Meet Lena, our outgoing Vice Chair of Operations and an indispensable member of the SIG community for the past four years!
I came into Stanford believing there wasn’t a place for me in government or public service. As immigrants disillusioned by government corruption in their home country of China, my parents had always discouraged me from pursuing my interest in politics. At Stanford, I found my first community where people truly believed in engaging with service in Stanford in Government, and I have seen the impact of providing paid, meaningful opportunities to engage in service through the fellowships team, where I started as a committee-member my freshman year and eventually served as the Vice Chair of Fellowships and Stipends my junior year. In my time at SIG, I have gained the confidence to forge a career in the policy space, from learning about different types of roles within policy, practicing my interview and resume skills, and meeting mentors doing incredible things in government.
Since then, I have seen my role in SIG as making public service more inclusive, accessible, and visible to students on campus, and became the Vice Chair of Operations this past year to focus on improving community-building and diversity in SIG. I would encourage all freshman interested in public service to find and invest in a community on campus where people are focused on serving others, because that community can keep you grounded in what is important to you through the long and winding journey of Stanford. After graduation, I will be joining USAFacts, a website focused on making government data accessible to drive fact-based discussion in politics (which I first learned about through a mentor in SIG!). I am excited to do meaningful and interesting work at the intersection of data, policy, and technology. While I am not sure what the future holds, I am confident I will continue exploring my interests in policy and the arts throughout my career.
-Lena Han ’22