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Jillian Smithers

Jillian Smithers

"I wanted a place for a transformation. That’s what I found at SCNM."

Undergraduate: Degree in psychology (neuroscience) and biology from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a doctor. A natural lifestyle was how my family was brought up, since I had aunts and uncles living the lifestyle. I'm from Nova Scotia, Canada, and although there are a couple naturopathic schools near me, I wanted to experience something different. As I looked into schools more, I started to realize what I really wanted—I wanted a place for a transformation. That’s what I found at SCNM.

The interview process was a two-day visit. On the first day, I got to visit an oncologist’s practice and had dinner with student ambassadors and admissions representatives. It was so apparent from the beginning that the whole school was focused on the students—even though I wasn’t a student yet, I knew and felt like I was a priority.

The next day was the official interview day. We were given a tour of the campus and thorough overview of what it would be like as a student at SCNM with several presentations about admissions, financial aid, curriculum, etc. They really packed in the information to give you the whole picture of what you would be getting into. I knew afterwards this school was my top choice.

My experience at SCNM has been completely unlike any other experience I’ve ever had. When I had study groups in my undergraduate years, it was the most competitive and unhelpful sessions that I could have imagined; people would intentionally say something a little bit wrong so you wouldn’t get the answer right on an exam later. Here, I feel so incredibly close to my classmates. Everyone is here because they have an innate sense of healing and they really want to be here, so you have more in common with your classmates than you’ll ever have at any other school. I get to work with people that want you to succeed. I have professors I can approach whenever and support me however they can.

I would definitely tell prospective students to visit the school they’re interested in. Four years is a huge commitment in your life, and you really have to love where you are. Visiting SCNM allowed me to sense how warm and welcoming the environment was, and in the end it was undeniably the perfect choice for me. Since attending SCNM, I feel Arizona is my home and I can see myself staying for the rest of my life and being happy here.