Join us for our University Day In the Life: this time, we’re chatting to Sophia, a Masters of International Public Health student. Let us know whose day in the life you want to know about, and ASK ENID.
Let me introduce myself… My name is Sophia, and I’m a 22-year-old student undertaking my Master of International Public Health with an undergrad degree in Science.
Why I chose my degree… I knew I was interested in health and medicine, but I also have a passion for the multitude of fields involved in the global health community such as economics, international politics and education. Not to mention travelling –huge fan right here. I’m going to be honest though, I had no idea that it was the right degree for me until I started.
Where I wanted my degree to take me… This is a tough one, as I don’t quite know where I want to end up. Similar to getting in an uber without a destination I suppose, but hey there you go. I’m after a fulfilling career, one in which I can work overseas and get my hands dirty with the hope of improving the health disparities currently challenging our developing nations, particularly that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Whether this is with an NGO (nongovernmental organization) or the private sector I’m not sure. I have a particular interest in the education of women and children, however I’m also passionate about infectious diseases and so would love to be involved in health policy and prevention so as to better equip nations to handle outbreaks of communicable diseases (think Ebola and Zika virus). I’m definitely not opposed to further study either, and so medicine is still an option at this point in time.
Skills I’ve developed… To care. It sounds funny but I’m being completely serious. Growing up I wanted to be a doctor because I loved science, and blood and guts were no match for my stomach. Economics and politics seemed so far from the science sphere, and as such I had little interest in learning about their influences. This degree has taught me that health is not just about treating individuals, but about focusing on populations and developing sustainable policies and programs that can be implemented efficiently to promote wellbeing. In order to do this you need a multi-sectorial approach which requires an interest and understanding of many different arenas. I wanted to help people by fixing them but now I want to help people by fixing the system. I have also learnt how to listen. Every single person you meet knows something you don’t, so it turns out it’s worthwhile to stop talking every now and then. .
Do this degree if…
- You’re passionate. About health and about equality.
- You’re ready to be hit with some startling statistics about our world and the 896 million people still living in poverty.
- If you like listening to lecturers that really know their shit.
Don’t do this degree if…
- You don’t like people.
- You don’t like to be challenged.
- Your geography skills are abysmal. Only joking, buy a map.
My advice to you… Nobody else knows what they are doing either. It’s okay to feel lost. I didn’t even know my degree existed! The best thing you can do is get out there and educate yourself on the opportunities available. Learn about the world and think about what you want to improve, but how you can contribute in a way that makes you happy.