Guest Student Reflection: Ms. Wangui Wangui Kariuki

Former Stanford Summer Session undergraduate student, Ms. Wangui Wangui Kariuki, shares her experiences from Summer Quarter 2012:


Creativity, innovation, motivation, and dedication cannot be forced. These are intangible elements that are fostered by inspiration from open environments where people interact freely (encouraging individuals to achieve personal breakthroughs through exchanging ideas, and challenging one another). In my view, Stanford is a great example of this because I believe it is a hub of inspiration, excellence, and growth – comprised of both academic and social aspects in equal measure. Stanford Summer Session was inspiring because I finally realized what I wanted to pursue academically after a year of uncertainty in this area. This was achieved through a combination of interesting courses and fascinating conversations with my professors, particularly with Professor Linda Capello who challenged me, and inspired me to go into Communications after I took her Entrepreneurial Communications class.

The emphasis put on the social aspects of a student’s experience is one of the most striking features of the Stanford Summer Session that I did not anticipate when I was contemplating over what my experience was going to be like. I was rather anxious on my way to campus because I thought Stanford would be overwhelmingly focused on academics. To my surprise, I found that the same emphasis put on academic prosperity was also extended to students’ social lives and overall exposure.

I love that Stanford organized weekly trips and events for us. For example, we went to San Francisco, watched amazing games (e.g. the LA Galaxy versus the San Jose Earthquakes and the San Francisco Giants games), campus tours, and attended multiple “Lecture and Dinner” events with Faculty Club guest speakers.
My experience with Stanford Summer Session surpassed my expectations. It was incredible because it included amazing academic, cultural, and social experiences. I would recommend the Stanford Summer Session experience to anybody who is ready for a challenge, open to new experiences, and has the desire to grow. I want to warn them now that they will probably fall in love with Stanford because it is such an astounding institution. They should not be shocked when the time comes for them to leave, that they may find themselves desperately wanting to stay.

Best wishes,
Wangui Wangui Kariuki
Former Stanford Summer Session undergraduate student
Nairobi, Kenya