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Merytt Haney

BS 2024

What made you decide to pursue a career in healthcare?
A healthcare interest is something that has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and as a result I volunteered in the dementia unit of a retirement home. From there, I grew an interest in mental health, which led me to coach a soccer team for children on the autism spectrum. In addition, people close to me have suffered from poor mental health. Through these experiences I learned a lot about healthcare reform and advocacy, and about being a healthcare provider. I have an innate passion for this career and have worked hard to pursue it.

Tell us about your degree major and minor. What made you choose both, and how do they git into your career goals?
Since I wanted to pursue a career in medicine and become a physician, I chose a neuroscience major with a business administration minor. I thought that the business minor would aid me if I ever decided I wanted to own a practice in the future. However, when I began taking classes at UNC Kenan-Flagler I developed a new passion—one for business. I wondered how I was going to bridge the two, and that is how I became interested in the business side of healthcare—specifically healthcare consulting.

What has been your most memorable experience so far at Carolina?
I think most people would agree with me and say nothing tops rushing to Franklin Street after beating Duke and Coach K at his last career game in Cameron. I didn’t grow up a Tarheel or basketball fan so getting excited about the sports here took me a bit. But I have never felt more connected to the UNC community than being at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia along with so many other students, faculty, alumni, and fans on such a momentous occasion.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?
The one thing I wish I had known about college before starting is that you don’t have to have it all figured out. The first year you are on campus you will meet a lot of people, become exposed to new things and interests, and study new topics. Embrace all those opportunities and use them to guide you as you uncover more about yourself and what you hope to gain out of your time here.

What are you looking forward to most this year?
I’m really looking forward to is building a stronger connection to my cohort in the Kenan Scholars. Being a part of that program has been one of the most transformative aspects of my time at Carolina. I learn so much from each person and their experiences, so I look forward to continuing to have dinners together, attend fireside chats, and growing with one another during the year.

Tell us about something you enjoy doing in your free time.
A new hobby I recently took up was scuba diving. I got certified through the university and we took a class trip down to Key Largo, FL in May. I was so fascinated by all the different wildlife I saw and the varying coral reefs. My family is taking a trip to the Caribbean soon and I am hoping to dive there. A dream dive for me would be the Great Barrier Reef because of the expansive beauty and biodiversity.