Vilja Jarvi: 'Allow yourself to explore new areas of knowledge and new interests.'

Vilja Jarvi

Biological Sciences

Turku, Finland

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

I arrived at Cornell set on attending medical school after graduation, but after my first summer working in the laboratory, I changed my mind completely. I realized that my interests were not limited to human biology and that I was fascinated by research. My career plans and course choices changed entirely as I started pursuing this passion in biological research.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

I think my experiences in the laboratory and with lab and field work influenced my education the most. The addition of what I learned in the lab to what I learned in my classes really did have a massive impact on my time at Cornell. It opened my eyes to a whole new career path and allowed me to develop a new interest in research.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Don’t arrive at Cornell with your career path and your plans for the next four years already set in stone. Allow yourself to explore new areas of knowledge and new interests. Also, allow yourself to enjoy your time at college and your beautiful surroundings! Studying is important, but so is enjoying life.

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