MIT EECS – more than just a great education

My arrival at MIT was the beginning of a marvelous experience that significantly changed my life. The first few days of the journey were truly exciting. I took my first plane flight to get to Boston. I ate my first bagel at a rush party. And, since I had never visited MIT before I accepted my admission to the Institute, I explored the MIT Campus, Cambridge, and Boston and was awed by what I saw.

John W. Jarve, '78, Managing Director Menlo Ventures Menlo Park, California and member of the MIT Corporation 2007 - 2012.

John W. Jarve, '78, Managing Director Menlo Ventures Menlo Park, California and member of the MIT Corporation 2007 - 2012.

I also came to MIT with a little personal “baggage,” besides the luggage I brought on the plane. I had lost both of my parents during my early teen years and lived with my older sister while I finished high school. I had few financial resources and so I greatly relied on MIT financial aid to cover tuition and living expenses. Without MIT’s support, my journey would never have begun.

I was very fortunate that EECS Professor Arthur C. Smith was assigned as my freshman advisor during my first few days at the Institute. I don’t know how much Professor Smith was told about my background, but he figured it out pretty quickly. He was a great listener and terrific advisor. He was very approachable and always available for a chat, and it was his caring attitude that greatly influenced my decision to select EECS as my major at the end of my freshman year.

At the beginning of my second year at MIT, Professor Cardinal Warde became my department advisor. Professor Warde is one of the most exciting and inspiring faculty members that I have ever met. At the beginning of our first meeting, I covered my background and my interests in the department. Then I asked him about his background and research interests. With tremendous energy and enthusiasm he described his research to me at the whiteboard and then took me into his lab to show his projects. By the time he was finished, I was hooked! Over the next several years I completed my studies and thesis under his watch.

Professor Warde inspired excellence in research and also in writing. When I struggled at composing my thesis, Professor Warde spent hours editing my writing, suggesting ways to improve it. By the time I had finished my final version, my writing abilities improved substantially. Now, when I help my children on their writing projects, I realize that many of my editing skills were developed during the numerous sessions I had with Professor Warde.

The EECS department not only has dedicated faculty but dedicated staff members as well. I particularly enjoyed my meetings and hallway discussions with John Tucker, my VI-A advisor. He became a friend to me and many other students in the department. He guided us through our co-op assignments and had a sincere interest in our studies and student life. I know many former VI-A students who fondly remember the advice and counsel he provided.
I have a huge debt to repay to the EECS Department. The faculty and staff made a significant investment in me that had a tremendous impact on my life. I will be forever grateful. I support the department so that the faculty and staff can have a similar impact on future generations of students. The department is blessed with a team that excels in research and teaching, but also cares deeply for the personal development and success of students.

About John Jarve

John joined Menlo Ventures in 1985. Prior to Menlo Ventures, he worked in various software and communication product marketing positions at Intel Corporation. His primary areas of interest focus on early-stage communications, storage and Internet investments. His recent investments and board seats include: Catena Networks, Cavium Networks, Finaplex, Maranti Networks, NetContinuum and Spinnaker Networks. Additionally, he was a past director of Digital Insight (DGIN), iBasis (IBAS), SpectraLink (SLNK) and UUNET Technologies (now part of WorldCom).

John received his BS and MS from MIT in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and later earned an MBA from Stanford. He currently serves as a trustee of the MIT Corporation and on the MIT visiting committees for the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Mathematics.

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