What type of career would you like to pursue after earning your MPH?
I would like to pursue a career in public health emergency preparedness and response.
Where did you complete your practicum?
I completed my practicum at the Tri-County Health Department in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
What skills did you gain during your practicum?
The skills I have learned in the program were honed during my practicum, and I learned how to apply my academic knowledge to real-world situations.
Were you able to apply the skills you gained during your practicum to your current job?
We are creating an emergency preparedness plan at my current job. A lot of ideas, protocols and resources for this plan were taken from my practicum experience.
What was your favorite aspect of your practicum experience?
My favorite part of the practicum was being able to actually apply what I had learned in class to real-world situations and being confronted with the limitations that prevent a lot of programs from being executed. Also, it was nice being able to drive to my practicum. If I could have done something differently, I would have potentially worked with NACCHO (National Association of County and City Health Officials) instead of the local health department. On the other hand, working at the local level allowed me to understand the on-the-ground changes that policies create.
What was your experience like working with your preceptor?
We developed a friendship of sorts, and he became an advisor for obtaining local jobs. He encouraged me to participate in large meetings in order to get my name out and help my job search.
Would you like to pursue a career with an organization similar to your practicum site?
Yes. Though I fantasize about working for a large organization such as FEMA, there are close relationships created while working at the local level, and you become more in touch with the community you are serving.