Remy, Class of 2024
When did you decide to pursue veterinary medicine?
I was actually never allowed pets growing up, but my mom said I was fascinated by animals since I met my neighbors’ dogs when I was a toddler. To stop me from sneaking more animals into the house, my mother sent me to a school where teachers were allowed to bring their dogs and there were many school pets. I spent a lot of my high school career caring for all of the school’s animals, from dogs and rabbits to parrots and peacocks, and eventually turned my passion into a summer job at the school. I was also competing on my school’s Science Olympiad team at the time and nurturing my interest in all the sciences, especially biology. Combining my love for animals with my interest in my science courses, I felt that I was truly happy, and I knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian ever since.
What did you do to prepare for veterinary school?
During the academic year, I focused mostly on my schoolwork and tried to actually learn the material rather than focusing on getting perfect grades. I spent many of my breaks trying to get a diverse range of veterinary experiences, from working at the Duke Lemur Center to volunteering at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital at the Belmont Racetrack, to working at my local exotic specialty clinic. I thankfully had a lot of mentorship in undergrad not only from my advisor but from upperclassmen who encouraged me to pursue activities outside of the veterinary field to have a unique resume while nurturing some of my outside interests. Participating in non-veterinary focused clubs gave me a chance to relax and find balance amongst all of the academic rigor.
What advice do you have for high school or college students who are interested in becoming a veterinarian?
Ask questions! Whether you’re talking to faculty, vets, or upperclassmen, ask as many questions as you can possibly think of. Not only will this show people that you’re paying attention, you also get to show that you’re interested in what they’re saying. Talking to different people will give you many perspectives and ideas for what to pursue later on. Your questions don’t even have to be about the lecture or the medicine; you can ask about how they got to their place in their career or what courses they recommend taking. We want to see you succeed and are eager to help you in any way.
Why did you choose Cornell and what do you enjoy most about the veterinary program?
During Cornell’s undergraduate program, I was able to explore what the vet school had to offer. My initial draw to the program was the case-based learning and the ability to practice my critical thinking skills while applying the lecture material. I thought that the emphasis on learning the material through mediums that weren’t lectures, including tutor groups and labs, was a unique educational opportunity and would provide me a solid foundation no matter what path I chose. Now that I’m in vet school, I’ve found that my favorite part is the people I’ve met in school. From my classmates to upperclassmen and many faculty, I have been able to create a great network of friends that have provided me with many professional opportunities and supported me through my education and personal growth.