Cornell University, Student, Former Summer Analyst at Accenture
At Cornell, Cole is the president of Cornell Strategic Consulting, a prestigious business club on campus. An avid reader and writer, he loves hanging out with friends and participating in his social fraternity.
"In high school, I took a very diverse course load – as many of us do. I enjoyed the variety in my daily routine: reading Spanish short stories, calculating forces, and debating American politics. It wasn’t until a college counsellor pointed me in the direction of studying engineering that I had even considered the field. Rather, I was drawn to various majors like Cognitive Neuroscience or Economics, which may have been my academic focus had I not been accepted early decision to Cornell University.
There, however, I would go on to study Operations Research (OR) in the College of Engineering, where I was quickly swept into a new world of problem sets, formula sheets, and seemingly infinite lines of code. The students I encountered there were unlike any breed I had come across previously: tenacious in their study habits, determined beyond belief, and impeccable in their execution come exam season. Being the competitive person I am, I allowed myself to be dragged into the ring with them, furiously pushing myself to not only keep up with but excel beyond the pack. It was only recently that I came up for air following a conversation with a friend about books we had enjoyed. In reflecting on the conversation later that evening, I realized that though I was doing well and learning a lot in my studies, I lacked the academic fulfillment which I had enjoyed in high school. Caught up in the competitive frenzy, I had mechanically focused only on the required classes at hand, and in turn, neglected the others in which I was truly interested.
This is not to say that I regret my decision to study OR. On the contrary, I think that there are very few majors which I would prefer. I only want to point out that our interests often branch beyond the list of classes which will comprise our degree. It is easy to let that list consume your academic experience, as mine did. Luckily, it is not too late for redemption. I have three semesters left at this magnificent institution and intend to fill them with new pursuits."