Why Major X - Business & Biological Engineering

What kind of a business student are you? The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business offers two distinct business programs, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the School of Hotel Administration. Please describe how your interests and ambitions can be met through one or both of the Schools within the College.

I have an ambitious goal. I want to establish a consulting firm that assists research scientists in bringing their findings to market and have my first major product in the marketplace by the time I am thirty-years-old. I think I can do it because I have a master plan. Graduating from Cornell with a double major in Applied Economics and Management and Biological Engineering is the next step.

I began conceiving of this master plan in the summer before my junior year when I was offered a unique opportunity to participate in scientific research at a Prominent Research Institute. I was given a project that involved testing a drug that could prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States among the elderly. I was trained in testing the drug on mice and measuring its effectiveness. After my two months in the lab were up and I had to return to school, I kept up with the progress of the study.

By the time I returned the following summer, significant leaps had been made. The drug’s success had been proven in tests on mice and rats, and the scientists leading the investigation were engaged in analyzing the potential toxicity of the substance. Plans had also been made to test the drug in primates the following autumn. Although the experimental process was nearly complete, the investigators did not know what step to take next. The brilliant seventy-year-old researcher in charge of the project had never taken such a product to market, and I could tell that he was not quite sure where to turn.

I had thoroughly enjoyed all of my time spent in the research laboratory, but my interest was piqued by this predicament. How many other scientific breakthroughs are stuck in the lab? What good can scientific discoveries do if they are being prevented from being made into products or services?

These experiences and questions stimulated my thinking about my own career and how I could best contribute to helping people through scientific discovery. While I enjoyed my time in the lab and fully intend to continue being a lab rat, at least through college (and maybe graduate school), I can’t really envision a life in the lab. But what if I could develop an expertise that would help get scientific discoveries from the lab to market.

Using my research skills, I went to work sifting through college majors available at top universities. I felt one of those “Eureka!” research moments when I discovered the Dyson School at Cornell, with its major in Applied Economics and Management and its opportunity to double major in Biological Engineering. In addition to my course work, I fully expect to continue being a research geek and will definitely take advantage of the opportunities through the CALS Honors Research Program. I hope that I might even develop a project that would result in funding from the Dyson Scholars Fund. My master plan also calls for me to do a couple of internships and I expect to do some networking through the CALS Alumni Advisor Network to find opportunities. Finally, I want to squeeze in an international experience, if not a full semester then something during summer or winter intersession. I know that I’ve outlined a cram-packed educational experience at Cornell, but I know I have the energy to do it. And I must if I am to achieve my goal.