As a second year, it’s crazy to consider how far that I’ve come in my journey of becoming a public health professional, specifically in my time at SPH,and even crazier to think of the time before SPH. In those ancient days before I came to Ann Arbor and the School of Public Health I was seriously considering a Masters in Journalism. I have always loved to write and create and share information, and I love doing those things online (and sometimes in print, because who doesn’t like to see their name printed for everyone to see?). So I applied to a Journalism program, to Umich SPH, and other far inferior schools of public health (just kidding, they were all super top notch) I was accepted in to SPH Health Behavior and Health Education program and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. But the question still lingered, as I think it may have for many of my classmates- how was I going to continue work that I was passionate about that was somewhat unrelated to the field I was entering? Thankfully, the University, SPH and my program in particular, have given me plenty of outlets and connections to my inner writer and have made me feel that I’m not neglecting something I am passionate about.
I have been given the opportunity to write for the SPH student blog, to write for our alumni magazine Findings, and to write a few op-eds for the campus newspaper The Michigan Daily. I also help coordinate and support the other bloggers on this blog, which amazing because I can read new writing styles and be inspired by their work and their stories. I have also been able to incorporate my interest in writing and communication by taking Health Communication classes. By the time I am finished next semester I will have a specialization in Health Communication! Not only has this made my experience at SPH feel more fun, it has also allowed me to improve my abilities as a writer and get experience writing in new and different formats.
I still do work for the blogs I mentioned in my very first post- my own blog as well as SciNote.org, and I’m very active on facebook and twitter, posting about public health related topics that I find interesting and that I think other people will enjoy. I think what my work and my story illustrates is that…
- there is a place for all skills in Public health, and that this field will allow you to grow and become confident in those skills.
- communicating about our profession is critical and valued. Many people read this blog that aren’t necessarily in our field, and many people read the alumni magazine who aren’t alumni- the public wants to hear about what we do, and what we think! If we aren’t speaking about what matters to us in public health and what our experience is in this field, then the danger becomes other people speaking for us or misrepresenting us.
So even though I didn’t end up getting a masters in the internet, I have no regrets. I’m proud to be a part of this profession and I am proud of our ability to tell our individual stories and educate the public.