Megan Slattery

Megan Slattery intends to use her degree to be a family physician and nutritional counselor. When she isn't studying, she enjoys going to the gym, making crafts, and exploring the Ames area with friends.

Megan finds her perfect program at Iowa State

Megan knew she wanted to study medicine in some way or another. The youngest in her family, she watched several of her siblings attend Iowa State and find careers as vets and doctors. But it was while she participated in track in high school she found her desire to learn about nutrition and exercise.

“I saw what continuous exercise does for the body,” she said. “It helped me focus and concentrate. The next season, I started experimenting with food to see how it affected my body, and it peaked my interest in exercise and nutrition.”

With her siblings and father alumni of Iowa State, Megan knew she wanted to come here. The next step was choosing her program. She wanted to learn more about the impact nutrition and exercise has on the body, but didn’t know which degree to pursue. Ideally, she wanted to double major in nutritional science and exercise medicine. But she heard the class load wasn’t possible in four years.

At orientation, Megan found her answer, a five-year bachelor’s/master’s program in diet and exercise.

“I got mixed reviews if a double major was possible,” she said. “But then I heard about the five-year master’s program which was exactly what I wanted. It didn’t even bother me that it was five years because it was the best of both worlds.”

Megan left orientation with her major declared and ready to start her education. As a freshman, she hasn’t jumped into a majority of her courses yet, but she said she enjoys learning about the different aspects to diet and exercise.

Her freshman status isn’t stopping her from getting a head start on preparing for medical school. She’s spending her undergraduate years looking for any in-field opportunities, job shadow experiences, and taking time to get involved on campus. She said it feels like a lot, but if she breaks down each day it becomes easier—and she recommends other students to think in the same way.

“The more you look at the long run, it all seems overwhelming,” she said. “But if you step back and realize what you can do today to get you closer to the big goal, it helps.”