Mar. 02 2015

These days, public health is brimming with exciting career choices. In last year’s Mailman School graduating class, over 95 percent have a job or are continuing their education.

DCcareer-280x328-3.pngAmong the cities most eager for public health talent is Washington, DC. With that in mind, the Office of Career Services, in collaboration with the Offices of Alumni Relations and Student Affairs, has organized a four-day field trip to the nation’s capital so Master’s and doctoral students can meet with alumni and sample from a smorgasbord of career options.

“Washington, DC is where important national health policy decisions are shaped in and around federal agencies,” says Heather Krasna, assistant dean of Career Services, who spearheaded the second annual outing. “It’s also the number-one starting point for an international career.”

More than 20 DC-based employers are opening their doors to Mailman students beginning March 17. Among them are large federal agencies from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which typically don’t come to New York job fairs. New options this year include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Pact International, Chemonics, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Legacy Foundation.

At each employer, students have the chance to hear firsthand from public health professionals, many who are Mailman alumni, about the real-world issues they grapple with every day. Last year, for example, they learned about tobacco policy in Latin America from an expert at the Pan American Health Organization, and about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the federal budget from an economist at the Congressional Budget Office.

Among participating alumni are prominent officials like Ariel Pablos-Méndez (MPH ‘92), Assistant Administrator for Global Health at USAID, and David Michaels (MPH '81, PhD '87), who heads up the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Other DC-based alumni are available to students for one-on-one informational interviews. Several have offered their homes to students needing a place to stay. And for the first time, admitted students are invited to join students and alumni for cocktails on March 19.

Ahead of the trip, Krasna will lead a workshop with tips on networking, advice on setting up informational interviews, and proper etiquette on thank-you letters. Students have the option of ordering Mailman School-branded business cards, and meeting with the Career Services team to discuss job search strategies and review their resumes.

Students’ next chance to hobnob with potential employers is the Spring Job fair in New York on March 27. The United Nations Population Fund, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Grant Thornton, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene join a total of 50 employers.

“A Mailman School degree is the ticket to a huge variety of exciting and rewarding career choices,” says Krasna. “We want to give students every opportunity to explore the options and make the connections so they can follow their dreams.”

Interested students must RSVP for DC Career Week and for individual events by March 9.