Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I studied animal science in university with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. It seemed like a logical trajectory; my childhood dream was to be a veterinarian, caring for animals in my white coat. But as college wore on, I found myself dispassionate about my classes. Still, graduating with a BS in animal science gave me a solid foundation in science and medicine.

Not knowing what I wanted to do for a long-term career, I relocated to Madrid, Spain, where I taught English and achieved my personal goal of learning Spanish. I lived abroad for four years, the last of which was in Melbourne, Australia. My first job there was at the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), where I helped prepare for the World Congress on Public Health. I was in charge of preparing and editing presentations, and found myself becoming increasingly intrigued by public health and health promotion with each slide. I loved that VicHealth was improving the health of Victorians before they were sick and in need of treatment.

Later that year, I worked at the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, where I was surrounded by some of the brightest minds in Australia. One afternoon, I sat down with a board member who was kind enough to chat with me about what a career in public health would look like. At one point in our conversation, she asked me if I had a strong social conscience. Looking back, this pivotal moment is when I ultimately decided to pursue a Master's of Public Health. I want my work to be for the greater good. If I can improve the health of just one population, I will be happy with the direction of my life. I felt a sense of assuredness towards public health that I had always lacked for veterinary science.

When I think about the next two years of my life, I am overcome with pure joy and excitement—both for the knowledge I will be gaining and the positive impact I will make in public health.

Kristen from California
TBD (Emory, Columbia, or BU) Fall 2019 enrollment