An athlete from a young age, Claire Jessen always knew she was interested in natural health care and wanted to pursue that area of study at the U of M. Thanks to her individualized degree in health care through the Health and Wellness Thematic BS (now Health and Wellbeing Sciences), Claire was able to craft a degree that focused on natural healing and overall wellness—an ideal foundation for her to pursue her ultimate calling in chiropractic. We sat down with Claire to learn more about her college experience and what she’s doing now.
How did you discover the ICP major with its Health and Wellness theme? What appealed to you about this degree option?
I was referred to the Inter-College Program (ICP) by a career counselor in the College of Liberal Arts. Before that, I was on a nutrition track but did not want to do dietetics. The Health and Wellness theme fulfilled all the criteria I was looking for.
Did you always know you wanted to become a chiropractor? Tell us about how you realized this was the career path for you.
I’ve had a passion for natural health care since I was a young because I was an athlete. I continued my studies in nutrition and became a personal trainer, but I was driven to do more. I had seen a chiropractor early on in college for a running injury, and after graduating I felt called to pursue chiropractic myself. It was the perfect way to use natural health care methods to help and heal people without the use of drugs or surgery. Becoming a chiropractor is truly my calling.
How did the Health and Wellness program help you to start down your career path?
It allowed me to obtain the highest quality science-based degree without pinning me down to a single job title before I had those answers for myself. I learned all that I needed for a solid foundation in health and wellness, which set me up perfectly to pursue higher education as a chiropractor.
Tell us about your experience working with your advisor to craft your degree.
My advisor Amy (Burger Sanchez) guided me throughout my whole experience in the program. She was an amazing resource and support system in what felt like the biggest decision of my life at that point. She helped me create my proposal and hand-select all the classes for my major. I continued to meet with her regularly to check up on my classes, credits, and goals for my degree. It was a dynamic, ever-changing process and she was there every step of the way to make sure I was on track to graduate.
What are you up to now as a chiropractic professional?
I am currently running my own practice out of a clinic called Minnesota Movement in Excelsior, MN. Not only do I get to practice as a chiropractor, but I am learning all there is to know about running a business as well. It has been an amazing experience!
What is most exciting to you about health sciences today?
The most exciting thing about health sciences today is the trend towards natural health care. More and more people are leaning in to conservative health care, natural supplementation, diet, and exercise as the first line of defense for injury and illness. It is part of my mission as a chiropractor to continue pushing this type of “medicine,” and I’m so excited for more health professionals to get into the field.