Why did you choose the Yale School of Public Health?
I chose YSPH because the MPH program in Health Care Management (HCM) is a unique program. It combines the management and leadership curriculum from the Yale School of Management with the foundational public health courses from YSPH to provide an integrated academic experience. I also sought to take advantage of the robust YSPH alumni network that routinely connects students to internship and job opportunities. YSPH alumni, especially those in HCM, are known for being friendly, welcoming, and always happy to provide insight on their career trajectories. As a first-gen student with a limited professional network, it was especially important to me to be in a program that connects students to professionals in impactful leadership roles who are committed to mentoring the next generation of graduates interested in a similar career path.
What were you doing before enrolling at YSPH?
I took three gap years before enrolling at YSPH. During this time, I completed a year-long public service fellowship through the AmeriCorps Health Fellows program, a workforce pipeline program hosted by the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County that focuses on increasing access to comprehensive primary care for Los Angeles County’s medically underserved. I also worked in various quality improvement roles, in which I tracked clinic COVID-19 data metrics, evaluated telehealth outcomes, and oversaw the implementation of QI interventions that improved performance in clinical quality metrics.
What are your favorite aspects of the YSPH academic program?
My favorite aspect of the YSPH program is the hands-on practice experience the program provides through its various practicum opportunities. I enrolled in the Practice-Based Community Health Research course. In this course, I had the opportunity to be part of a team of YSPH students collaborating with the Milford Health Department to conduct a rapid community needs assessment evaluating current COVID-19 vaccination attitudes and beliefs among parents of children eligible for the vaccine. However, there are also other incredible practicum opportunities where fellow classmates have worked on health policy issues, gained practice experience at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and partnered with community organizations.
What was your most impactful experience outside of class?
My most challenging and rewarding experience outside of class is my role as executive director at HAVEN Free Clinic, a student-run free clinic that has been providing quality primary care to uninsured patients in New Haven since 2005. HAVEN often attracts some of the most passionate individuals in the Yale community, and it’s an incredible privilege to work with students across different academic programs from YSPH, the Yale School of Medicine, Yale Law School, and Yale College to provide tailored care and access to resources to the New Haven community.
Do you have a favorite Yale place or New Haven food?
My favorite place at Yale is La Casa Cultural: Latino Cultural Center. As one of the several centers for communities of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, La Casa is a social hub where I’ve had the opportunity to meet other Latinx students and connect with campus organizations that celebrate various Latin American cultures and provide opportunities to get involved in social justice and advocacy.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
My goal after finishing my MPH is to work within a hospital system. I just completed an administrative internship with the Perioperative & Surgical Services department at UCLA Health, and I had such a wonderful experience with my program mentors (some of whom are fellow HCM alumni), that I ultimately decided to further explore the field of hospital administration through an administrative fellowship. In the long term, I aim to develop expertise in healthcare operations, pursue an executive leadership role within a community health center, and become a mentor for other first-generation students who are also passionate about improving healthcare for all.