Faces of LIFE- Melissa Castaneda
D.C. Student, President of Chiro One Entrepreneur Club
“Examining the Business Aspect of Chiropractic”
Melissa Castaneda and her older brother grew up in Grayson, Georgia with their parents who immigrated to America from Mexico before she was born. Castaneda is a first-generation college student, the first of the family to not only go to college but also pursue even higher levels of education as a D.C. student at Life University (Life U).
Castaneda attended Georgia Gwinnett College for her undergraduate degree, graduating with a B.S. in Exercise Science. While in attendance there, she had a position as a Community Outreach and Chiropractic Assistant at Goodman Chiropractic Clinic. This experience and the knowledgeable professionals that she worked with inspired her to pursue Chiropractic as a career.
“When I chose Life U, I think it was multiple factors. One, my mentor is an alumnus. But also, I started to look at other schools, and when I came to LIFE Leadership Weekend (LLW), I resonated so much with the philosophy that Life U has versus other schools, that I think many schools lacked. I didn’t even know at the time that the philosophy was so different between schools,” said Castaneda.
The principles of Vitalism that Life U is built on really made an impression on Castaneda.
“I think growing up, I always had those values. I had just never put a title to it, to those beliefs,” elaborated Castaneda.
A strong sense of community is another important quality that Castaneda has found here at Life U.
“Everyone is so willing to help you, whether it’s your professors or students. It’s a team effort,” said Castaneda.
The campus is also a welcome backdrop, and she loves the fact that students “can feel like they’re hiking on campus and the sense of that Georgia feel.” And finally, the opportunity to engage with dynamic clubs and organizations at Life U in order to support understanding beyond the classroom environment is something of which Castaneda has taken advantage. Castaneda has enjoyed learning and growing as a member of several student groups on campus. Currently, she serves as President of the Chiro One Entrepreneur Club.
“I knew that I was missing a big part of what comes after school – the business aspect,” explained Castaneda. “A lot of us don’t really want to think about ‘Where are we going to work? Are we going to associate or start our own practice?’ And those are scary thoughts for me personally, so I started going to [the Chiro One Entrepreneur Club], as I want to just learn a little bit more about this type of stuff.”
She found that she enjoyed the sense of community fostered by the club, that in fact it was more than a place just to receive useful business facts. Personal development and helping students to identify their goals play a key role as well. Castaneda has found that much of what she has learned in the Entrepreneur Club actually serves her well in many real-world situations, both chiropractic-related and in basic day-to-day relationship building.
Castaneda has not intended to become president of the club, but her peers saw her interest and dedication and encouraged her to take on this leadership role.
“I get to work on my why and my purpose and to develop that,” said Castaneda.
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