I have been working in public health for seven years now. In the beginning of my career, I was involved in projects related to diet and acculturation of immigrant families; however, the bulk of my work in public health has been around communicable diseases and harm reduction in New York City. Through all those experiences I learned that I love working with communities and being a part of the work on the ground.
I was lucky to know that public health was the field for me very early on. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in public health from CUNY Brooklyn College and I knew right away that I wanted to also pursue a master’s degree in public health. When I started at CUNY SPH, I found it challenging to pick a specific MPH concentration. I began in the MPH in Community Health track but switched to the MS in Health Communication track because it better aligned with my career goals.
Thus far in my career, I have learned the importance of communication, and this degree reinforces these foundational skills. It also emphasizes the importance of collaboration, entrepreneurial ventures, passion, and advocacy needed to address public health issues. This degree is helping me build skills to effectively communicate, promote public health issues, develop new programs and initiatives, and engage in multi-sector partnerships.
My experience in the program so far has been personable, encouraging, and supportive. The perks of this being a new program is that we are a part of a small cohort. The CUNY SPH staff and MS program chairs are involved in every aspect of my graduate experience. Professor Chris Palmedo and Professor Scott Ratzan have always made themselves available, and are there to provide guidance not only on the MS program but also on career opportunities post-graduation.
After this challenging year, we cannot deny the importance of effective public health communication. If anyone was frustrated this year by the ineffective and confusing information that we the public endured, or have ever been frustrated in the past and want to be a part of the change, I highly recommend joining the MS program. It is not only for the typical public health students but welcomes anyone interested in entrepreneurship, technology, digital communications, and a variety of other spaces.