I suppose my life as I know it today started somewhere in high school (or maybe it was in my first year of college…). I had gone on a short-term service trip that made me want to dedicate my life to international service. This became my focus in life and I was consumed by the thought of it. However, the shift didn’t materialize overnight. It took a string of events over the course of 10 years to get me where I am today. It wasn’t easy, by any means. (It also helped that I had parents who believed in traveling and bettering the world.) I continued volunteering for this organization and went on 3 more trips after the initial one. This led me to train as one of their Team Leaders, enabling me to conduct scouting/logistic trips for them and I will [hopefully] lead a group of young people to the enigmatic country of Mongolia later this year.
Throughout that time (which happened to be during my undergraduate years), I realized I wanted to find a career that would enable me to better people’s lives through community development…….and be able to travel. (This is also why I ended up with a bachelor’s degree in music, interestingly enough. I needed to finish with something to start my MPH.) Enter in the career path of Public Health, with an emphasis in Global Health (because: travel). It hasn’t been the easiest path – most [international] positions require you to have at least 5 years of experience, and how am I supposed to get said experience if they won’t give me a job?! – Haha, sorry, I digress. As I was saying, this path has definitely had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have chosen anything else (I would, however, have changed my semi-useless impractical music degree to something else…maybe). The great thing about public health is that it encompasses so many different aspects. Will I set foot in nutrition? Emergency relief? Water and sanitation? Human trafficking? Food security? All of the above? Who knows. I’m too excited to get some experience under my belt to stop and think about that. I figure life will lead me to where I need to be, when I need to be there – because it hasn’t let me down yet.
UPDATE: After finishing up my internship at World Vision International, I headed off for a full year with ADRA Nepal! After my contract was up, I found myself back in the US working for the government as a program evaluator. Life can be kind of crazy, huh?
UPDATE: After working for the Army Public Health Center as a Program Evaluator, I accepted a position at ADRA International as a Technical Assistant for the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) team. It has been a really great learning opportunity and I am really excited about the projects I’m working on!
Visit my LinkedIn to get a better snapshot of my career journey!