Haley Schany

Haley Schany is certain she wants to be a physician assistant. In the mean time, she enjoys going on adventures with friends and cheering on the Cyclones with the greatest fan base in the country.

Haley Schany identifies true passion after hands-on experience

“As I was in surgery watching the doctor do a hip replacement, I realized surgery was not something I could bring myself to do,” said Haley. “I watched what the physician assistant was doing and talked to her more afterward, realizing that was actually the perfect fit for me.”

Haley’s opportunity to sit in on a surgery came from an assignment given in her undecided major orientation class. The students were told to interview someone whose job seemed interesting to them. After a quick call to McFarland Clinic, instead of a phone interview Haley was offered to shadow a doctor instead.

“I just asked,” she said. “I think they admire people who want that experience. The worst thing they can say is no.”

Haley said she’s learned if you’re a college student looking for experience, most likely there is someone willing to connect you to the right people or place. By growing these connections and opportunities, she was able to learn what her career path would truly be like once she graduated.

“It’s important to shadow because if you’re experiencing the medical field on-hand for the first time at a job or graduate school, you may realize you don’t like what you spent all your time studying," she said.

Haley said shadowing is also important because then students can apply what they learn in class while exploring different fields. After seeing the surgery field wasn’t the right fit for her, Haley now focuses on shadowing physician assistants.

By shadowing more, keeping her GPA up, getting involved in research, and potentially studying abroad, Haley said she is on the right track for her career goals.

“What I like about Iowa State University is I can do all of that if I go to the right people,” she said. “As long as you do the work, the experiences are granted for you.”