Elisabeth Burken

Elisabeth (Libby) Burken knows she's headed toward a clinical career. When she isn't studying she enjoys volunteering, watching Netflix, and crafting.

Libby decides on kinesiology at Iowa State

It took a few tries for Libby to find the right major. She originally started in dietetics, knowing she’d always been interested in living a healthy lifestyle, but she found the chemistry element was too much. She then decided to switch tracks, starting the child, adult, and family services program.

During this time, she started working with a young man with autism. Although she worked with him at home, she realized she didn’t need to focus strictly on home care in order to work with special needs and autistic individuals; she could do so in a variety of fields, so she decided to change majors one last time to kinesiology's community and public health option.

Now, Libby couldn’t be happier with the major she chose.

“I love the content I’m learning,” she said. “I like going to class and the people, which proves I’m in the right place.”

She especially likes learning about human diseases and applying her academic knowledge to real-life situations.

“I really enjoy taking what I’ve learned and using it in real life,” she said. “Like if a friend has these symptoms, I can pull out my human disease book and tell them what they potentially have.”

Libby said transferring her credits didn’t take too much effort since she remained in the College of Human Sciences. She does need to take a fuller course load, but she’s says it’s worth it to know where her career is headed.

“I want to start as an employee wellness specialist in a hospital,” she said. “Then go on to corporate wellness and work my way up to administration.”

Libby also wanted to share a piece of advice for students who want to switch majors.

“Speak to advisers, talk to your peer mentors, and look ahead at four year plans to see your classes before you switch so you have an idea of what you’ll be taking.”