Spotlight on Students: Jessica Wind
On top of a course load that includes two minors, Jessica Wind takes time out in the fall to manage Cornell's football team. She helps take care of equipment and filming, and travels to support them on the road. "It's a big commitment, but it's fun," she says. "During those three hours at practice my mind's not on engineering at all, so it's a nice escape. And then I come home and I'm much more focused.
Wind chose minors in biomedical engineering and business because she had already taken several of the required classes for one and the other gave her some variety. "It's not really a lot of extra work," she says. "It's hard to take five engineering classes a semester, so when you can throw in accounting it helps to mix it up and keep me focused."
Wind was able to use her engineering skills in a corporate setting as a summer intern at Johnson and Johnson's consumer products division, where she worked on strengthforcaring.com. "It's a caregivers Web site, so it has a lot of information and resources to focus on the person that's caring for someone else," she says. "The goal is to help make sure they take care of their health while taking care of someone else's health."
Her dad's a Cornellian, so Wind says she always considered coming to Cornell, but she wasn't sure she wanted to live so far from a big city. "I always joked that it was in the middle of nowhere," she says. "I grew up near New York City, so for me it was kind of horrifying."
But a visit during Cornell Days put her fears to rest. "It was beautiful. You have everything you could possibly want right here on campus or in Collegetown," she says. "And it just had a different feel from everywhere else I had been. It really made the college experience come alive."
Wind also liked that Cornell wasn't just a tech school. "I'm definitely a math and science person but I like people interaction and the diversity of being with people that aren't necessarily in that field as well," she says. "I liked that it was a liberal arts school but you could still get one of the best engineering educations."
Still, Wind was uneasy that she might feel like a number at such a big university, but that changed as soon as classes started. "Instantly it's a lot smaller because the engineering school is intimate," she says. "All of your classes are with the same people, so it makes it a lot smaller and you feel at home even in this big university."
Wind isn't sure what turns her career path will take, but she knows that at some point, she wants to teach math. She considered studying education, but Wind wants the pride of accomplishment that comes with completing and engineering degree. "I've had this amazing opportunity to go to the one of the best engineering programs in the country and, with work, I can do it, so for me to not do it, I know later on I'd look back and regret it," she says. "And it doesn't block me from going into teaching. But had I gone right into the education route I'd have many doors closed that I have open now."