Student Perspective: Leanna Chan

Author: Leanna Chan
Leanna Chan
Leanna Chan
Leanna Chan is a senior from Warsaw, Indiana studying Multidisciplinary Engineering with a concentration in Medical Systems Engineering, a Self-Designed Plan of Study. She is also working towards a minor in biotechnology and a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. Leanna is actively involved on campus as a member of the leadership team for Women in Engineering’s Outreach Program, an undergraduate research assistant for the Healthcare Ergonomics and Analytics Lab, and is currently working with other MDE/IDES to develop the MDE/IDES Student Society.

Q&A with Leanna

Why did you decide to join MDE?
I decided to join MDE/IDES because it was a way for me to pursue my passion. Within biomedical or industrial engineering, I wouldn’t have the freedom to pursue classes from different disciplines or time to fit in classes for my minor. It allowed me to make a plan of study where I could study topics that are interesting to me, like ergonomics and human factors while getting an ABET-accredited degree. Passion drives success, so if you’re able to take lots of classes that you’re interested in, you’re already halfway to a successful career!
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I would like to work in healthcare consulting. I love the idea of working on different projects so you’re not getting stuck doing the same thing. The freedom to work and learn different aspects of the healthcare industry is something that’s super interesting to me. I would love to develop ways to help hospitals and clinics optimize their systems from layouts to the softwares they use. 
What is your favorite thing about MDE?
Definitely the community. The fact that our academic advisors are so easily available to us, gives students a real sense of belonging. I know that in bigger discipline programs, you can feel lost, but our advisors work really hard to make sure that no one feels that way in the program. Additionally, having advisors who are friendly and approachable makes it easier for you to design your own engineering discipline. They’re really great at helping you hone in on your strengths and how that can tie in with your academic career.  
How do you define “Purple Squirrel”?
I see it as the unofficial mascot of the MDE/IDES Program. A purple squirrel is a symbol of someone who has a breadth of experiences, and has key talents for a job, and whom the recruiter might not expect. MDE and IDES students constantly impress recruiters.