Staff Spotlight: Julia Miranda

August 27, 2021

Stanford University bills itself as “A place for learning, discovery, innovation, expression and discourse.” While the statement is aimed at prospective undergrads, the same can be said for Stanford staff, particularly in the case of Julia Miranda. Originally hired in 2018 as an administrative assistant, she is now the chair’s administrator and a grants manager in the department.

“My curiosity to do more started very early after I was hired. I picked up all the main tasks concerning our SurgOps team and our Chair but was always looking for more,” said Miranda.

After stints in faculty affairs, clinical anatomy’s willed body program, and a few tasks in the Division of General Surgery, Miranda says it was Senior Grants Manager Linda Thomas, who got her interested in grants management. She started working with finance in May of 2019 and her portfolio has only grown since. She has taken over all the grants in the Division of Vascular Surgery and recently started handling their clinical trials as well.

“What has kept me going with grants management is that it challenges me, and I continue to learn and grow while doing it!” said Miranda.

Miranda is a Bay Area native and the first in her family to obtain a college degree. Although she originally wanted to be a surgeon, Miranda shifted gears to nursing after a few general education classes.

“I had to figure things out on my own when it came to what classes to take and made some mistakes along the way that ultimately delayed my plans,” said Miranda. “Instead of waiting another year for the next application cycle, I decided to continue my education on a slightly different path and stumbled upon healthcare administration.”

She graduated from California State University, East Bay with her BS in 2017 and started at Stanford Surgery in January the following year. She says, at that point, the plan was still to apply to an accelerated nursing program, but that Stanford Surgery changed her mind.

“I fell in love! With my coworkers that became my friends, with my supervisors that became my mentors, and with the culture you find all over Stanford. Not to mention the work-life balance that will be crucial when I start a family of my own,” said Miranda.

Although she’s enjoying her work in finance, Miranda says she’s still trying to figure out where her passion lies. She recently earned Stanford’s Project Management Professional Certification, which she hopes will open doors into project and program management.

“I’d like to experience every avenue that Stanford has to offer to figure out not only what I excel at, but what I enjoy doing the most,” said Miranda. “While a lot of people know exactly what they want to do, I am still learning every single day and I 100% believe it is okay to not have it all figured out just yet!”