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Career Story Event: Panel Discussion

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Victor Madrigal, ‘94, P ‘25 
Director, Alumni & Student Class Outreach 
Alumni Association

Steve Olson 
Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Administration 
School of Humanities & Sciences

Nereyda Salinas, MPP 
Assistant Dean for Professional Development, Graduate School of Education 
Co-Director of Learning Partners, Stanford Accelerator for Learning

During a lively 55-minute discussion, Victor Madrigal, Steve Olson, and Nereyda Salinas shared invaluable wisdom and stories from their career journeys. One of the recurring themes was the importance of developing relationships at Stanford and the role of serendipity in shaping their careers. Steve shared strategies for navigating growth opportunities between schools and units at Stanford, picturing the career journey as a “climbing wall,” rather than a “ladder.” Nereyda invited participants to keep a toe in the things that they love, even if it is not their paid work, and be able to speak to their strengths. Victor asked participants to reflect on their values and identify which values could be met in their careers and which are important to their lives outside work. The discussion concluded with a lighting round where the panelists shared one critical piece of wisdom that continues to shape their career development today.

Watch the recorded session:

Session Q&A: 

Coming soon!

About the Panelists:

Victor Madrigal

Victor Madrigal is Director of Alumni & Student Class Outreach for the Alumni Association where he spearheads class-based programs that include Reunion Homecoming, Class Books, Class Notes, and a wide portfolio of student programs. When Victor was 10, he wanted to be an Architect or a Civil Engineer.

Steve Olson

Steve Olson is Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Administration for the School of Humanities & Sciences, where he is responsible for a broad range of school operations, including HR, facilities, finance, research administration, planning, faculty affairs, and IT. When Steve was 10, he wanted to be an Architect.

Nereyda Salinas

Nereyda Salinas is Assistant Dean for Professional Development for the Graduate School of Education and Co-Director of Learning Partners for the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, where she leads career and professional development for Master’s and doctoral students in the Graduate School of Education. When Nereyda was 10, she wanted to be a journalist.