When You Least Expect It: How Sharing Your Goals Can Make Your Career

Carolyn decided to pursue a Master in Public Health degree to reenter the workforce.  After 20 years as a homemaker, she bought a women’s fitness franchise, which sparked her interest in public health.  After the gym closed in 2010, she decided to go back to school to earn her master’s at Walden.

Carolyn scheduled a career appointment to help gear up for her job search.  As we discussed transferable skills and prior experience, she shared her intriguing story of how networking at her local church helped her land a practicum at the NYU School of Medicine, Center for Healthful Behavior Change.  Her practicum experience was with NYU’s FAITH-CRC (Faith-based Approaches in the Treatment of Hypertension and Colorectal Cancer) Research Project.  Carolyn was searching for a practicum site to meet her program requirements, and after Sunday services, she would share her goal of finding a site with other congregation members.  She spoke with a fellow member who told her that the church was preparing to host its 1st Annual Women’s Health Fair and invited vendors to participate in this event.  One of the vendors was the NYU School of Medicine, which also provided health education to congregation members.  Carolyn shared her academic goals and career interests, which led to her connecting with the NYU health educator and landing the site.  That same NYU health educator later became her preceptor! 

Carolyn completed a practicum at a leading medical center where she gained experience in community-based participatory research and was involved in a high blood pressure study for African American males.  She was trained as a health educator  and motivational interviewer, and gained valuable research skills.  Her next steps are to transfer her knowledge and experience into a paid position, and pursue a health education specialist certificate through the National Commission for Health Education (NCHEC).  She is well on her way to a successful career in health education!

Written by Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren

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