"The Master of Public Health degree leaves you with a very well-rounded skillset. The core subjects provide solid foundations which are applicable to any public health related career and the epidemiology- specific subjects that I selected equipped me with skills in research design, data collection, data analysis and scientific communication that I use every single day in my work."
After my science degree specialising in microbiology, I started looking at foodborne parasites and naturally drifted into public health. I soon realised that public health was the best way I could use my skills to have the greatest impact.
I chose the University of Melbourne to pursue my Master of Public Health because it is widely recognisable around the world and known for its quality of teaching. I was also drawn to Melbourne as a city, its vibrant arts and culture scene makes it an exciting place to be a student.
The Master of Public Health degree leaves you with a very well-rounded skillset. The core subjects provide solid foundations which are applicable to any public health related career and the epidemiology- specific subjects that I selected equipped me with skills in research design, data collection, data analysis and scientific communication that I use every single day in my work.
What really convinced me about the University of Melbourne is the wide variety of subject options that are taught by incredibly knowledgeable and world-renowned lecturers. The University fosters a friendly and approachable relationship between students and staff, so I had many opportunities to meet with lecturers outside of class to gain personalised feedback on my studies and career advice.
Another stand out feature of the Master of Public Health is that it allows students to gain practical work experience prior to graduating with the wide variety of capstone options.
During my degree, I competed in the University of Melbourne Global Health Case Competition. The competition gave me an opportunity to work on real-world complex health problems as part of a multidisciplinary team. I learned so much about public health and different topics like marketing, finance and economics that I had not been previously exposed to throughout the process. The absolute highlight was being selected to represent the University of Melbourne at the Emory Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta, USA! Our team had to come up with an intervention package that prevents Measles transmission in Ukraine. Our team was able to apply skills learned during the course to secure second place out of all 28 teams from around the world. This experience allowed me to consolidate my learning from all my subjects into a real-world problem with real-world impacts and network with public health professionals from around the globe.
I also signed up for the MDHS mentoring program and I was expertly matched with a mentor that whose career matched my dream goals. My mentor was able to provide me help with subject selection, extracurricular activities to enrich my learning, reviewing my CV and job applications and has even supported me with leadership advice as I moved into my current role. My mentor was an invaluable resource over the past year and remains a life-long friend.
The main goal I set myself was to get involved and take as many opportunities that came along as I could (and there were many!). I definitely think that I achieved this goal having gained the Leaders In Community Action Award, tutored at the VCE Summer School and represented the University at the Emory Global Health Case Competition.
I currently work as a COVID-19 outbreak epidemiologist at the Department of Health, Victoria. In this role, I work in a team that analyses COVID-19 transmission networks around the state to inform policy and prevent further spread. I really enjoy the fast-paced, dynamic and collaborative nature of the job. I use the skills I gained in the Master of Public Health daily – everything from hard epidemiological skills to soft skills in stakeholder engagement and scientific communication.
Looking forward, I would like to continue working in infectious disease outbreak response. At the moment I am really enjoying my current role and look forward to seeing where that takes me!
The Master of Public Health allows you to choose your own adventure! I simply suggest you select subjects that you are interested in, reach out to professionals that are working in areas you would like to work and see where the road takes you.
I know it sounds cliché but networking is seriously important in this industry. Public health (and epidemiology in particular) is small and your peers and lecturers will be by your side well into the future. Make the connections early and keep them strong so that you can support and learn from one another.