Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Look into Community Health

What is your major and what year are you?
I am a sophomore studying Community Health, minoring in Spanish.

What made you choose your major and/or career path?
I’ve always been interested in science and for a time, I wanted to be an epidemiologist (“disease detective”). Then I went on a mission trip to Mexico to build a home and found out that the family needed a new house because their previous one has been infested with black mold. I saw the smog in the air there, the poor living conditions, lack of clean water, and how the country’s infrastructure would make it nearly impossible to access healthcare, especially for those living in rural areas. After that experience, I realized so much more went into health than just combating diseases and I’ve been pursuing community health ever since.

How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
I’m involved in a lot of different activities on campus, so I think that shows employers that I am well-rounded and willing to try lots of things. I’m a member of Sitare (a South Asian dance club), yoga club, Nippon Culture Society, and Honors College. I have an on-campus job, serve as a Global Mentor as well as an Honors College mentor, and I’m a part of the track team. While I think it is important to be involved in things that are major-related, you can also get a lot of valuable experience when you step outside of your comfort zone or just do something for fun.  

What is your most memorable career-related experience?
An experience that I’ve had that has taught me skills I can use in any career would have to be the mission trips I’ve gone on to El Salvador. For the past two summers, I have traveled to El Salvador on a medical mission trip and mainly spend time with the children in the villages on play team, where we do games and crafts, have a toothbrush demonstration, and connect with the families. From this trip, I have learned how to stay calm under pressure, adjust to last-minute changes in plans and navigate cultural differences. I’ll be going on the trip again this summer, but for the past year, I’ve also been involved in the planning of the trip. I’ve learned how much coordination goes into arranging the purchase of medicine, finding transportation, fundraising, and marketing the trip to attract more volunteers. Going on these trips has not only been extremely rewarding for me but also taught me a lot and I know that when I enter the workforce, I’ll be even more prepared because of it.

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