Following Her Passion
Major: B.S. Informatics with a cognate in Health Systems Administration
Best Advice: Get involved. Sometimes it just comes down to who you know.
Most students don’t have to think much about healthcare. Megan Mullen has a good reason she can’t stop thinking about it.
While growing up in the Indiana-Kentucky border town of Madison, Indiana, Mullen, an Informatics major with a cognate in Health Systems Administration, saw her family struggle to secure affordable healthcare. Those struggles resonated for her, and she became determined to help her family and others secure the healthcare they need.
“I contemplated being a doctor or a nurse, and I did a social work internship in high school that I really enjoyed,” Mullen says.
After landing at IU thanks to the 21st Century Scholar program, a need-based scholarship that can cover 100 percent of cost of tuition, Mullen’s focus changed a bit.
“I started looking at all the different degrees that IU offered, and I stumbled upon Informatics,” Mullen says. “It is such a fantastic school. The people are so warm and welcoming. They want to help you succeed in every way possible. I didn’t find that anywhere else. Informatics also gave me a lot of leeway where I can still work in healthcare, but on the technical side. That’s probably a little better for me because I’m a little afraid of needles. That would have been a stumbling block (laughing).”
Beyond her classwork, Mullen also became vice president of the Informatics and Computing Student Association, and this past year she helped set up an event that welcomed Cigna, a health insurance company, onto campus for a student/intern outreach program. Mullen listened to the presentation and made the most of the opportunity.
After listening to the speaker, Mullen introduced herself and made it clear she would be submitting an application. That got her foot in the door, and Mullen was eventually hired as an intern.
In early 2015, the importance of quality healthcare was driven home when Mullen’s father passed away following a heart attack, and it left her more determined than ever.
“I feel a little bit of that is that he felt he couldn’t go to the hospital because he felt he couldn’t afford it,” Mullen says. “That’s something that has even further inspired me. I want people to have affordable healthcare. That should be an initiative that should be pushed in our country. It saves lives.”
Mullen appreciated the SoIC’s support after losing her father.
“If anything has ever come up, the school has been so immensely helpful and supportive of me,” Mullen says, “When my father passed and I had to go home for a few weeks, everybody went out of their way to show me they cared. The school has pushed me to succeed. They’ve been instrumental in that.”
Mullen will serve as a business analyst intern with Cigna this summer, a job that will help develop her technical skills. She’s not quite certain where her career will take her, but she’s excited about the possibilities Informatics provides.
“There are so many things I can look into,” Mullen says. “It’s a field that will always be hiring. No matter what, people need their health. I feel like this is something where you can dig in. Maybe I’m going to work behind the scenes on health insurance. Maybe I want to work with hospitals. Now that they’re starting to put their records online, there’s a lot to work with. There are a lot of different things you can do to help people, and there are a lot of different ways you can go. It’s fantastic.”