Student Spotlight: Ellie McCully

Posted on January 5, 2024 by CAHP

Ellie McCully standing in front of the Allied Health building, data-lightbox='featured'

Born and raised in Silverhill, Alabama, Ellie McCully came to the University of South Alabama in 2020 with her mind set on going into the healthcare field. On Dec. 15, 2023, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in professional health sciences and a minor in health and wellness. In January, Ellie will begin a new job with Mobile OBGYN as a clinic operations coordinator, a position she was offered ahead of graduation. 

While attending Robertsdale High School, Ellie participated in an internship that showed her all of the different aspects of various healthcare fields, most of which involved hands-on work. In her final year of high school, she began looking around at different colleges that would be offering the specific major she wanted to go into and landed on South.

With no family members working in healthcare but a lifelong desire to help people and make an impact for others, Ellie chose to attend the University of South Alabama because of its professional health sciences major and its close proximity to home. Now, she considers South to be a home away from home and would not have changed anything about her experience. 

Through her major, Ellie was able to secure another internship with Bay Area Physicians for Women. This specific internship helped her see an alternate side of healthcare that caught her interest more than hands-on, clinical work. While participating in more of an office lifestyle, Ellie realized that she was more interested in healthcare management.

“Being in high school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do at the time. That internship got cut short due to COVID, but I learned a lot and got to watch a surgery in the OR. I definitely wouldn’t want to be doing the surgery, but it was really fun to see!” Ellie said. “As for my internship this semester, I’m glad I was able to go through that process because it helped me find my major and where I’m at now. In high school it was more in the field and hands-on, but the one I just finished was more of an administrative internship and getting to see the office side and behind the scenes of medical practice.” 

With both her major and her minor, Ellie was able to meet and grow close to a lot of faculty and students. She had several faculty members make an impact on her and her academic success throughout her time at South, but one that stood out for her was Amanda Clifford, professional health sciences program director and instructor in the Department of Emergency Medical Services. When Clifford was contacted by an administrator from Mobile OBGYN about an open managerial position, she recommended Ellie reach out and apply.

When Ellie first heard about the job through her internship with Bay Area Physician for Women, she contemplated sending in her resume. She was intimidated by the fact that she had not even graduated yet and had limited prior experience. However, Clifford reassured her that she would be a perfect fit and continued to encourage Ellie to apply. 

“Having someone believe in me and the fact that she recommended me to him meant a lot to me. Since I was graduating soon, I wasn’t really expecting to have a job offer before graduation, so having someone have that faith in me and say that they think I would be a good fit and that I could do it meant a lot and helped boost my confidence,” Ellie said.

Starting at South in 2020 allowed Ellie to experience both sides of learning, within the classroom and virtually at home. However, after returning to campus, Ellie found that she preferred taking in-person classes. She believes it helped her make improvements academically and socially. 

She learned that classes can be much easier and more fun when you are able to surround yourself with peers that are going through the same things as you. However, when Ellie was not in class, she was often spending time with her family, working out at the rec center on campus and reading.

“I’m most excited to keep learning and growing. I feel like there’s a lot more you can learn outside of the classroom and in the field,” Ellie said. “I think getting to work under someone who has already gone through what I’m going through and knows a lot more than I do will help me keep learning.” 

What is a fun fact about yourself?
“I played basketball in high school. However, something that not a lot of people would know about me is that I talk in my sleep.”

What is your best advice for incoming freshmen?
“I would say to take advantage of the resources and people that South has to offer. There’s a lot of opportunities out there, and I think that people should seek them out because you never know what it could lead to. For me, in my case, applying for the internship that I didn’t think I was going to get led me to meet some other people and got me some great experience that led me to ultimately getting a job offer. Step out of your comfort zone, and have confidence in yourself. It has done a lot for me!”

What was your favorite study activity/event at South?
“I like going to Junk the Jungle during homecoming week!”

What mantra/motto inspires you each day?
“Have faith in yourself, you don’t always have to know exactly what you’re doing. It’s okay to ask for help! There’s a lot of people here that want to help us and want to see us succeed.”

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