Alayna Hutchinson first encountered the Health and Life Sciences Advising Center early in her career at IUPUI, where she started out as a pre-nursing major. She said that she “always loved science and helping people, so [she] had always considered health care.”
Alayna did eventually apply to the IU School of Nursing, but was unsuccessful in her first attempt. It was then that she turned to the Health and Life Sciences Advising Center for help. She met with both a student success advisor and a career consultant to go over her different options, which included reapplying to nursing school and considering a parallel plan.
After meeting with Health and Life Sciences Advising Center career consultant Keely Floyd, Alayna’s eyes were opened to the idea of considering other health care majors, especially those that had less intense science courses and more courses focused on communication and interpersonal interaction. She had not yet given up on giving nursing school a second shot, but she was starting to really enjoy some of the different aspects of majoring in community health.
Since the day Alayna met with Keely and brought homemade cookies as a “thank you,” she flourished here at IUPUI. Alayna became involved on campus and credits a lot of her personal growth to the various opportunities she experienced at IUPUI, including being a peer advisor in the Heath and Life Sciences Advising Center and a lead peer advisor for a year, an international peer mentor, a Summer Bridge and first-year seminar mentor, and even participating in a research project with IUPUI faculty.
Through her participation in many of these on-campus programs, Alayna learned that what she loved the most was working with people. She especially enjoyed learning about those from different backgrounds and different cultures. Alayna decided that a career in community health through the Fairbanks School of Public Health would allow her to learn and to engage with all different groups of people, as well as discover ways to help improve the lives of the various individuals in a community.