Before Carrie O’Grady, a UIUC senior majoring in psychology, heads to nursing school, she has bigger dreams: She wants to serve her country.
O’Grady was recently sworn into the Army National Guard where she will serve as a combat medic. While this is technically O’Grady’s third year in college, she will be graduating early this spring and heading off to train for the Army in September. She will return in April 2015.
“If you want to do something, just do it,” O’Grady said. “A year ago, I never thought I would be joining the Army, but I just decided that that’s what I want, and I really didn’t care what anyone else had to say about it.”
Her Campus: Why did you decide to come to U of I?
Carrie O’Grady: I decided to come to U of I because it’s a good school. It had a good reputation and a psychology program. It was close enough to home but far enough away.
HC: What led you to pursuing your major?
CG: I just always wanted to work with people, and psychology has always been something I’ve been interested in, especially how people think about things and how their mind works. Ever since high school I’ve wanted to study psychology.
HC: What is your dream job?
CG: After I graduate and finish my Army training, I’m planning on going to nursing school. My dream job would be to be a nurse. I have always wanted to help people, and I work at Carle (Foundation Hospital) now as a nursing assistant, and I love doing that. I love being able to work with people everyday and it is always different. My mom is a nurse, too, so I’ve seen her do it for 21 years now.
HC: What is it like to be able to work at Carle now and get outside experience?
CG: I’ve learned a lot about nursing through working with nurses every day, and I’ve learned a lot about health care. I’ve been able to see a lot of really good nurses at Carle, so I see what makes up a good nurse.
HC: What led you to the Army National Guard?
CG: Ever since my freshman year of college, joining the military has always been something I’ve considered. I always wanted to do something that mattered and that is important to a lot of people. I want to serve my country, and I think I’d be a good person for the Army as far as dealing with soldiers and trying to be a medic. My medical knowledge and psychology knowledge makes me good for the Army.
HC: Are you excited for training? Where will it be held?
CG: My basic training will be held Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and my medic training will be held in San Antonio, Texas. I’m excited to start training and about everything I’m going to learn, but I am going to miss home, my boyfriend and my friends. I’m a little bit nervous, but I am more excited to do it.