossible to complain about living in either place. While I miss being minutes away from the beautiful Rocky Mountains, it’s pretty awesome being able to get in the car and drive forty minutes to the beach. The weather is perfect here just about every day of the year, but part of me does miss the four distinct seasons in Colorado.
Q: What are some items on your bucket list?
A: The top three are to travel, own two dogs, and earn a helicopter pilot’s license. For my birthday last year, my siblings gifted me a thirty minute lesson and now I’m hooked. I only need thirty-nine and a half more hours of flying to earn the license. [laughs]
Q: With this being the season opener, what are you most excited about going into your final season?
A: Having the opportunity to play next to my fellow fifth-year seniors. We arrived when this program first tasted championship success (2011 Orange Bowl), and we are tasked with maintaining the standard that was established by those who came before us. More specifically, those of us returning on defense relish the opportunity to build upon the foundation created when Vic Fangio arrived as defensive coordinator in 2010.
Q: Most memorable Stanford moment on the field?
A: Plenty to choose from, but I will never forget the feeling when Stanford defeated USC in the Coliseum in 2011. The offense never stopped fighting and AJ Tarpley jumped on a USC fumble to secure the triple-overtime victory. The energy of the entire game was unreal, and the silence that followed our victory was sweet.
Q: Biggest takeaway from your time at Stanford?
A: I’ve grown into a man. I’ve faced learning opportunities on and off the field, and I’ve done my best to take full advantage of them. I will never forget the experiences I’ve had here, and the people I have met.
Q: Talk about being a role model for youth as a Stanford student-athlete.
A: I want to show what they can aspire to achieve. When I was younger, college and pro athletes had a tremendous influence on the goals I set. We are in a position of great responsibility, and it is important to act accordingly. As a Stanford student-athlete, the excellence on the field translates into the classroom.
Q: What’s the best part about a home football day?
A: The electricity in the stadium. The crowd has shown phenomenal support the past four years, and I’m sure this fall will be even better.
Q: Where are your favorite places to eat on or near campus?
A: I love Sancho’s in Palo Alto. The fish tacos are always a good move.
Q: What is your favorite spot on campus?
A: The space between Rains 201 and 202. Last year, there were over twenty of us seniors living in those two buildings, and we had a great time together.