Job Title and Employer:
Health Educator at Van Buren/Cass District Health Department
Describe your job:
I educate people within the counties I serve about the availability of healthcare services. I also teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. Finally, I develop strategies to improve the well-being of individuals and organizations.
If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?
I interned through the organization I am currently employed with. It helped me obtain real-world experience in the field I was most interested in. I had the opportunity to observe public health professionals and how they are impacting their communities. My internship led to a full-time job where I am continuing to learn and grow within the organization.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
My professors in the public health program helped immensely during my time at WMU. They presented multiple opportunities for volunteer work and career development events. Eta Sigma Gamma is a national health education honorary society with a chapter at WMU. My professors encouraged every public health student to join. Joining this honorary had me meeting like-minded individuals who had the same passion for public health. It also gave me the opportunity to attend out-of-state conferences and events.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
My experience at the 2019 SOPHE Advocacy Summit had the biggest impact on my choice of career. This summit hosts public health professionals from all over the United States to come together for a common goal. It engages public health advocates to share training, materials, and resources. My cohort had the opportunity to meet with Michigan state senators and representatives to advocate for the CARE act. This experience enhanced my own confidence in public health and taught me so much about the different jobs available in the public health field.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
Get involved in clubs and activities around campus. This is how I connected with people in my classes. It is also important to keep in contact with your professors. My professors are the reason I was able to obtain the job I have today. I currently work under a former WMU student, who was taught by the same professors as me. That connection set me apart from other applicants.