Ivanka, Class of 2024
When did you decide to pursue veterinary medicine?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian, but it always seemed so out of reach. I didn’t have any veterinary role models growing up, so I never knew what going to vet school entailed. It was only in my freshman year of undergrad when I joined the pre-veterinary society at my university, that I found a community of people willing to teach me all they knew—that point was when I definitively decided that I was going to go to vet school one day.
What did you do to prepare for veterinary school?
In addition to taking all the required coursework, I tried to get as much veterinary and animal experience as I possibly could! I was very fortunate to have amazing opportunities such as working as a vet assistant in my hometown’s veterinary hospital, volunteering at spay/neuter clinics, interning at my local zoo, and much more. Not only did these experiences prepare me for what would come in vet school, but they confirmed that veterinary medicine was truly my passion.
What advice do you have for high school or college students who are interested in becoming a veterinarian?
If you have a pre-vet club at your school, join it! Being in a community of people with similar goals helped me tremendously, and everyone was always so helpful and willing to share their knowledge. I’d also recommend getting any possible experience you can with a veterinarian and talking to any veterinarians and vet students you meet to ensure that this is what you truly want to do.
Why did you choose Cornell and what do you enjoy most about the veterinary program?
I chose Cornell for an abundance of reasons—the unique curriculum, the amazing opportunities, and most of all, the people. Not only does Cornell have such a welcoming community, but it also has some of the brightest minds in veterinary medicine. Many standard veterinary textbooks have been written either by Cornell alumni or professors, so it is not uncommon at Cornell to be taught by the person who literally wrote the standard textbook. The professors have such a wealth of knowledge that they want to share with you, and they are always there to help. The rest of the staff and the students are also so welcoming and truly help Cornell feel like home.