My long-term career goal continues to evolve, but abstractly, it is to use epidemiological methods to address the social determinants of health. I am really interested in leveraging public health research to promote health equity, particularly among adolescent and young-adult populations in the areas of mental and sexual health.
I am interested in social epidemiology, so it was really valuable to observe people thinking critically about how to address the social determinants of health through the collection and analysis of epidemiological data. Working as a public servant does not always appear glamorous on the outside, so getting to know the smart, dedicated people who are applying public health research to real-world problems showed me how rewarding that work can be. My internship helped me to become more comfortable with several statistical software packages, concept mapping, survey design and the process of coordinating and collaborating with multiple stakeholders, all of which will be useful in my academic and professional life.