As part of a new monthly segment, MIT's Communications, Promotions and Marketing team will be bringing you a series titled, "Where Are They Now". Where Are They Now will highlight former MIT student-athletes from all 33 varsity sports, asking questions that dive a little bit deeper into each individual's time as a student-athlete and how those experiences shaped their current professions.
Name: Stephanie Brenman '09
Sport(s): Women's Soccer, Women's Lacrosse, Ice Hockey
Major: Course 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences). Also received her MD from Stanford Medical School
Current Place of Employment: UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
Why did you choose to attend MIT?
I chose MIT for multiple reasons. I knew I wanted to play ice hockey in college, and I was choosing between a D1 school where I would have gotten very little playing time, or MIT where I would be a big part of building the program. I also felt like the opportunity to contribute right away to athletics at MIT was a big draw, plus I would be able to play three sports and not just one. I knew my educational opportunities at MIT would be unparalleled no matter what I wanted to do. Finally, one of my best friends from high school was a year ahead of me at MIT, which helped put the icing on the cake.
What is your current job title and what does the position entail?
Resident Physician in Emergency Medicine: I completed my post-graduate residency training in emergency medicine at UCLA, and am currently a senior resident in her 4th year of residency, graduating in June 2017. I work in the emergency department seeing patients with everything from in-grown toenails in the fast track area to gunshot wounds and cardiac arrests in the resuscitation area. As part of residency, there is always a supervising physician overseeing the department, but as you become more senior you are expected to work more independently with less oversight. It is a fast-paced, fun and challenging environment that keeps you on your toes and forces you to be a lifelong learner.
How did your time at MIT prepare you for your work as a Resident Physician?
Hard work, multitasking, excellent communication, and leading a team are essential qualities in the emergency department. MIT, especially being an MIT athlete, prepares you for all of this.
What piece of advice would you have for current MIT student-athletes?
Follow your passion and find great mentors. You all have amazing talents and can do whatever you want, but it's important to make sure that you are doing what makes you happy at the end of the day. A great mentor will help you thrive no matter what path you choose, so take advantage of getting to know the incredible faculty, staff, coaches, etc at the Institute. Learn to be a mentor as well and give back to younger students.
How did your athletic involvement aid in the path that you chose following graduation?
Athletics have always been a huge part of my life, and being a three-sport athlete and two-sport captain at MIT definitely teaches you time management, teamwork and leadership that prepares you for any field. As a woman in medicine in a male-dominated field, it is important to be confident and to seize your opportunities. At MIT, I knew I enjoyed the sciences, but I wanted to work with people and be in a dynamic team environment, so medicine seemed to be a good fit for me. There are a lot of similarities between emergency medicine and athletics, especially being a team captain or in any leadership position on the field, such as a soccer goalkeeper: clear and concise communication with your team is of utmost importance, especially in high-pressure situations, and can be the key to failure or success.
What is your most fond memory of MIT athletics?
It's too hard to pick one memory, so let me go by sport! My favorite ice hockey memories are taking RIT into overtime my sophomore year when we were a HUGE underdog and off the ice during IAP when we would binge on reality TV shows and encourage each other to do "Olympic Training" (i.e. hitting the gym for extra lifting). My fondest lacrosse memories were definitely during our spring break trips to play in Florida, and my fondest soccer memories are beating Wellesley in the playoffs my senior year to make it to the semifinals and of course our preseason team bonding activities.
What would you say is your greatest athletic & academic accomplishments during your time at MIT?
I am really proud of how much the ice hockey program improved over my four years at MIT and I am proud to have been a two-year captain of the ice hockey team. More personally speaking, I am most proud to be the recipient of the Pewter Bowl Award, given "to the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics." This is a pretty boring one, but academically, my greatest accomplishment was graduating with a 4.9 GPA.
What was your favorite non-athletics activity here at MIT?
Acapella concerts and Greek life.