TBT: Ann Thananopavarn Miller
Every Thursday, GoStanford.com will present an interview with a Stanford women’s gymnastics alumna. This week, sophomore Maggie Teets features Ann Miller (’00) who earned a degree in economics and competed on vault and floor.
Maggie: Can you describe what you have been doing since graduating from Stanford?
Ann: After graduating from Stanford, I moved to New York City where I worked for an investment banking company. Then I moved back to Los Angeles, where my family is from. I started working at the Joseph Drown Foundation, which is a foundation that invests and provides funds for nonprofit organizations.
From 2005-2007, I attended Harvard Business School. And then starting in 2008, I returned to Joseph Drown where I am currently working as the chief financial manager. My husband and I reside in Maryland with our two kids, Ethan (age 4) and Emily (age 2).
Maggie: What lessons have you carried with you from your experience on the Stanford gymnastics team?
Ann: I think the team spirit and collaborating with one another is something that I’ve carried with me. The contribution of one person is nice, but everyone needs to contribute and be positive in order to achieve a team’s goals. Also, hard work. I feel like anything you’re passionate about requires hard work.
Maggie: What are your favorite Stanford memories?
Ann: In 1998 our team won the Pac-10 Championship. I believe it was the first time that Stanford had won. Just being with the team and winning the competition was such an amazing experience. Also, living with girls on the team was very special. Freshman rollout on the quad, and skydiving with some of the girls on the team were also great memories.
Maggie: What was your favorite competition?
Ann: Our 1998 Pac-10 Championship. Competing vault was something that I loved, and winning that competition was great.
Maggie: Who was your favorite professor?
Ann: That is a tough one. I enjoyed the Chinese classes. I don’t use it too often now, but I thought it was very interesting. After my sophomore year, I studied at Bejing University during the summer. It was amazing to use what I had learned in class to immerse myself in the culture.
Maggie: How is it now watching SWG compete versus being in the arena?
Ann: It’s almost more exciting now. I don’t have all of the nerves, and I don’t anticipate the girls’ routines. I can enjoy the artistry more – especially on floor – now that I don’t know what’s coming next.
Maggie: Do you have any advice for the girls on the SWG team now?
Ann: For gymnastics, I would say cherish every moment. It’s a very special time and the team is such a unique environment. Four years is short lived.
For life, I would say follow your passions, whatever they are. Your passions will lead you to happiness and a more fulfilling life. For example, I chose to work for a nonprofit company instead of investment banking because I am passionate about their cause. Your passion will lead you to a career that you love; it will always point you in the right direction.