Making my time count

November 20, 2015 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

FullSizeRender-2By Megan Carroll, BS, BA

A packed lecture schedule in one hand and a thick book of program materials in the other, I entered the convention center for APHA ready to have my life changed. An entire conference surrounded by other public health professionals and students? I had to make this time count. I’d heard urban legends of folks who find jobs and careers through APHA, and I was ready to add myself to that number.

As aversive as the word “networking” may be, I was surprised to find how easy it was to make new connections at APHA. Whether schmoozing in the Expo or commiserating over the coffee line (and even one quick friendship while waiting to go through airport security with our matching APHA tote bags), people attend the conference with the goal of meeting their like-minded peers for possible future collaboration. As a graduate student, my own goals were seemingly much more focused: I was on the prowl for doctoral programs and government organizations. And I was certainly not disappointed with the selection at the expo — I ran into an old interviewer from Columbia, and a fellow Blue Hen alumna now working as a representative at Johns Hopkins. It was comforting to know that while I was new to the world of public health, the transitions handled themselves.

No one should ever turn down a chance to visit Chicago, and the APHA annual meeting was a great introduction to the city. In fact, I loved the Windy City so much that I’ve added it to my shrinking list of future cities to job-hunt in after graduation. I’m thankful to APHA not only for my new collection of business cards and connections, but for setting my sights on Chicago!

Megan Carroll is a first-year MPH student studying Maternal and Child Health at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her primary interests include sexual and reproductive health with a focus in HIV/AIDS eradication, and she anticipates a career in governmental health administration after graduating in May 2017.

 

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