Finding your calling along the way
Laila Khani knew from the start a career in healthcare was her future. In fact, she chose Indiana University Northwest in the first place because of its many outstanding programs in the field. But even though Khani knew where she wanted to end up, the path wasn’t linear.
While she entered as a sonography student, she’s graduating with a degree in health services management and a minor in psychology.
“Changing my major in my third year was one of the most difficult decisions I made,” Khani said. “However, I realized that sometimes following our hearts may not always turn out how we want it to. But it will lead us closer to what we are meant to do.”
Although changing programs after three years isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, Khani is satisfied with how it turned out. In her new degree program, she felt she could better meet her own goals — to become a leader and make a difference in her community.
“(The health services management degree) feels like the perfect foundation for making a direct contribution in the well-being of individuals needing healthcare services,” she said.
Since changing her major, Khani has been accepted to the National Society of Leadership and Success and landed an internship with Community Healthcare System. She said both experiences helped grow her confidence and bolster her communication skills.
Khani credits her professors at IU Northwest as a big reason why she was able to succeed despite taking on a new program. “I was extremely overwhelmed with the transition,” Khani said. “I met with an incredible counselor who gave me a step-by-step process and accommodations to ensure I completed college the year I originally planned.”
Khani said those connections she made with professors were her favorite part of the college experience.
While making connections with professors was a major part of her time at IU Northwest, Khani was also hard at work connecting with her community. Volunteerism is vital to her, and she makes it a point to donate her time to organizations like the Science Olympiad and Cardz for Kidz.
“I am doing what I love most: helping improve lives,” Khani said. “Volunteering reminds me how our contributions can transform others’ lives.”
As Khani wraps up her time at IU Northwest, she looks forward to what the future has in store. She’s excited to continue volunteering, take a ceramics class and earn her yoga teacher certification. Though she admits she doesn’t know what the next few years will hold, she knows her willingness to learn and improve will be her biggest asset.
“I’m someone who strives for perfectionism and thought a plan would follow through the way I imagined,” Khani said. “But that’s furthest from the truth. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and know the journey will reveal the answer of which step you should take next.”