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Lily Veldran ’17
A cellist since she was 9-years-old, Lily Veldran ’17 of Madison, Wisconsin didn’t want to give up her music when she went to college. At Lake Forest, Veldran didn’t have to.
Veldran was encouraged to continue pursuing her love of music while majoring in neuroscience. “I didn’t want to have to choose between the two,” she said. This neuroscience major and music minor is a Forester you should know.
Q: What drew you to Lake Forest College?
A: Originally, I wanted to go to the East Coast. But I used a college-search website and Lake Forest popped up when I was looking for a neuroscience program. I returned and sat in on biology classes, then Dr. DebBurman talked to me about the neuroscience program. I fell in love with the city of Lake Forest and the college life here, plus I really wanted the small classroom size. Sitting in a room of 300 people just didn’t feel like a real class to me.
Q: Have you had experiences here—besides your classes—that have helped prepare you for your future career?
A: I’ve had an internship almost every semester, which is something I wouldn’t get at a big university. During the summer after my sophomore year, I got in to the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science program. My work there has continued and I’m writing my senior thesis with them now. I’ve worked in a lot of different areas of neuroscience, which has been important in helping me build my resume. But my favorite experience so far was working for at Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago with Dr. Alan Hirsch. I got to present at a conference last November in Colorado on research we conducted. Working with a patient and presenting my work was the coolest experience ever. Being at this school and the access I’ve had here has allowed me great opportunities for my future career.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I’m a part of the Lake Forest Chamber Orchestra, so I’m always practicing my cello. The music program is really flexible here and they actually let me start my own chamber ensemble. Music is a good break. When I’m not playing my cello, my friends and I love going to the city and binge-watching TV. We like to get together and gasp at all the drama in “Jane the Virgin.”
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Originally, I thought I was going to grad school, but recently in speaking with my advisors here and at Rosalind Franklin, I realize I don’t have to do that right away. So now I’ve started applying for pharmaceutical jobs, and I already have one interview set up.
Q: Any advice for new students?
A: I wish I hadn’t been so stressed out as a freshman. You can be stressed out about your grades, but still need to enjoy your college experience and take advantage of any opportunities because you never know what you may get out of it.
Q: Parting words?
A: It’s been an amazing four years, and I’m really glad that I got accepted. I’m just so happy that I found this diamond in the rough on a college search website. I’m so happy that it worked out.